2008年5月9日(金曜日)

7P8FC

カテゴリー: - JA1DFK @ 00時15分13秒

7p8fc-2.JPG

Me , Filip(ON4AEO) and Gert (ZS6GC) in South Africa discussed via Skype to
organize a second DX-Expedition. The previous DX-Expedition was held last
year in Swaziland. We both decided that it was a good idea and its was
decided to goto Lestho in 2008. This is where all the preparations started.
First we had to look for a good location in Lesotho so Gert proposed Katse
Dam where he went to take pictures of the location. After a small discussion
we decided to go to Katse Dam for our DX-Expedition in 2008. Our bookings on
the plane was also confirmed and now we had to figure out how and where to
apply for a Radio Amateur liscence operating from Lesotho.

After searching on the Internet and a few phone calls we found the right
person. So we could apply for our 7P8 callsign. Lucky for us they do have
Internet in Lesotho. So I could e-mail all details and setup of station to
the Government. A few days later I got the answer that we could use 7P8FC.
We found that Martin ZS4E could help us with the collection of the lisence
after payment in Lesotho. Thanks Martin for your efforts to help us getting
a Radio Amateur liscence.

The plane tickets were confirmed and the dates were fixed for the 27 March
2008 till the 31 March 2008. At a later stage we decided to add a few days
to the DX-Expedition. So now the new changed dates are from 27 March 2008
till 3 April 2008.

The webpage was created by Filip ON3ADC and we had a QSL manager, Jose
ON4CJK.  We identify the equipment to be used and started to get hold of
such radio equipment. In Belgium we started with the preparation of the
antennas, radios, filters and cables for the different radios. In South
Africa Gert started to build a broadband hexbeam antenna. Thank you Ulli
ON5KQ for preparing the low band receiving filters. We want to thank all the
sponsors for their contributions. In Belgium we have a saying: Any
contribution will help to contribute to the sucsess of a big event.

In the meantime more Radio Amateurs in South Africa joined the team.  In the
meantime here in South Africa the team had a couple of meetings to get the
organisation of the DX-Expedition sorted out.

The time for the DX-Expedition is here and we left on the 22 March 2008 from
Brussels airport via Istanbul to South Africa. Gert did come and pick us up
at the airport. We were very glad Gert has brought  his trailer with him
because of the over weighted luggage. (Radio Equipment and antennas).
Arrived at Gert place we were welcomed by Elna and the rest of the family.

Now we start with the final preparations. The first thing was to final test
the Hexbeam  build by Gert. Second on the list was assembling the SteppIr
beam and test it out. Both antennas was tested and performed very well, even
on very low height above the ground. We could create a small pille-up to
Europe.

The Spiderbeam, Spiderbeam vertical and receiving antennas for the low bands
were tested in Belgium with the help of Jose, ON4CJK and also performed very
well.

Now we are one day away from DX-Expedition and we started to pack everything
to drive off to Katse Dam in Lesotho where the rest of the team will join us

The day has come to leave for Lesotho. The morning of 27 March 2008 (04H00
SAST) the group leave from Secunda to join some of the team members at
Bethlehem and the rest of the team at Fouriesburg so to cross the border of
Lesotho as a  group. At the border 1 vehicle was delayed and we lost 4 hours
of valuable time.
The rest of the journey went well except that a rock on the road damaged one
of Gert’s car tires and caused a 1 hour delay. Arrived at Katse Dam there
was a problem with our reservation. After the lodging problem was solved, we
had to run from one person to another to get special permission to close the
road inside the lodge, where we stayed, for the co-ax cables to run across
the road without vehicles driving over it. Another hour lost. Finally we
were ready to setup the station.
Because it is already late we decided to aseemble the SteppIR and the
finished the vertical installation for 40m vertical with 64 x 10m radials
and try to make some QSO’s on 40m till early in the morning (operator
ON4AEO). Early the next morning we finished the SteppIR installation and
assembled  the Spiderbeam and Hexbeam so that we can QRV at 10h00 SAST on
all antennas on the high bands. Amazing pile-ups from all over the world.
During the day we assembled the Spider 80m vertical. (64 x 20m radials.).
Now you know why we have a welding shop as sponsor, to make the radials for
the verticals.
Unfortunatly 2 of our PAs did not work and Lucas and Tom tried to fix them.
Unfortunatly we did not have the right spares so we had to continue with 3
PAs.
7P8FC team did make 9800 qso’s during this dx-expedition . Next year we go
to Mozambique with more experience, and thus more QSO’s and more people that
we can please with a new DXCC or new qsl card.
It is also normal that you can not please everybody.There will always be
somebody in the world who is not pleased with the operator nor with no cw or
only working big guns bla bla bla.  I sugest to those peple to get out of
there lazy chairs and try to go on a expedition so that they will expierence
how it  is to setup a station away from home and the difficulties to operate
such a station. This is much more involved than the eye meet. Operators on a
dx-expedition are human and not robots so they have to sleep, eat and they
do get tired.
At the end of the dx-epedition Lesotho 2008 we all go back to South Afrika.
Some of us have 600 km and some 400 km to home, The whole team did leave
Lesotho as a group to avoid problems at the borderpost. We did arrive safe
at home (21h00 SAST)  
END OF 7P8FC for some of us.
Best 73′
Filip ON4AEO team leader of 7P8FC


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