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V85NT - The Real Info

Situated in the north of the island of Borneo in South East Asia, Brunei is an enigmatic country. Ruled by the Sultan (once the World's richest man) it has a population of less than 300,000.  And yet, it's the richest country in the World in terms of GDP per head of population, thanks to its large off-shore oil fields.

I was there working in the Royal Palace. My job was to install a radio system to allow communications with the Sultan's privat aircraft, anywhere in the World. The installation inculded VHF and UHF system, SATCOM and, of course, HF.

The HF station consisted of 2 10kW output auto-tune transmitters (Racal) with RA1792 receivers. The aerials were a 4-30MHz log periodic dipole array (LPDA) on top of a 30 metre tower and a discone about 25-30 metes high. It was a struggle putting up the LPDA and laying in the 500m of LDF-750 that was needed to feed both aerials. The longest element of the LPDA was 30 metres.

Of course these installations have to be tested thoroughly and I had a lot of fun on 80-10 metres. The LPDA worked on the SSB end of 80. It put out a great signal (helped somewhat by the 10kW TX no doubt). Sadly, all good things had to come to an end and I burnt the balun out on the LPDA which brought the operations to a halt - all in the cause of testing of course.

Whilst in Brunei, I met my wife and organised a canoe expedition to visit the Iban headhunters in their longhouses. I also attended a local wedding and a top-spinning contest - very popular in that part of the World. Quite a trip!

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