The Steppir Vert in the foreground, and My
dipole in the background
The dark part of the horizon is the Atlantic Ocean.
The antennas are bent from the strong winds and snow normal to
this location in the winter months. Very Cold and
CQ Zone 5
Zone 9 IOTA NA-032
Now QRT February
8 - 18, 2014 Winter DXpedition
to Miquelon Island in
the North Atlantic.
I operated from FP, St Pierre and
Miquelon Islands from about 8 February to 18 February 2014.
My operation focused on digital, mostly RTTY, including entry into
the CQ WW WPX RTTY contest over February 8 - 9 weekend, as well as
a presence in the ARRL International DX Contest CW, over
the February 15-16 weekend . I am happy to QSL with
all that had a qso with me. I have grown to like the ClubLog
OQRS facility, and encourage you to give it a try. It
will be the fastest and safest way to get a card from me.
They have a new mailing/qso label facility, that takes all the
work out of hand writing qsl's now. The Log will also be
uploaded to LOTW once I get it cleaned up. Practicing with
CW makes lots of errors in the log that will get fixed as folks
alert me. Also after cleaning up the log I will upload to
EQSL, but this is my last priority in qsl duties. I
will respond to OQRS Direct and paper Direct QSL card requests, as
they come in. My operating location 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 2011 in the snow storm.
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 is 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 third 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 3Khz wide. I
also plan to test out the RCK skimmer on this trip, for comparrison
on RTTY. 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 or on a single
frequency, 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 may 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 4 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.
22 Feb 2014 All OQRS Direct QSL requests have been
mailed. All Direct mail requests received to date have
been sent out. So QSL is up to date, and will take the new
ones day to day. I arrived safely home, with a few unexpected
weather related delays, and so ends a very successful trip to
Miquelon Island. Thanks to all for all the QSO's and support
to the very cold and windy St. Pierre et Miquelon dxpedition
2014. See you on the next expedition.
18 Feb 2014 NOW QRT. We made almost 6000 QSO's,
most on RTTY, but many on CW. Now to make the way home through
the ice and snow storms, with all the gear. Thanks to all who
called me, it was my pleasure to put you in the log. Clublog
now has the final upload, so you can use the OQRS facility to
request your direct cards. I still prefer receiving bureau
cards so I can see them, but please use what ever is best for
you. I have traveled as far as St Pierre today, and will head
for Halifax, Canada tomorrow in my journey to get home.
17 Feb 2014 The CW Contest is finished. Heavy wind
still blowing. We lost internet and cable tv service
last night here in Miquelon for several hours, apparently because of
the high wind. Even without the internet, my radio was still
working well. The weather page said the wind was expected to
be in excess of 80 knots last night, and I could feel the whole
house shaking under the wind, and what sounded like rocks hitting
the walls which I am sure was some form of hail/ice. It is
supposed to settle down today, so I am hoping I can continue
operating once the bands open up. It looks like my antenna had
survived but it is just before dawn as I write this, so I can not
really see yet, but it seems to be working as I am currently working
Europe on 30M psk31. This is planned to be the last day of
operation, and I will pack up tonight, and hopefully catch the ferry
back to St Pierre tomorrow morning. This has been a great
trip, great food, and even the weather was what I was hoping
for. Many new QSO's have been made, and are all in ClubLog for
your review, with a link down below if you would like to
check. I hope you are in the log, and if you think there is a
problem with the log, please write a note to me with the
time/callsign, so I can research and fis. The statistics page is one
of my favorite, as it shows me which bands have worked the
best. Direct QSL's will start going out next week, once
I am back and unpacked.
15 Feb 2014 ARRL CW contest is underway. My
minimal operating setup will be no threat to the big guns. I
have had fun in the contest, and passed out a multiplier to many
happy campers. I stayed up late last night working the
contest, and I feel it today. The whole week has been getting
up at dawn, and going to sleep after midnight, and I am exhausted,
and ready to go back to work to rest up. We had violent winds
all last night, and I was afraid the antenna would blow down, but it
stayed up. Only the antenna feed line came loose, and was
blowing in the wind. I was able to catch it this morning and
hook it back up to the balun. Two days left before this trip
12Feb 2014 Everything is working
smoothly, and the conditions are doing well. I
have uploaded all the logs so far to ClubLog so everyone can see if
they are in the log. If not, just work me again if you have
the chance, or if your sure you already had a contact, write me a
note so I can check the log and transcript for that time to see what
happened. I make lots of mistakes in the heat of a pile-up, so
I am happy to fix them when pointed out. I am told there is a
big snow storm hitting my home tonight, and the same storm will
reach FP land this weekend. We have lots of snow up here now,
but they deal with it much better than the big city at home.
Not much to report. I have been improving my CW skills by
fire. I am now not so sure all the unruly folk are on SSB, I
seem to have some real interesting folk in the CW pile-ups as
well. It has been fun. The RTTY ops seem to be much more
diciplined for pile-up conditions. I probably need to
learn to ID more often than I do in CW, to keep from getting prodded
with all the question marks. I am progressing with CW skills,
and am sure they will improve with practice.
9 Feb 2014 Dipole antenna is up and working well.
I brought a CrankIR antenna up with me, but the wind is blowing hard
all the time, with snow mixed in, so just getting the Dipole up in
the air was a chore. I will give the CrankIR a try before I am
finished, on a nicer day, but not sure I want to go out in the cold,
wind and snow to change bands. The dipole tunes all bands, so
I do not have to go out side at all for it. I am beginning to
think the CrankIR is better for the beach than the snowy north in
A Solar storm hit hard yesterday, and the lower bands were very
distorted last night, like all the signals had an artic flutter on
them. This was hard on any digital mode to deal with, so I was
disappointed with last nights conditions. Today has been much
better so far, and I have made most of my contacts up on 10
meters. CQ WPX contest was a lot of fun, and now for
some good pile-ups.
8 Feb 2014 Arrived in Miquelon island late last night, and
could not put any antennas in the dark and snow. I
will have an antenna up soon, and will join in the fun on the CQ WW
WPX contest. All the equipment arrived and is being set up, so
I should have a good week or so of operating in the very windy,
snowy, and cold Miquelon Island.
6 Feb 2014 Finally arrived in Halifax one day late, so next
flight to St Pierre is tomorrow at noon. (They only fly
three times a week, but were kind enough to re-book me on Fridays
flight after missing my scheduled flight yesterday. So I am
now waiting in the Halifax hotel for tomorrow to come.
Tomorrow, I fly to St Pierre, then take the ferry to Miquelon, and
then see if there is enough light to put up some antennas before the
WPX RTTY contest starts. I will probably not be ready at the
start, but hopefully be set up with something operational before the
evening is finished. Next update will probably be Sat
5 Feb 2014, Big Ice Storm on the East Coast This Morning, and most
flights here were delayed or cancelled. I tried to go
to Halifax to catch the Wednesday flight to St. Pierre, but did not
make it. Currently stuck in Toronto tonight, and will continue
onward to Halifax tomorrow, and catch the Friday flight to St.
Pierre. Still hope to be active for the WPX Rtty, but may have
a reduced antenna because of the lack of daylight by the time I get
on site. Conditions should improve on Sat when I can work in
sunlight on the antenna farm. All is well, and this is the
fun/challenge of operating in the winter conditions. It helps
make the adventure a little more unpredictable.
8 - 18 February 2014 are the
Planned operations dates
I will try to have a
daily summary here of the conditions and activities as the week
Feb 8 - Arrival and antenna setup
Feb 8-18 - On the air
Feb 8-9 CQ WW WPX RTTY Contest
Feb 10-14 Work all bands mostly RTTY, but some other digital
modes, SSB, and CW as time permits.
Feb 15-16 ARRL DX CW Contest
Feb 18 Antennas come down and pack up equipment
Feb 19 - Departure
(50 W) (Backup radio)
Hy-Power 1.1K Amp (~300W)
Software (Thanks Dave W1HKJ)
Will try CW skimmer this trip to see if it helps in the pileups.
and will try the RCK Rtty Skimmer to compare.
home call.DX, Please include self
addressed envelope with
$2 for return postage.
Please, NO IRC, NO STAMPS.
Please make sure your logged time is very accurate, so I can
verify QSL. eQSL is my last priority because my log will
have many, many mistakes that need to be corrected before sent
-- 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 digital rx and tx from the station and can go
back in time and see what happened.
My Log will
also be uploaded to Clublog every evening before I turn in for