Topband: Clipperton Island DXpedition
Fri, 18 Feb 2000 17:00:31 -0800

A group of DXers from the Los Angeles area hosted a steak dinner last
evening in Torrence, California for Mark, ON4WW, who is enroute to
Clipperton Island as a team member of the upcoming DXpedition.  It was a
very enjoyable get-together for all.  Thanks to Doug, N6RT for organizing
the get-together.

Most DXers will recognize Mark's most previous callsign in Liberia where,
as EL2WW, he made many Topbanders happy with a QSO on 160-meters...
(also 9X4WW from W4ZV)

After the dinner, we motored north from LA to Lancaster in the Mojave
Desert where we dropped off Will, K6NDV.  We spent an hour or so in
Will's shack, and, while tuning around on 160m (of course!), we heard
ZK2CA calling CQ.  Mark's excitement was obvious as he QSOed ZK2CA as
W6/ON4WW, hi.

Mark and I then drove to my QTH (K6SE) in Palmdale, where I gave him a
tour of the station and we spent another hour chit-chatting until we
retired at 1:30 AM.  We both slept until after sunrise, so if there was a
band opening, we missed it.

This morning after breakfast, we unpacked his Amp, Inc. LW-800 amplifier
and hooked it up to make sure that it survived the trip (as baggage) from
Belgium.  Lucky that we did this - an internal connector had worked
itself loose and the amplifier was inoperative.  This was easily
corrected, and LW-800 put out ample power on 160m.

Mark left K6SE's QTH at about 1:00 PM (2100Z), heading for John, N7CQQ's
QTH in Searchlight, Nevada.  N7CQQ is the team leader for the DXpedition.
>From there they will drive next week to San Diego and meet with the rest
of the multi-national DXpedition team.

The team has chartered a 90-foot fishing boat to take them to Clipperton,
where they expect to arrive on 29 February after a 6-day sail.  Hopefully
the weather will permit the team to get themselves and the equipment
safely ashore upon arrival so that they can begin setting up the
operation.  They hope that the first QSO from FO0AAA will come on 1 March

A Battle Creek Special vertical will be the 160-meter antenna, which is a
great Topband antenna.  Mark will be the 160-meter operator, and we all
know he is extremely dedicated to Topband.  For receiving, they will use
a ground-independent "Delta-Ewe" antenna made by John, ON4UN especially
for the DXpedition.

8 days of operation are planned from the island, then the boat will make
the 6-day journey with the team back to San Diego.

Here's hoping that Topband condx will be good for them,  especially on
those difficult paths from Clipperton to Europe and the Middle East --
and the rest of the world, of course.

73 de Earl, K6SE

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