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Topband: 7P8LB in the “Capital of lightning”

Subject: Topband: 7P8LB in the “Capital of lightning”
From: Rune Øye <>
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2019 22:06:58 +0100
List-post: <>
Dear all,

Thanks for the patient during the 7P8LB operation and particularly on the
TB. This location is a challenge but doable if you have plenty of time. On
the journey from Johannesburg to Lesotho, I experienced one of the heaviest
lightning storms I ever have seen. I then understand that this will be a
challenge and the days ahead conformed this. A lot of effort was done to
get something going on TB but for sure it was not easy. We spent a lot of
time to negotiate with the owners of the land surrounding the lodge, but
when the “deal” is changing from one to the next day, it’s not easy. When
first 160 antenna was up, I got a “standby” to continue our installation
and I had to prepare we written agreement and we basically “lost a day”.
When we finally had the agreement in place, we were ready to install
element number 2 (2 el end fire broadside array) Same day antenna one broke
due to the one of the guy wire pegs broke in a heavy storm and felt down.
Now I had to use antenna number two as spare parts and repair antenna one
and this was done the same day. In the afternoon same day, a horse was
running around and hit the tophat guide wires, but this was reparable. Next
days the 80 meter antenna felt down duo to a horse that was “running in
circle” and hit one the guywire. The antenna did not get any damage and was
an “easy fix”. Installed 2 x VE3DO loops that I phased but no luck since
the loop closest to the lodge was just to noisy. Further I installed a VLB
(very low beverage antenna) 130 meter long and I use a MFJ-1026 noise
cancelling unit to cancel out S8 of the powerline noise from a nearby
powerline. This setup worked somewhat, and I was able to work 100 EU
stations and one JA stations that night. Further Svein LA3BO, managed to
work a few NA stations as well after I went to bed. For the two last days
we decided to prepare a 250 meter long terminated BEV that was laying on
top of the cornfield. New BEV Antenna was now North of the powerline about
50 meter and reduced the Powerline noise a lot.I use the MFJ 1026 to get
rid of the remains of the powerline noise. The following night was the
first night with good wheatear conditions and we had good result to EU, one
JA and a few NA. The last night before we shut down the conditions was not
as good as the day before, one JA station a fair amount of EU and some NA
at our SR. Its frustrating to see the wall of NA stations in the pan
adapter but the signal is just so very marginal and deep QSB. This is what
we were able to this time however, I guess that this location deserves a
topband Expedition only :-) Before I left I got the email address from one
of the owners of the land surrounding the lodge and I also pay him some
money as a thanks you of using his land. The land north of the lodge have
plenty of space for BEV antennas but permission is needed. Our permission
was to install the antenna after darknes and sneak out and take it in just
after day light 😊. Where do we go next, maybe the digit 9 or 2 in the
prefix at the same time as we could do a TB operation in 7P. The clublog
count says 561 QSO CW and  FT8 for 160 meter band.

I am not a native English speaker or writer so apologise for spelling
mistakes and how to build a sentence

73 for now LA7THA / 7P8LB team leader.
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