The decision to join 9M0W took place when K1LZ told me he was going to activate
Scarborough Reef - I was pretty sure that was not where he was planning to go
and later learned it was indeed SPRATLY.
Once we got that straight, he said "You want to come?"
I said -"Yeah - why not - as long as you and I can do 160m and not be required
to operate on the higher bands..."
Krassy called Hrane, YT5A, who was the TEAM LEADER of 9M0W who said it would be
okay as long as Krassy and I were totally responsible for the setup of both 80m
and 160m - and that we might focus on 160M ourselves in terms of on the air
time. Let me note at this point the really incredible will and talent of Hrane
in terms of making all of this happen - what he had to overcome every step of
the way to secure permission and overcome unreal obstacles when the whole thing
almost failed on Sabah - well - he deserves my thanks and total respect because
he was tireless and just would not quit on us - and in the end he prevailed and
got us there. And back...
Planning commenced with invaluable assistance from Fred PY2XB - who added
considerably with antenna recommendations, strategy and a checklist of
everything that we might encounter from RFI, to site placement. While he never
operated to my knowledge on Topband while we were at 9M0W - he was a part of
the lowband team for sure.
We divided things into assigned roles:
Krassy brought 4 spider poles - two at about 75 feet tall for 160m and two for
80m at around 62 feet tall (or so). He brought also the support ropes, antenna
wire (really strong strong stuff - silver wire inside the equivalent of
phillystran) - and some wire for radials.
I brought everything I have ever known in terms of F/E protection, antenna
switching, 160M Rx bandpass filters, jumpers, a KD9SV preamp, power adapters,
custom 5 outlet strips designed for both 220v and 110V, a 220-110V 200w
stepdown xfmr, and a 2.5A/12V DC TRANSFORMER power supply to power needed
accessory devices. Krassy and I both brought noise cancelling headphones. I
also had coaxial adapters for eveything I have ever seen - with the one
exception of not being able to adapt from something ELSE to an F male - that
caused us some grief during setup. Eventually we found another way to do it.
The list included So239 females with pre-attached pigtails, some Bymark 2:1
(50/25) Kw UNUNS which proved invaluable to avoid tuning hassles at vertical
feedpoints, beverage and pennant matching transformers, 1000 feet of coax (not
fun to lift that bag) - but needed for the 3/4 wave phasing lines planned for
the 80m and 160m phased verticals.plus wire for a 160m bog and 1000 feet of
ground radial wire/or a beverage.
We had constant email reflector dialogues taking place and this helped us to
eventually avoid making BIG mistakes. We wanted to go earlier in the year but
the resort was closed - we were their first arrivals after opening.
We desperately wanted the CONFERENCE ROOM at the western end of the complex -
because from there coax runs are reasonable and might have allowed lowband RX
systems that could have been reached with a coax run to acquire NA in reverse
mode - while keeping the damned things as far away from man made noise as
DXing on the Edge: The Thrill of 160 Meters
Available worldwide through BookBaby, Array Solutions, DX Engineering, Royal
Society of Great Britain, & Amazon
Topband Reflector Archives - http://www.contesting.com/_topband