Topband: topband report from 4V1JB

DALE LONG dale.long at
Fri Dec 5 17:01:01 EST 2014

Our plans for a 160m operation and CQWWCW entry were delayed due to supply issues and construction woes. THINGS ARE NOT EASY IN HAITI !!!  We are very fortunate that we had any place to operate.  We had only very low dipoles on the higher bands at the hotel/guesthouse.

Thanks to the great kindness of Jean-Robert HH2JR (who is also famous for his efforts in the Haitian earthquake) we were offered the opportunity to use his nice station for the contest, and operate with the club callsign of 4V1FR.  The last two days we worked on erecting the 160m antenna.  

We need to be thankful for three things, the kindness of HH2JR, the efforts to put up the antenna (including tower climbing and roof-climbing by an un-named old guy) and the excellent filtering ability of the Elecraft K3.  We did not have time or space for a listening antenna, although with more time I would have tried.

In the end we worked 180 stations on topband and had 3100 QSOs in the contest, which is not bad for a contest operation with only two ops.  We aso had three lengthy power outages during which we got good exercise trying to start the generator. You probably already know that we were there on the top of every hour.  We made a big effort on 160m because of the need.

The antenna was an inverted Vee with one side folded back to the tower about 15 feet from the ground.  The wire almost reached back to the tower.  The other side went over a couple roofs and tied off in a neighboring property.  It was an accomplishment to get this antenna erected and our host HH2JR was delighted to have a 160m antenna.

The bad news is that we worked no EU stations, not a single one.  We had 20 over 9 noise constantly...We did not have static crashes, just constant noise.  One leg of the antenna was very close to a WIFI antenna.  Not sure if that was the only culprit.

I would like to know how we were being heard in EU...I have no reports.  Our antenna described above and we used an Acom 1011 amplifier with about 750w output.  Our best contact was with CN2AA.  All other contacts were in the Caribbean area and North America.

My goal in the future is to organize a dxpedition for topband operation only.  We are looking for interested operators who love 160m.  We know that contest weekends are not the best for DXing.  We need a dedicated team of topband guys, not one guy without an RX antenna.  But again, we need to thank HH2JR.  Without his kind offer there would have been zero contacts on 160m last weekend.

Thanks for all who called and wish that more of you could have been in the log.  Please let me know if you would be interested in doing a 160m dxpedtion from Haiti. And please let me know how was our signal in EU compared to other stations.

Thanks & 73

Dale - N3BNA

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