Monday, February 05, 2007

Final hours

The Buddipole Users on Montserrat DXpedition has come to a close. I'll have statistics for the operations in tomorrow's blog, assuming I can get to an internet connection. I personally made 1275 contacts, better than my goal but far beneath my stretch-goal. I think if we had worked out an antenna plan prior to our departure I would have been closer but still fallen short. I'm reasonably pleased with the results.
I had a couple of nice runs on 15m, 17m, and 20m today. Several people mentioned both 6m and 160m and wondered if we had done much to activate those bands. The short answer is yes! Both bands were given a log of energy from operators here, but no openings appeared. I was told by one fellow that he had heard me on 160m but I did not hear him. I'll be thinking about what else I can do for this band over the next few months.
Six meters is a different story. If there was an opening, we would have been there making QSOs. We built a 3-element 6m beam aimed at the US and tried to raise a few signals. We tried.
There are several operators who managed to work all seven of us here on the island. The last to do so was W5SAN who was bicycle mobile in Texas. We had set up a portable operation at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory and began calling CQ on 17m. Once we had Joe on the line, all seven of us worked him in succession in about 3 minutes. When the last operator was done (me) the band died. Great timing! I have the whole thing on video.
Tear down was quite an exercise. There had been a significant amount of equipment swapping during our stay, much more than I would have thought. I did not have all of my stuff marked and should have. Paul was smart enough to have nice labels on his stuff. There is something for me to remember for next time.
I have uploaded my logs to both eQSL and the Logbook of the World. Other operators have promised to follow-suit. That, of course, is out of my control.
I know that there will be at least one log entry with an error. We have planned for that as best we could prior to departure. If you believe we have a goof-up in our logs, please read the QSLing page on our DXpedition web site and include all the information you believe would verify it was your QSO logged and not somebody elses. If you know the date/time/frequency and your call is remarkably close to the call in question, I will look at it. If it is a QSO to me (VP2MRD), I'll go back and review the audio recordings I made of all my QSOs to listen again for your call. We really want to get this right.
Our flight leaves tomorow morning. We've got to pass through two customs checkpoints, have a layover in San Juan, and then that long flight back to Orlando. We don't get to our rooms until after 11PM. I will try to have a blog entry ready. If I don't, I'll certainly be there Wednesday evening when I return to Acton.
For the very last time this trip: 73 from the island of Montserrat.


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