We all met at 0400Am at KK airport and Hrane organized the MOUNTAIN of excess
luggage going out to Spratly.
We took a private charter run by Malaysian Air and took off at 0545. In a
little over an hour we were over the reef and the lagoon was below us - landing
formalities were quite professional and we all gathered in the lobby - to meet
with Mark Peter, manager of the resort.
MARK was tremendously accommodating - but there was some really bad news in his
1) They were down to one generator - thus no power to the conference room -
2) They were to swap generators the next day from 80KW to something like 300KW
- so there would be frequent brownouts - at unexpected times of their choosing.
3) We would have to set up in the middle of the resort - to accommodate
computer networking - and our planned antenna placement was basically torn up
and we started 160m anternna planning anew with a blank sheet of paper.
Our 160m plans were totally thrown out the window - and a new site plan was
arranged. the real downside was that listening antennas would now be FAR TOO
CLOSE to the hotel - but we really had no choice as we had no long coax runs
that would get to where we really wanted to site the 160m listening stuff.
BUMMER - but we were there at last!
Between 0730AM and our sunset many teams all worked like madmen getting all of
this stuff up - assisted in large measure by Mark Peter's loan of his
maintenance staff to help us - they were a GODSEND as time was short - we had
precious little time to get on the lowbands by dark.
Here's what went up that single day:
2 Rotary Yagis on 10m masts (one for 20/15/10 and one for the WARC bands) - a
4O3A KW triplexer and 6 4O3A Kw passband filters allowed sharing of the HF yagi
on the upper bands
A 4 square for 40m brought by Dusko ZL3WW was set up well away from the bldg
Krassy, JT1CO, VK3FN, 9M0KOM and the Layang staff - helped erect two spider
pole verticals for 160M - sited one at the shore and one to the SW near the
runway - providing 5.5db bi-directional gain SE and NW - in the hopes of LP
propagation into the USA East Coast.
These were phased with 3/4 wave coaxial lines (electrical) that I brought - and
then matched with the BYMARK ununs.
KRASSY near sunset added a single 80m vertical for cw at the shoreline - which
had a good SWR on 3503.
Sunset was at 1030z and I missed it by a few minutes due to final antenna work
with PY2XB - we tried a FLAG aimed SE and a PENNANT aimed to USA that I brought.
Our plan was to primarily use the XMIT antenna for LP Rx with its gain - and
directivity. The other RX stuff was PLAN B and backup.
We made it on the air at about 1045z and DU7ET Bob was there as planned to
announce on ON4KST our xmit and RX frequency. Bob was there every day to help
out and I am especiually grateful for his being there to help us every sunset
DU7ET was also our first 160M qso - followed almost immediately by Don KH6DX.
By 1130z - initial results were in - BUMMER! NO3M/AA1K and other ECJ's say
they cannot even hear us - (we did not hear them either!)
The first night included some West coast and N5DG I think - plus many JA's and
quite a few EU stations.
(KRASSY AND I DECIDED TO GIVE UP ON LP TO THE EAST COAST - AND A COMPLETE
REWORK WAS PLANNED FOR SUNRISE THE NEXT MORNING).
At least we were on the air and making some noise!
Je ff Briggs
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