Cold    QSL Card                                                                         

                  FP/W6HGF

Grid GN17
tc       CQ Zone 5         ITU Zone 9
 IOTA NA-032     DIFO FP-002    WLOTA 1417

location    February 10-20, 2012 Winter DXpedition

                                                   to Miquelon Island

NOW QRT.  I operated from FP, St Pierre - Miquelon from about 10 February to 20 February 2012, in spite of the fun with transportation, weather etc.  Operation was focused on digital, mostly RTTY, including entry into the CQ WW WPX RTTY contest over 11-12 weekend, as well as a presence in the ARRL International DX Contest  CW, over the 18-19 February weekend .  QSL will be through Logbook of the World each evening as I can, and paper QSL cards once I get back home.  This location is the last French colony in North America, and is located up near Nova Scotia, Canada for beam pointing.  This area is well known for being pretty cold, and very windy in the winter.  See my antenna picture above from March last year in the snow storm.

  I was joined by a famous local DXer, Jean-Pierre, FP5CJ who operated some 10/12 meter DX with me when the band was open.  He likes to operate SSB, which is good, because it is not one of my strong modes.  He has built a new windom antenna, just for this trip, to try out.  He also likes QRP when the band is open.   Please keep an eye out for him on the cluster.

DX Code of Conduct** I support the DX Code of Conduct **

Please learn and respect the DX code so that all of us can enjoy the experience.  When a pile-up is in progress please follow my lead and if I am only sending signal reports, that is all I need from you.  If it is very slow and I send name and qth, then it is ok to send the same back to me.  This will allow a pleasurable experience for all of us following the conditions.  Please be curtious to other operators, and please stop calling when I am trying to exchange a report.  

This operation was mostly a 1 person effort, so expect lots of breaks, I do not have the contest staying power I once had, but I expect with high winds, and cold temperatures outside, to have few distractions outside of plain exhaustion to keep me off the bands.  This is my second trip to Miquelon,  and my goal is to make as many QSO's as I can while there.

  On RTTY, I use FLDIGI which has "skimmer" type browser so I can decode everyone in my audio passband which is 2.5Khz wide.  It is important or useful to know that I use this extensively to increase the QSO rate, but it is also important to recognize that I am not decoding you in real time, so when you send your call, please stay in one place and wait for me to find you.  If you call me and then move, and I find your call in the buffer a little later, when I call you, I will not be able to find you if you have moved.  So please just stay in one place and call, at least until I have completed some QSO's and did not call you.  To increase QSO rate, I will also try to add other calls heard on after exchanging a report with the first station, I will say, -NOW- and then the next call sign, without going back to the pileup.  After sending a QRZ and listening to the pileup, I will collect 2 or more callsigns (if I can) to respond to without going back to the pileup, but it is important that you stay put on the frequency I heard you, so I can find you when I call you.  

  When I say QRZ UP, I mean, I am listening up at least 1 Khz, and I can hear you on any clear space from 1Khz up to about 3.5 Khz up from my signal.  You do not need to call exactly where the last qso was, as I am decoding everyone in the passband at the same time.  Just find a clear spot and stay there to call me.

Many Thanks to Eric, KV1J, Jean-Pierre  FP5CJ, and Paul K9OT, who have been very helpful with information on this location, and their past operations there.  It makes it so much easier to have a little advance knowledge when going to a new place. 

 Updates

May 2012  Finally caught up, and all QSL's are out now, bureau cards have not arrived yet, but will do them as they come in.  Now looking for the next trip.  Thanks for all the great contacts in both contests, and all the other qso's.  It was a great trip, and many memories that will last me a long time.  73

10 - 20 Feb 2012 Planned operations dates

20 Feb 2012  Had a lot of fun in the two contests, made over 100 qso's on 160 during the ARRL CW contest.  Everything packed up, and had a good trip back.  Very exhausted, and still with a lingering cold for a few weeks after returning.  

19 Feb 2012  Contest went well, lots of contacts and provided new multiplier for many who seemed to be happy near the end.  Worked a little on 160 when the noise finally went down to a reasonable level.  CW is not my strong point, and my software is not as cool as the N1MM for cw contesting.  So I was not much competition to the big guns.  Except for 160 I was almost entirely search and pounce on the CQ'erz

12 Feb 2012  Big Storm, all my antennas fell down last night in the very high wind and snow.  Back out in the weather to put them back up, but caught bad cold/headache in the process,   Took a lot of advil, but still not feeling all that good, struggle to get back to the rig and operate, but I have to remember that I am not at home, and there will be only a few tomorrows here, so operate while I can.

11 Feb 2012   Everything is going great.   I am working in the WPX RTTY contest this weekend, and looking for some new countries to increase my dxcc count from here.  After the snow/ice storm took my big dipole down, I spent yesterday getting everything back up and working, and finished as it was going dark.  The antennas are right on the beach, and I have a clear view east and west so I hope to have a good score from here.  WX is cloudy today and it looks like it might rain/snow again.  FP5CJ has gone back to St. Pierre now, but advised me that high wind is also expected to reach 50Knots later tonight.   What a beautiful place this is, with the wind, snow and the surf rolling in on the beach in winter.  The Miquelon Motel is serving great food with even room service during the contest so I do not have to break a pile up to eat.  I can watch the antennas blowing in the breeze from the window in my room. What a great place for DXpeditions. 

 Well the wind is building this evening, and I am finding that I made a mistake in the low frequency dipoles leaving the balun terminals exposed (I should have taped them).  In this high wind they are banging against the metal mast I am using to hold it up with.  Everytime it bangs the metal, I get a momentary high SWR in the shack, and the solid state amp does not like it, and kicks the protection circutry and I lose transmit power.  So I have resorted to operating low power with the exciter, but I can only run it at 30-50 watts or it overheats while running RTTY.  I am still making contacts by search and pounce with the loud stations, so life is still good here on Miquelon, but it does make it hard to hand out multipliers at night.  I wonder what people think when they see my signal breaking up like it is.  Patricia, the Motel manager, antenna helper, and chief cook, made a fabulousegg and potato omlet along with green beans for dinner this evening,  very healthy and yummy during the contest.

9 Feb 2012  We arrived on Miquelon Island from St. Pierre this morning, and spent the day getting the antennas up in the air.  We did some testing this evening, and it looks like everything is working so far.  However as evening approached, the skies got darker and darker with storm clouds.  As we departed the ham shack for dinner, it began snowing, and now at 11Pm is snowing pretty hard.  They are predicting a couple feet by tomorrow.  Jean Pierre got his antennas up in rapid time, although we did find a couple runs of coax that seem to have a short in them somewhere.  He was spotted around the world on the dx clusters when he came up on SSB.  We will be ready to start tomorrow morning right on schedule.  Even with a big snow storm raging around us.

6 Feb 2012  Departure is in two days, and everything is ready.  The travel to St Pierre will take close to 18 hours, even though it is not that far away, the travel connections are not very good.  And once arriving on St Pierre, I will have to spend the first night there, and try to catch the morning or afternoon flight over to Miquelon Island.  If the Weather is to bad for the airplane to fly on Thursday, I will plan on catching the Ferry over on Friday monring.  A Friday arrival will not leave much time to get the antennas up before the WPX contest starts, so I am hoping the weather stays nice, at least until the antennas are up, then let it blow cold and wet.


Schedule

Local Time Zone is GMT minus 2 hours
Current weather

Feb 9 -  Arrival and antenna setup
Feb 10-20 - On the air
Feb  11-12 CQ WW WPX RTTY Contest
Feb  12-17 Work all bands mostly RTTY
Feb  18-19 ARRL DX CW Contest
Feb   20 Antennas come down and pack up equipment
Feb 21 - Departure

Equipment

Icom IC-7000 (50 W)

Tokyo Hy-Power 1.1K Amp (~300W)

LDG AT-600Pro Antenna Tuner

Ubuntu laptop with Fldigi (Thanks Dave W1HKJ)

 

Antennas

Granite State Antennas  Ultralite Senior 160-10 Dipole

SteppIR Vertical  (Thanks Roger G3SXW and Nigel G3TXF  ) 40M through 10M

QSL Information

QSL updates will be uploaded nightly to  Logbook of the World

If you have not signed up for LOTW yet go here, it is easy LOTW Signup

Other alternatives are; 

Direct to home call.  Please include self addressed envelope with $2 for return postage

OQRS through Club Log

Buro to W6HGF.

eQSL.cc - Please make sure your logged time is very accurate, so I can verify QSL.  eQSL is my last priority, however thanks to a new option in Fldigi, I will try to update eQSL on each log entry.  We will see how that works in practice, and if not, then I will take care of after all the above are finished.


-- As in other modes, RTTY is sometimes prone to call sign errors, so if you think you worked me, but can not find it in the log, please drop me an email, so I can research and fix.  I know I make lots of mistakes, but I do want to fix the ones you let me know about if I can.  I have a running transcript of all rx and tx from the station (except for SSB) and can go back in time and see what happened.

My Log will also be uploaded to Clublog each time I upload to LOTW

                  .Clublog

Check if you are in the log before you send a qsl card, I hate to send them back with " not found in log" .


QSL Direct Address:

W6GHF
Al Danis
P.O. Box 220164
Chantilly, VA 20153-0164
USA

 

Links

Saint Pierre & Miquelon tourism web site

Saint Pierre & Miquelon information web  

Motel de Miquelon (Maxotel)

Cheznoo.net includes webcams


Last page update - 7 Jun 2012