Now the problems really begin:
One of the HF receivers has the audio monitor turned up - I
notice that whenever I go on transmit on 6m or 10m, the noise level comes up by
about 10db possibly blanking any weak SSB from remote villages.
My first thought is that I am overloading the distributlion
amp but I notice that the noise is continuous so long as I am
on TX even with zero output i.e. no audio on SSB. So, not an
I am using the IC706mkIIg feeding both the 6m 5ele and the
delta loop via a diplexer. I notice that if I disconnect the 10m antenna whilst
working on 6m the noise problem disapears. A little more detection work proves
that the IC706mkIIg is the sourch of the problem. Limited filtering after the PA
means that the rig puts out wide band white noise from top band to 60MHz
whatever frequency you happen to be on! It is very low level and not a problem
if you are using an ATU and / or LPF / HPF but a real problem for multi band
contesters etc. (I now understand that this is a known feature of these
rigs I found out the hard way.)
Now the good news; replacing the 706 with my new IC756pro
straight from the box removes any trace of the problem. Built in ATU, more
robust filtering I guess you really do get what you pay for!
By the end of day one I am fully operational and the
band is DEAD not even any night time TE to JA!
Day Two 29th March Serious Operation
I have internet access, e-mail and 28.885 (which is still
just as valuable as it was back in cycle 21 at least in the pacific).
So, with most emc problems except power line noise solved, I settle in to
some serious operation. The power line noise is a real problem it is from
multiple sources and very difficult to cancel.
I am happy with my manual antenna peaking system - I have a micro FM TX on
433.450MHz re-transmitting my RX audio. So, I run outside with my IC-R10 scanner
(usually in the rain) and peak on real time signals - then dash back into the
freezing A/C room to make the QSOs.
An extra bonus is the daily load shedding power cut around 1pm local for 2
hours. No power = no power line noise but we have a UPS so operation continues!
I commence operations mid afternoon with a few dozen QSOs
on 10m ending with a chat with Nev 4W6/VK2QF
for a first. We both hope for a similar event on 6m.
09:26z and my first QSO on 6m from Kaimbea K6MYC/KH6. I
follow this rapidly with WH60, V73JK VK8MS+ 2 other VK8s, 4 VR2s, HL,
YF1OO, 2 YCs and many JAs until the band dies at 12:59z. Time for bed.
Day Three 30th March
A few QSOs on 28.885 to see what the guys in VK are
hearing. My first QSO with Peter VK4APG now all I have to do is work him on
6m as thanks for the hospitality and antennas.
The FO beacon is in but nothing else. Back on 10m -
chat with KB6NAN and the west coast gang.
08:57 Bang KH7R 59++ on 6m but nothing else until 10:41
when the band opens to JA. I love working JA pile-ups; I take a break for DX
every 20 or so QSOs and evereyone stands by thank you all for making
operating such a pleasure in this part of the world. One hour later, still
working JAs and then 6 VR2s come in. More JAs then QRZ DX and at 12:02z I get
BV2DP for a new one rapidly followed BG7OH a string of
VR2s and two more BVs.
Then someone throws the big propagation switch and its time for bed.
So, many of the old faithful indicators are still there; FO5DR/B most days, KH6 beacons, 49750 from the north
most evenings and lots of commercial trafic above 40MHz to the west. Thank heavens for
my beacon keyer and the voice memories of the 756 or my voice would have gone
Day Four 31st March
I spend the morning and afternoon on 10m lots of demand
for H44! Running keyer on six but no indicators. Nothing on 6 this evening
except 4W6/VK2QFs beacon keyer at 11:35z in four about 20mins at 599+++
gone to dinner!)
Day Five 1st April
22:51z (31st) YES! 4W6/VK2QF .115 SSB 59 for a
H44/4W6 first on 6. Here are both ends of the
QSO pieced together from my recording and that made by Nev 4W6/VK2QF in East
Timor. Followed by VK8s OT,MS, AH, GF and VK8RAS/B 599. A few VK4s
on 10m then back to six for a nice CW and then
SSB QSOs with Bill VK6JQ in
A nice afternoon and evening on 10m but nothing on 6m.
Day Six 2nd April
Another busy morning and afternoon on 10m but nothing on
6m. 10:15z and finally the night time TE returns
open JA6 but only for a
short time then its back to working EU on 10m until closedown at 12:32z.
Day Seven 3rd April
A good start to the day with Jukka VP6BR on 28.885 along
with ZLs, VKs, Bob W6BYA and V31PC.
Finally at 23:12 (2nd) something on 6m
VK3SIX/B I work a couple of VK3s and a VK5
then back to .885 for an afternoon and evening on 10m.
Its 09:35z (20:35 local) and Ive been calling on .110
and .115 for hours. QRZ? - 4X1IF not loud not in for long but in the log
on SSB for another H44 first thanks Ralph.
I continue to call but nothing. I return to working EU on
10. 12:23 and the band is open to the north 11 VR2s and one BV but no JA.
Time for bed.
Day Eight 4th April
Things are looking up 9:20am local and its open
three ZL2s and a ZL3 Its hard work beaming ZL with the power line noise
and telephone switch hash. Back to .885 for a chat with Peter PY5CC.
02:30z and there is Nevs keyer 599+++. I call 4W6/VK2QF and
we have a long chat on SSB on an otherwise dead band great recording here
pieced together from tapes at both ends of the QSO isnt technology
wonderful! I sign with Nev and there are VK6JQ and VK8MS/M. All quiet again so
its back to 10m.
Its a very quiet night then out of nowhere 10:39z
N0JK/KH8 and N5OLS/KH8 59++ followed by VK6KZ and VK6JQ. 10:58 quiet again!
Time for bed? NO 11:48 VK8KTC then the night TE kicks in BV2DP a
string of VR2s and Okinawans then it flips to the west again 12:46z 9V1JA for
another new one. Ooops north again back to BG7OH, VR2s and wall to wall JAs.
13:32z YB0CBI (not a new one worked YB0X cycle 21) and 9V1UV. Just a few
more to the north then off to bed.
Day Nine 5th April
.885 is buzzin this morning. 22:30z 2 ZL2s, 7
ZL3s, and a ZL4 on 6m
through the hash plus VK3, VK5 and VK8.
23:39 At last I work Peter VK4APG plus 4 other VK4s on
6m its safe to return via Brisbane! Another chat with Nev in East Timor
and further QSOs into VK2,4,6 and 8 a good mornings work. I go back to .885,
chat with Jukka then remain on 10 to work the world.
A quiet evening on 6m I stay on 10m working EU.
11:42z open to JA I work the JA pile until 13:08z last QSO
VR2XMT no DX tonight.
Day Ten 6th April
The usual morning traffic on .885 then an afternoon and
evening on 10m. I leave my keyer running on 6 but nothing.
10:27z here we go the JAs are in.
11:19z band died videos all gone chat on .885 then early
11:53z loud 49.750 for 2 minutes then JA2IGY/B 599
flutter no other signals. Oh well, final CQ before bed
someone saying hello Peter! QRZ (eh?) QRZ (cant be) QRZ again it is
PY5CC Peter you are 52 in GG54RE thanks for the new one via long
path! I take a while to recover
from this but eventually call CQ DX South America and work LU6DRV (for a first),
[best DX @ 26,450km],
and LW5EJU then CX2LI (another first).
Then the band drops back to normal TE - BV2DP. After a few minutes the band goes
quiet and I go to bed.. Take a look at
the path - why didn't I hear any EU??
[Seems I was a very good signal in Argentina - received
this recording from LW5EJU
Day Eleven 7th April
I wake up and check the log was I dreaming? no,
they are all in there and on the mini-disk!
The usual morning chat on .885 then N0JK/KH8 59++
followed by ZK2XO both on 6m.
I talk to Fred PY2XB on .885 he was out during last
nights long path opening sorry Fred.
I spend the afternoon on 10m as usual.
My old friends
at Solomon Telekom have arranged a party I meet many people from Telecom and
Government. We all try and catch up on 12 years of stories and drinking and by
early evening we are all very happy / sad. After a couple of hours to recover I spend
the evening on 10m as usual with just a brief late night opening on 6m to VR2
||H44PT and friends from Solomon Telekom
Doing our bit to keep Solomon Brewery in profit
Day Twelve 8th April
This is it my last day I will stay as long as the
band is open and work as many new stations as possible before I must QRT.
A good start, Jukka VP6BR is very loud with severe multi path
echo on .885. I call him on 50.110 and he is hearing me. We both move to 6m and
eventually I get my 559 from Pitcairn I can only give Jukka 419 but he is in
the log 21:10z (7thApr) for a prized first Pitcairn to Solomons on 6m.
ZL2TPY and then my only brief W Coast US opening follows;
K6QXY, N0XX, N6CA, N6KK and W6CPL interspersed with 7 VK4s mainly on
backscatter. A few minutes later I
am called by HK3YH for another new
one (thanks Hans nice to work you from UK and Solomon Islands). Then AH8LG
and KH2KU and its quiet again.
23:02z sees ZK2XO, a VK4 on backscatter and a single JA on
sidescatter(?) Then it is off
to the Yacht Club for Sunday lunch.
Its 01:56 and Im back from the yachty and well
lubricated! 6m QSOs with VK4CP, VK4BRG and VK3ART get me warmed up for the
On 10m I have my second long chat with
old friend Ray, HS0/G3NOM who I introduced to Thailand
with a short contract about 10years ago hes now settled there.
At the end of a long session on 10m at 05:15 suddenly TI5BX
pops out of a dead band on six not a new one but a nice QSO all the same.
I take a four hour break here due to a very heavy thunder
storm (and the effects of the yachty).
09:26z (20:26local) the night time TE kicks in early and I
start on the JA pile-up. I take regular breaks for DX only no JA and
work HL5XF and V73AT around 12:00z, then VK4JH at 12:20 and VK4APH at 12:40 on
b/s plus a couple of KH2s later but
no real DX. My last QSO is at 13:04z with JA9IPF just as the band is dying. I
return to my hotel room for the last time pleased that my final night has been
one for JA 337 SSB QSOs in 3 ½ hours. To those who did not manage to get
into my log I hope to be back again one day and perhaps also H40.
Day Thirteen 9th April
I need to be at the airport by 9:30am local. I check out of
the hotel early it is wet, VERY wet. The night security guard helps me take
down the beam and delta loop. Each of us wearing only underwear and flip flops this is not a sight normally seen at
7:30am Sunday morning in Honiara but skin dries more easily than clothing! By
9:0am the antennas are back in their 2m drain pipe for transport, all my gear
including my new (and heavy) IC756pro is packed and Kaimbea Station is returned
to a reasonable state of tidyness.
||Time to leave--got very wet taking the beam down before the mad
drive to Henderson Field.
I have said many goodbyes over the weekend
but Harry Zoleveke is at the airport, as he was when I arrived, for a final
farewell. My three large items of checked baggage weigh in at 65kg against the
allowance of 20kg. I am told the
excess baggage charge but after many smiles, long hand shakes and a little help
from my friends, I am given three baggage tags and a boarding pass. After this
long process I am unable to hide the true weight of my carry on bag (>20kg)
and this gets a final wagging finger and a smile as I depart through immigration.
Farewell Solomon Islands.
Summary of Operations
Here are my H44 6m results:
Unlike VK & ZL, condx were not good from H44. However 23 countries worked as
New countries (for H44PT)
4W6, 4X, 9V, BV, BY, CX, LU, PY, VR6
Previously worked countries (but nice to work you all again!!!)
HK, HL, JA (873 QSOs), KH2, KH6, KH8, TI, VK, W, YB, ZK2, ZL.
Total 1051 6m QSOs. Best DX LU2FFD 26,450km!!