[VHFcontesting] June Contest Expediton to Prince of Wales Island, Alaska

Paul Kiesel k7cw at yahoo.com
Fri May 18 18:37:07 EDT 2007

Hello Everyone,

Well, Kevin, KL0RG, and I were finally able to get
together to check out possible sites for our
multi-limited effort in the 2007 ARRL June VHF QSO
Party. Kevin met me at the airport in Ketchikan,
Alaska on 14 May and that same day we caught the ferry
to Prince of Wales Island. It's a 3-hour trip, one
way, so we spent the time in the aft lounge planning
for the contest.

We decided to check out POW island because it offered
the possibility of getting away from the mountains
that would certainly block any attempt of working most
of the USA and Canada if we operated from Ketchikan.
After a lot of internet searching and telephone
calling, a site was located that appeared to present
reasonable take-off angle for sporadic-E in most
wanted directions. This cabin is located near the
south shore of Thorne Bay on the eastern side of POW

We visited the site on 15 May and other places on the
island on 16 May. We returned by ferry to Ketchikan
and I caught my flight back to Seattle on 17 May. 

The research paid off. It turns out that there is a
decent window from east to south. It also appears that
there is a reasonable window to the northwest. These
windows will allow us "see" essentially all of Canada
and the USA, as well as areas of Alaska to the
northwest. Unfortunately, it does not appear that we
will have a shot at Europe if the band were to open in
that direction, as there is a mountain close by in
that direction. Working Japan seems to be out, as
well, for similar reason. There are mountains in the
distance in all directions, as this is a fact of life
in Southeastern Alaska, but you can see in the photos
that the launch angle will not be too bad.

The shot in the direction of Anchorage, Alaska would
be over the roof in
http://www.qsl.net/k7cw/Alaska07/AnchorageShot.jpg .

The shot in the direction of Seattle, Washington would
be over the roof in
http://www.qsl.net/k7cw/Alaska07/SeattleShot.jpg .

Prince of Wales Island can be seen in the background
of this photo taken on the ferry ride back to
http://www.qsl.net/k7cw/Alaska07/FerryBack.jpg .

Finally, a computer-generated equidistant map from the
site grid locator, CO35rp, is here:
http://www.qsl.net/k7cw/Alaska07/ThorneBayMap.gif .

Kevin and I will have only two bands: 6-meters and
2-meters. 6-meters will have an IC-756ProIII driving
an 8874 tube for 600 watts output. The antenna will be
an 8-element yagi at appropriate height. At the
2-meter position will be an IC-706 and 400 watt brick
with 9-element yagi. We will have WSJT capability in
addition to CW and SSB on 2m. The WSJT will enhance
our ability to complete some meteor scatter contacts
via FSK441.

We are going to make an effort to work as many Alaskan
stations as possible while, at the same time, getting
our call, KL7FF, into as many logs as possible. There
is a high-speed satellite internet hook-up at the
cabin, so we will likely be available on the
Ping-Jockey web site for skeds. Folks may also send
requests for 2m skeds to me.

Our plan is to arrive sometime during the day on
Thursday, 7 June and be on the air by afternoon, 8
June. We will operate the whole contest period and
tear down on Monday. We will stay one more night and
leave for Ketchikan Tuesday morning, 12 June.

Hope to work as many of you as we can. We could use
some intense sporadic-E and and strong dose of aurora
on Sunday night for a kicker. Point your beams at
Southeastern Alaska during the contest. Listen for
KL7FF in CO35.

Paul, K7CW

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