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 Challenging.
CQ Zone 5
ITU Zone 9 IOTA NA-032
This is a short video of my antenna on one of the nicer days. The wind is always there, usually blowing
faster than when I took this pix. The feed line really got a
workout, after two weeks of this,
and probably not
reliable enough for more than one deployment in these conditions.
QRT February 8 - 18, 2014
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 is
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
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
will try to have a daily summary here of the conditions and activities
as the week goes by.
Feb 8 - Arrival and
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
IC-7000 (50 W) (Backup radio)
Hy-Power 1.1K Amp (~300W)
AT-1K Antenna Tuner
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.
to home call.DX,
Please include self addressed envelope with $2 for return
Please, NO IRC, NO STAMPS.
through Club Log
- 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 to EQsl.
-- 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.
Log will also be uploaded to Clublog every evening before I turn in for