Topband: "Special Report" to the Topband Reflector re: VU7RG (Agatti Isl) lowband results
MAllphin at aol.com
MAllphin at aol.com
Fri Feb 9 11:32:10 EST 2007
Fellow low band enthusiasts,
Upon my return from VU7RG, Bill, W4ZV asked that I put together a short
report and provide some statistics from our NA and Low band results at VU7RG. I
am delighted to do so. Please note that I am only discussing our operation
from Agatti Island. There were 3 other islands on the air, one of them a
major international effort like ours. That was the team on Kadmat Island.
It was clear that the VU7LD operation during December 2006 had not satisfied
the demand for QSOs with NA overall and certainly had not spent much time on
the low bands. As we saw our mission, it was to concentrate on working NA
on all bands and because we had several hard core lowbanders on the team, we
worked hard to do a big job there too
Here are some numbers that indicate we did pretty well....overall 15% of our
41,000 QSOs were with NA. That is a good number, when you consider that
were about 14,000 KM from the East Coast of the US. We were aware of when the
bands might be open to NA and we tried our best to be there!
On the low bands we were extremely pleased.....
160m.....2152 QSOs overall with 133 NA QSOs....
(we managed one Long Path QSO with AA0RS on Jan.19 at 1409Z)
80m.......4425 QSOs overall with 1015 NA QSOs...
(with 110 Long Path QSOs most between 1308Z and 1430Z- our Sunset was
40m.......5989 QSOs overall with 1240 NA QSOs...
The radios were all IC 756 PRO III's lent to us by Icom America...the
160m...Toploaded Tee antenna....55 foot fiberglass mast with antenna taped
to the mast and two top loading wires sloping down at about 45 degrees. The
antenna was mounted on a dock at the waters edge. Two elevated, tuned radials
were used with two additional 1/4 wave wires thrown into the sea.
It was obvious to us that we were being heard better that we were hearing.
One reason is that most of you have optimized your RX situations and we were
just there for 9 days. Also, we found that the Neon lights running along the
pier were causing some low level of noise until we found the On/Off switch.
Also, remember that we were about 10 deg. North Latitude and there is noise
at that Latitude, although it didn't necessarily show on the S-meter.
Certainly, it was not as quiet as I have found the Antarctic to be. We tried a
K9AY switchable loop, which worked well, but not better than the TX antenna. We
also put up a 450 ft beverage, but because of the orientation of the Island,
it was mostly NE and helped with the JAs, but not EU or NA, which were North
and NW of us.
On 80m, we used a homemade phased 2 element array. The two elements were
both 41 feet tall and top loaded. One element had 4 top loading wires and the
other had 2 top loading wires. The antennas were at the waters edge at high
tide and not more that 30 ft. from the sea at low tide. Radials were laid on
the sand and staked down to avoid being washed away. The antenna was an
absolute "killer". The last night of our operation we took down the second
element and used only one...we could tell the difference! The array was oriented
On 40m, we used a 4 square array, with each element taped to a 33 ft.
fiberglass mast and each with two elevated, tuned radials. It was about 125 feet
from the sea. Also a killer!
Click on this link to see some of the antennas...
On the left side of this picture you will see the 2el 80m
antenna in the background.
In the foreground is the 80m Tee (slightly bent). The antenna in
the right-center foreground is
the 17m SVDA and on the pier in the background, you can see the
30m 1/4 wave vertical.
In conclusion, let me point out that our good results were because we were a
very dedicated and cohesive team. Every one contributed to the overall
success. I might add it was a very congenial group and we had some fun along the
way and to my knowledge never a cross word.....a great team in my view.
The following men contributed to the low band success on 160m and
80m...W8AEF, K4UEE, W0GJ, VA7DX, DK5WL and W5MJ. The entire team shared the operating
duties on the other bands!
For the Agatti team,
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