H40FN DX-Expedition H4ØFK - H4ØFN - H4ØMS (6th – 19th Februar 2010)

Hello again, after 1 year we went back to TEMOTU as promised before. This time our expedition was almost a copy of the same one which we did in 2009 (read our report H4ØFN expedition 2009). Except one change was done: Instead of DL2NUD (H4ØHP) for 2 m EME moon bounce came DG1FK along doing PSK31 and RTTY (H4ØFK).

Our flight was the same using Singapore Airlines from Frankfurt – Singapore – Brisbane, following with Solomon Airlines to Honiara. After staying one night in Honiara we continued with a small plane to Santa Cruz Island, Temotu Province. Because of the heavy wind we could not go with the small 6 m boat to cross the 80 km open Pacific to get to Pigeon Island (Ngarando, Reef). Only next day we were picked up by Ben Hepworth but he had to drop 2 guys and some luggage at the end of the main island Nendo because the wind was still too strong and the boat engine could not handle that weight. Nevertheless the 2 guys were picked up again next day. During that night on Nendo we stayed at the LATA Motel where we could do some QSO with the IOTA OC-100 number (QSL cards will carry this location). On Ngarando we had IOTA OC-065.

Bild 1: Temotu DX-Expedition 2010
Our 6 m long boat for the 80 km long journey to Pigeon Island

On our arrival at Pigeon Island (Ngarando) Siegfried unfortunately slipped on the stairs when he entered the island with his wet slippers and hit his head on the hard concrete so that he had got a 15 minutes black-out which was not so much a pain for him but the other fellows were very much frightened what was happening now with Siegfried. The good thing was that some ice cubes were available from Ben’s house and after 15 minutes Sigi came back to life and already in the evening the “egg” on his head disappeared and he was soon "on the air" with a heavy pile up.

Bild 2: Temotu DX-Expedition 2010
Pigeon Island to be seen 500 m off shore the neighbour island

We stayed again in the school house cottage where we could erect near by our antennas. This year we used again the 2-ele vertical LOBSTER antenna for 160-30m like in 2009. For 20-6 m we erected on a bamboo triple leg tower the 6 band 2-ele beam (W8JK type). Both antennas were fed by 450 Ohms twin cable (ladder line).

Bild 3: Temotu DX-Expedition 2010
Our school house cottage

Our radios were 2 pcs of ICOM 7000 and one YAESU FT 857. The Ameritron PA ALS 500 delivered power between 200 Watts on the high bands and 400 Watts at the lower bands. Our 230 Volts came from the local generator, solar panels and a second 1,5 KW generator powered with petrol for the night time.

Bild 4: Temotu DX-Expedition 2010
2 ele Beam 20-6 m (W8JK) on a 8 m triple leg tower

Peter H4ØFK was doing RTTY and BPSK31, Bernhard H4ØMS as the SSB operator and traditionally Siegfried H4ØFN handled the key for CW. We enjoyed very much the pile up with JA and W because the discipline of these hams is great. Learned in 2009 when we were very disappointed by the bad behaviour of many EU operators doing heavy QRM and did not follow our advice I decided this year not doing so much QSO traffic with EU. I gave it up after a few days operating on 160 and 80m band with EU because of that. The JA and W were very thankful for because they had the advantage now more on their side.

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Our shack

We thank you all for the nice QSO and hopefully I will forget the heavy QRM from many EU ops. They have been quite a big number again this year. I don’t forget those hams hammering 8-10 times their call sign while I was doing QSO with 2 others. I called usually "up 1/5" which means: "spread out 1-5 kHz" and do not follow or jumb within this section and stay stable at one frequency. Look for a less active QRG within this spectrum and I start with 1 up and continue 100 Hz by 100 Hz further up picking all of them. Only those following me 5 KHz up and down like a swarm of wasps I ignored them and so they missed the chance for a QSO because of that.

We had much better food this year because we requested an upgrade from Ben and surprisingly he had very nice crayfish every day for us and all what was traditional on the island. We had a small fridge for our drinks such as rain water, bush lime and cans of Solomon Brew beer. In a small kitchen we prepared our daily lunch, mostly noodles and some nice with toppings from cans like chicken, beef, tuna fish or sauces. Very famous and almost a custom was to have chinese noodle soup early morning before gray line when we were operating or listening to the birds, followed by coffee served by our kitchen master Peter H4ØFK. Breakfast at Ben’s house was nice bread, butter, jam, cheese and eggs with some fruits like at home. The dinner was nice and we appreciated very much the every day’s fish menu for a fair reasonable price.

Bild 6: Temotu DX-Expedition 2010
Sigi and his good food for heavy pile up

QSL cards:

All QSL cards will be answered either by buro or direct. For those asking for direct QSL please add at least 3 US $ and return envelope to your letter. Please no IRC since it is difficult at post offices here on our country site to be accepted (many post offices never have seen IRC and don’t know how to handle it).

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QSL card of Peter H4ØFK

After 2 weeks of operation we had a few thousands of QSO in our log. If time and money will be left we plan to go back to Temotu in 1 or 2 years time.

On our last day we left some donation back to the local people such like some left over clothes, food, batteries, hard ware and some pocket money for their children’s school education.

We left during the dark night our island by boat again and enjoyed the calm sea and the stars in the sky above our sun burned skin heads. We arrived LATA airfield just in time where many local people with nice dresses and flowers around the neck were waiting. We thought they are all well faring us but we were wrong. They all have been waiting for the new Bishop who came along with that small Twin Otter plane which took us back to Honiara.

Maggy H44MK was already waiting for us at the SSEC Guesthouse up the Wawaya Ridge mountain to serve us fresh fruits and Pizza. She was very much caring us and we were very much concerned to help her finding a suitable husband. Unfortunately we 3 men were not available anymore. We were all very jokey fellows including Maggy and Maggy’s laugh still were following us back home in our ears.

Bild 8: Temotu DX-Expedition 2010
Maggy H44MK and Sigi H4ØFN saying bye bye again

Two days later Peter and Siegfried went back the same way as they came and Bernhard still stayed back in Honiara using his call sign H44MS for SSB until end of April 2010.

15 more pictures of our DX-Expedition 2010 Picturegallery
A short video on YouTube of our DX-Expedition Start video (5:11 min.)
Audiofile of our DX-Expedition (CW-Signal 160m) Start audiofile 1 (13 min.)
Audiofile of our DX-Expedition (CW-Signal 160m) Start audiofile 2 (6 min.)
Link to the Website of DG1FK

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