Ramblings from a G4 by Antony Turnbull G4CUS July 2007

No sooner had the ‘waves’ of excitement (excuse the pun) over the Scarborough Reef  Dxpedition subsided, than we were treated to another major Dxpedition by a group of Polish amateurs, going this time to Agalega island (IOTA AF001), which is North East of Madagascar.

Unfortunately only two days into the voyage a volcano on Reunion Island erupted. The catamaran they were on was badly damaged. Sails were torn apart, accommodation was flooded and one of the two engines broke down. A distress call was sent out using their amateur radio gear (shades of Tony Hancock) and a coast guard plane managed to locate them. The nearest vessel was a fishing boat which was summoned and towed the stricken catamaran to Raphael Island in the St Brandon island group (IOTA AF015). All on board were safe thank goodness.

This left them with a problem, their licence was for Agalega Island 3B6SP and Raphael’s prefix is 3B7. Very quickly they managed to obtain the call 3B7SP and commenced operations. QSL manager for this Dxpedition is SP9SX via the bureau or direct.
The pile-ups were intense but the splits were not as wide as on the Scarborough Reef operation and it was easier to find where they were listening. The club managed to work them three times on 20metre ssb, using G6HH, G2LL and G1HHH. They were due to cease operations on 21 June.

The band conditions in June have once again been a little changeable. 10 Meters has appeared dead for much of the time but as soon as an Italian contest started during the weekend of 16 June, the band was full of very strong stations. I suspect that much of the problem is no one calling CQ on what they perceive as a ‘dead’ band. I am as guilty of this as anyone. 20 metres has as usual held the lion’s share of QSOs. DX has been around as have short skip contacts. For example on 21 June I had fifteen QSOs from one CQ call. Two were with Japan and the rest were in Europe. I find this one of the great pluses of the hobby, you just don’t know who is going to respond to your call. Looking on the DX cluster system I see both 6 and 2 metres have been wide open at times.

Three of the bigger contests in July are :-

RSGB VHF Field Day     All modes  on 07/08 July  14.00 – 14.00 UTC
The exchange is RST +  serial number + locator

IARU HF championship    CW / SSB  on 14/15 July  12.00 – 12.00 UTC
The exchange is RST + ITU Zone (England = 27)

RSGB IOTA             CW / SSB  on 28/29 July  12.00 – 12.00 UTC
The exchange is RST + serial number + IOTA ref (UK = EU005)

Good hunting and good DX !

Antony Turnbull   G4CUS July 2007.

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St. Richard's College Buildathon/STEM/ARISS - HERC attends St. Richard's Catholic College for their various events surrounding the Tim Peake ARISS contact.
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Radio Rallies 2016 - An up to date list of radio rallies scheduled for 2016.
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