Meriden ARC Web Site | Castle Craig Chapter 10-10


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FT5ZM Amsterdam Island DXpedition Starting
#1

A group of experienced operators will conduct a DXpedition to Amsterdam Island starting about January, 24th 2014. The team once they arrive at Amsterdam will have 18 days to set up, conduct the DXpedition and tear down for departure. The are authorized to be on the island for up to 18 days between the dates of January 15th and February 20th 2014. They plan CW, SSB and RTTY operations on 160 through 10 meters including the 12, 17 and 30 meter WARC bands. No 6 meter operation has been announced.

Transceivers are K3 Elecraft. Amps are OM Power 2000s and Elecraft KPA 500s, Antennas are a top loaded vertical, Beverages and a DX Engineering RX 4 Square for 160 meters. Also shown is an 80 meter vertical, 40 meter vertical, 3 meter vertical and 2 three element yagis for 20 through 10 meters, one at each of two operating sites.

A multi-national team of nine experienced operators will be joining the DXpedition.

QSLs will be via OQRS, direct to N2OO, and via the W2 Bureau. LBOTW information is not given.

Their webpage is available at: http://www.amsterdamdx.org/

GL to the Deserving!

Al - N1API
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#2

The FT5ZM DXpedition is underway. They have been spotted this morning on 10, 12, 17, 20 meters and 10 mHz so far this morning. (Sunday) So far the spot have all been CW and the usual "idiocy" makes its appearance along with it. Splits are large 5 to 15, expected because of the rarity of this country, number 5 on the "all time hit list".

GL

Al - N1API
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#3

This is a tough one! Been on it most of the day yesterday and today on 20, 17 and 12 CW. He's had a 59 signal most of the time and been working NA on 12 meters all morning and I haven't broke the pile up yet.

Need CW, RTTY, 17, 15, 12 and 10 so this is going be one to concentrate hard on!


Al - N1API
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#4
I was listening all day (Sunday), pile was 40 kc wide on 20m
Looks like this little pistol staion will need to wait a couple of days to have a shot.

K1PU

(01-27-2014, 11:31 AM)N1API Wrote:
This is a tough one! Been on it most of the day yesterday and today on 20, 17 and 12 CW. He's had a 59 signal most of the time and been working NA on 12 meters all morning and I haven't broke the pile up yet.

Need CW, RTTY, 17, 15, 12 and 10 so this is going be one to concentrate hard on!

Reply
#5
Yea, this one is going to be a bear for the little stations. He started out on 12 meters this morning and I was hearing him starting about 8 AM maybe a little earlier. Then he started to work NA only on 12 meters and I thought that had a shot but no luck all the way up until noon when he disappeared without warning. QRT.. His signal was dropping. And for some reason all the other HF stations were working just NA which was really getting the rest of the world upset. Maybe divide and conquer. I looked at his 10 meter signal and couldn't hear him even though some of the zeros were reporting S9 signals, maybe skipping over me. He had a tough signal on 15 meters. Went down to 17 and the signal was better and he was calling NA. Gave it a couple of shots 5 up and saw someone post him 6 up. I went 6 1/2 up threw my call in a couple times and he answered me. Sounded like me and the timing was correct. There's some idiot or maybe more that are sitting on top of him sending either strings of dits or chunking a steady carrier with the amp and usual jerk who can't understand di di dah - di da da dit! You think they would wonder why they are the only station calling the DX. Go figure.. Almost 12 hours yesterday on 20 meters with a 59 signal and nothing. Almost 6 hours today on 12 meters signal from about 55 to 59 and started to drop toward the end and nothing. 15 minutes on 17 meters and he was 53 at the best and I got him. You just can't figure DX or propagation. Well that's one needed band and mode. I'll watch him the rest of the week and unless he works RTTY on 20 I don't need that band. So three bands and one mode left for all the antennas I got, (unless 6 meters opens.. Tongue ).

Al


(01-27-2014, 12:07 PM)K1PU Wrote: I was listening all day (Sunday), pile was 40 kc wide on 20m
Looks like this little pistol staion will need to wait a couple of days to have a shot.

K1PU

(01-27-2014, 11:31 AM)N1API Wrote:
This is a tough one! Been on it most of the day yesterday and today on 20, 17 and 12 CW. He's had a 59 signal most of the time and been working NA on 12 meters all morning and I haven't broke the pile up yet.

Need CW, RTTY, 17, 15, 12 and 10 so this is going be one to concentrate hard on!


Al - N1API
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#6

I FINALLY got a solid contact this morning on 12 M CW. It took almost 4 hours of work. I purposely got up early and turned the radio on right away to see what would be the best band to concentrate on. He had a fair signal starting up on 10 meters but I know that band doesn't last long. They are +10 hours ahead of us and 10 meters is the first band to drop out. 9 AM here is 7 PM there so you probably only have 3 or 4 hours of good signal to work them on 10 meters. Watch the DX Cluster spots and you will see who is hearing them the best and on what bands.

The signal on 12 was a little better so I decided to concentrate there. I was getting a little frustrated because I kept chasing him up and down the band by about 20 kHz. They got a wide split and no matter where you go your still jammed in among a hundred others on the same frequency, there seems to be no "dead spots" to sit in. He took a few 10 minute breaks and after the second one I planted myself 3 kHz up and just started calling. When he came back he started answering two or three other calls and then heard what sounded like mine among the QRM and carrier chuckers on his transmit frequencies. I threw in a couple of IMIs then my call and he came back with my call. We exchanged reports and he answered with TU so I logged it.

They put their first log online and my 17 meter call is "busted". They logged N1AP rather than N1API. I emailed, (the real), N1AP and Tony said that he was not working them. So if I can't get an insurance contact on 17 meters I'll appeal it to the QSL Manager as a busted call. (Which has to be done after the DXpedition is done).

The last time I had this much problem working a DXpedition was Scarborough Reef for my last country. But that was the very lowest year of the solar cycle and I never heard him off of 20 meters, (as I remember). And I only managed one SSB contact in fact if I remember correctly I thought I worked him on CW but that call was NG.

This DXpedition reminds me of the first Heard Island DXpedition. With the exception of some very few contacts made by the very first team to visit the island Heard had never been on and the pileups were massive. This was the DXpedition that took up the whole 20 meter phone band on the last night of it operation and set up the criteria and standards for all future DXpeditions after they were highly criticized for their operating style by the ARRL, the FCC and many DX organizations.

Al - N1API
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#7

Here is the text of a note that I received today from NV9L the FT5ZM Pilot.

The terrain is rough...meaning very rugged. They used to raise cattle on this island a very long time ago. So there is all this grass that was planted on top of the island's lava rock surface. In some places the grass is as high as their chest, with about 2 feet of dead grass on top of lava rock. It makes it very tricky to walk let alone raise towers & verticals or lay guys, ground radials & feed line.

Along with forwarding on the important propagation and other info hams send me, I send the team leaders some other pertinents like the weather report, the Dow Jones, and the solar index numbers. Their temperatures have been pretty much in the mid 50's f every single day since they arrived. Except for yesterday. Last night it dipped down to the high 30's low 40's with gusty winds and small shower earlier in the day.

Everyone is injury free (which is great), but exhausted. Many of them are doing 12 hour shifts. Now that all the antennas are up they can focus on operating, eating and sleeping.

Valerie ~ NV9L

Al - N1API
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#8

K0IR the Team Leader announced that they will start to tear down the Operation Feb. 12, 2014. So if you have not worked Amsterdam Island you have about a week to do so.

Try 10 meters in the early morning they start to show about 7:00 to 7:30 AM and are usually gone on 10 by about 10 AM. 12 meter opens a little later but stays strong until late morning. Sometime more. It seems to be one of the better bands. 15 is unpredictable. It can be open most anytime during the day but it's one of the weaker signals. 17 meters is one of their best band. It opens late morning with a weak signal but builds and signals are 59 + once it opens up and stays loud into the evening sometime later. 20 meters seems to be open most of the day, (but I've got to admit since I've had that band done before I have not paid much attention to it.). But it seems like the cluster is always reporting strong signals most of the day and evening on 20. I can't give much info on 30, 40 and 80 since I don't use those.

They have only done two log uploads to Club Log. The log is "complete" up to 13:07:16 on Feb. 1st. They show 89,683 calls in the log with 23,200 unique calls. That ratio seems one sided so it looks like the "big guns" are still trying to fill their band and mode slots, maybe trying to make the Leaderboard. When you see that ratio start to change then that means that they are starting to pick up the stations that are just trying for one band and one mode for just the country.

Good luck if you still need it.

-73-

Al - N1API
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#9
Finally! .....

Work them on 20M phone of all modes (I'm generally a CW DX'er).
Pile up was medium size for a change so looks like the big guns got all there band/mode slots filled.
I'm attempting a CW contact for both modes.
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#10
Yea I think so too, I looked for them on 10 phone just to see if I could work them there and the operator had a 10-10 number but no propagation. N2OO is one of the operators and he gave his 10-10 number out to one person who asked for it and said that he was happy for the change of pace.

I see Mike worked them on 20 but have not seen Paul's call in there yet.

As of 1323 UTC on the 8th they have 143,891 contacts with 32,426 different calls in their log.

This morning they were real strong 20 meters and working NA and SA only.

Al N1API

(02-09-2014, 09:17 AM)K1PU Wrote: Finally! .....

Work them on 20M phone of all modes (I'm generally a CW DX'er).
Pile up was medium size for a change so looks like the big guns got all there band/mode slots filled.
I'm attempting a CW contact for both modes.
Reply


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