Operating from Tahiti

We arrived in Tahiti a few days ago. Met up with Michel, FO5QB, who very kindly gave us a tour of the island, including a visit to the shack of William, FO5JV. The picture below is of Don, VE7DS, Michel, FO5QB, and myself, K3EL at our Tahiti QTH.

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We’ve been doing a little operating from here. All QSOs with FO/K3EL are from Tahiti (OC-046) and QSL via K3EL. For our operation from the Austral Islands, TX5RV, all QSLs are being handled by M0URX.

Below, radio al fresco in Tahiti, early-morning opening to EU.

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Should be operational from Raivavae tomorrow.

 

TX5RV – One week to departure

The last few weeks of fall weather have been beautiful here in NJ, with many warm sunny days, but the nights are cooling down and the trees are changing color and losing their leaves. Great to be outside playing with antennas, which I’ve been doing a lot of recently, optimizing the antenna setup for TX5RV. Time for playing with antennas is over, now, though. With less than a week to departure everything is packed up and nearly ready to go to French Polynesia. The radios, amp, tuner, bandpass filters, antenna parts, etc, etc are all packed into two Pelican-style cases.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEach weighs in at just below 50 lbs. Have to do an unpack/repack later in the week, just to make sure nothing is missing.

While Don, VE7DS, and I are preparing for our visit to Raivavae, TX5D have just finished their DXpedition with over 18k QSOs in their two weeks on the island. Hopefully there are a few stations left for us who still need FO/A… judging from the emails we’ve received, it sounds like there are some. The requests have fallen into three categories:

– Work lots of EU

– Work lots of SSB

– Get on 80 and 160.

We have a pretty good idea when the bands should be open to EU (see the propagation page¬†which is recently updated). We will work some SSB and maybe RTTY, but as previously announced, this operation will be primarily CW-focused. Originally we had not planned to operate 160 at all, but after several requests last week, I wound a base loading coil for the 80 m ant and tried it out on 160, and it seemed to work ok. So, if there’s not too much local noise, I may spend some time on 160 as well as 80 (the TX5D crew from the same location had real problems with local noise on the low bands for most of the duration of their stay, so no guarantees we’ll be on 160 or 80).

We will try to upload to ClubLog occasionally – please check there before making an “insurance” contact.

Finally, a reminder that Tim, M0URX, will be handling QSLs for TX5RV. You can request direct or bureau cards via his OQRS system. LOTW will uploaded quickly upon our return.

TX5RV – Two weeks before departure

In two weeks time we should be in French Polynesia on the island of Tahiti, ready to depart for Raivavae on the 30th October. I was listening earlier to TX5D running a nice pileup on 15 m CW – Grant and Rob have been on Raivavae for around ten days, and according to ClubLog have made over 15k QSOs at the moment.

This year has seen three operations from the Austral Islands so far. Yoshi, FO/KH0PR, was active from Raivavae (OC-114) in May, then UT6UD operated from Rurutu (OC-050) in July. The current TX5D effort from Raivavae has been putting decent signals into New Jersey for the last week. Hopefully Don, VE7DS and myself will make several thousand more QSOs from Raivavae at the beginning of November. Why this sudden rush of operations to FO/A (there has been little other activity since 2009)? Probably because the lack of DXpeditions to FO/A has meant that the islands have climbed rapidly up the most-wanted lists – currently FO/A is at 42 on ClubLog’s most wanted list, two places above ZL9 and one spot above VP8O!

We will be looking at the distribution of bands and locations where TX5D made their QSOs and see if we need to revise our plans – originally we had thought to spend a lot of time on 10 and 12 m, but from emails we’ve been receiving it seems there’s plenty of demand for 80 m, too.