OK, it is November 2017 and I am on myway back to 3B9, right now enjoying a couple of weeks of holiday on 3B8 with my wife and with the radio gear packed away.
3B9HA couldbe on the air from local sunset Wednesday Nov 22, 2017 and will need to QRTafter local sunrise on Monday Dec 11.
Besides CQWWCW the focus will be on CW on the low bands. If I get bold I might start playing with FT8. No internet in shack but should be able to upload log daily to LOTW and ClubLog. Charles M0OXO is doing the QSLs.
Setup will be very similar to last year, see below.
73 Olof G0CKV
So, my 2016 3B9 adventure has come to an end and I am back in the cold and dark northern winter busy preparing for the family activities during Christmas and New Year.
Plan is to reactivate 3B9HA in 2017 for CQWWCW plus another couple of weeks.
Final QSO numbersin 2016 were:
for a total of 6124 QSOs with only a few hours on-the-air every day plus the CQWWCW weekend.
A few pictures below.
Thank you for the QSOs and for your patience when Iwas trying to dig your calls out of the QRN on 160.
73 and c u nxt yr
Olof G0CKV SM5CKV
Sunday morning December 11th:
Well, that was a different experience. The 80m antenna is lost to a bull and with only 1 night left I am not going to spend a half day taking down the 160m antenna and redo the whole setup so there will be no more 80.
As it turned 1 bull and 3 cows were roamingthe property "unlawfully" last night. With condx bad and signals weak and QRN high again it was very frustrating to try to dig signals out of the noise. Thenit turned out that the cattle were mooing and bellying and munching all night outside my windows making sleep impossible. Do they never sleep? Perhaps not when they have found fresh flowers and some greenery after months on a diet of almost nothing. I went outside with a spotlight and a stick trying to chase them away but nothing I did made any impression on them. But then I am no cowboy and have obviously no talent for that.
This field-day-style setup has 3 poles with their bases tied to small trees and then 20 light guy lines, 6 dipole ends, 4 elevated radial ends, 4 topband umbrella ends and 1 80m inv L end plus a BOG. It all adds up toquite a spider's web of wires and light rope. It was with trepidation I went outside to check the damage at dawn today. In all, not too bad. Will need to fix a couple of guys, redo most of the radials, fit a new PL259 that was lost when a coax was dragged by a cow and then of course no 80m antenna. A new item has been added to the take-down todo-list: clean cow-dung off the coax :-(
Might spend some time on 10 today for the ARRL 10m contest then begin to take down HF antennas late afternoon. I am leaving the topband overnightto give the cows another chance to attack it and also to try some more topband overnight.
As of December11th at sunrise the QSO statistics looks like this (all on CW):
On Tuesday morning I am flying to 3B8, spending the afternoon with Clive 3B8CW and then catching an overnight flight to London.
It has been great fun to play with my radio toys, talk with the locals, spend time with Robert, 3B9FR, and his family, and see a bit more of Rodrigues. Now it will be really great to be reunited with the family over the Holiday Season.
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Quick update Saturday evening December 10th:
Lost 80m antenna today due to free-ranging bull. Did not notice until pitch dark. This also meant 160m antenna had to be retuned. So right now, 160 OK but no more 80.
QRN on 160 bad this evening. Will try again 2100z through my Sunday morning sunrise 0100z and then same the following night.
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G0CKV isQRV from Rodrigues as 3B9HA November 23 -December 12, 2016.
Playing with radio is only part-time here - this is not a 24/7 DX-pedition.
Will close down after sunrise on Monday 12th.
10m essentially dead but will check again during the ARRL 10m Contest Dec 10-11
Focusing on top band. QRN level is very high during the night. No problem with a big pile-up but it is a challenge to dig calls out of the noise. Calls have to be pieced together fragment by fragment.
Do it like this on top band:
1. Make sure you can hear me before you transmit
2. Pick a frequency 0.7kHz or more up from my frequency and stay there. Don't move aroundcontinously. Don't jump on last station's frequency. Send your call over and over again with a brief pause to check whether I am transmitting. There is no regular pattern in how calls are picked up - it is just the "simple" matter of finding signals that are readable at a particular moment inthe QRN. You need luck with theQSB peaks on your side. By the way - your top-band luck would improve considerably withbetter antennas.
No internet in shack but I try toupload to LOTW and ClubLog when I go for breakfast and dinner. Uploads OK as of breakfast December 9th.
All QSL via Charles M0OXO OQRS or Direct Mail
Please DO NOT send your cards via the bureau. There was a time when I loved to receive all those cards but there is now not enough time left in my life to collect them. Please use OQRS to request bureau cards.
Apologies for delays in responding to old QSL requests. As from October 2016 Charles has kindly offered to help me and the backlog is alreadysorted.
3B9HA shack with K3 and SPE 1.3K running 800W:
3B9HA Low-band verticals on a Spiderbeam 18m pole. The 160m antenna is a 16m toploaded umbrella and the 80m antenna is an inverted L in parallel sharing the same pole and radial field:
3B9HA low-band antenna feedpoint. The 160m antenna is prepared for resonance below 1800kHz. Feedpoint impedance is about 21 ohmand with an additional inductive component. A series network with a fixed series capacitor and adjustable inductor takes out the reactance and a hairpin coil to ground is used to raise the impedance to 50 ohm. The 80m inverted L is about right in itself and simply connected in parallel. The coax is very light low-loss 5mm from Messi&Paoli, ideal for traveling.
40m antenna is a vertical on a Spiderbeam 12m pole with 4 elevated radials. Original plan was to do twophased ground-mounted verticals but after having laid out the low-band radials the idea of doing two more sets of radials under the hot Rodrigues sun was not that attractive.
On 10-15-20 an 18m Spiderbeam pole supports parallel (fan) dipoles at 14m. This antenna is 170m from thelagoon over poor ground so is likely to outperform verticals.
Spiderbeam poles being cleaned and dried before packing.
Robert 3B9FR enjoying a cup of coffee during a break as he was helping me to take down the antennas.
My host family. From right to left daughter Estelle, Johnson, a teacher and local politician, his wife Mariana with daughter Alice and a cousin in front, Olof 3B9HA, Boulok, fisherman and cook and more and Jennifer who is doing the breakfasts and keeping the place in good order.
Robert, 3B9FR trying out the 3B9HA operating position.
Trespassing cow munching outside my window
A morning's catch. Caught on line outside the reef.
You reach Rodrigues with daily flights from Mauritius. Flying time is around 1h30m. The runway at Rodrigues can't handle jets so the route is served with turboprops ATR72. They are weight-limited so passengers are only allowed one 7kg cabin luggage and one 15kg checked bag. That is tough on traveling radio hams.