Topband: "Special Report" to the Topband Reflector re: VU7RG (Agatti Isl) lowband results

MAllphin at MAllphin at
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 
antennas  were:
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,

73,  Bob

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