P3CA 2007

DXpedition info
Duration 32 hours
Actual operation time 11 hours
Contacts 235 (50mhz) , 193 (18mhz) , 309 (14mhz) ,
302 (28mhz)., 25 < (144mhz)
HF Radios Icom 7400 pro 100w + Yaesu 897
HF Antennas Cushcraft R8 , Budipole
VHF Antennas 10el Jbeam + Colinear Vertical
Power source Generator / Battery
QSL info QRZ.com   QSL card
For faster response you can send your cards to me.

Watch the P3CA videoclip on youtube.

 Pictures from the activity Page 1 Page 2

You can also visit this P3CA page created by 5B8BE.

The full story
This was the first DXpedition I took part into. It was held on 7-8 July 2007. We combined our participation in the Aegean VHF Contest with the activation of the Cape Akamas Lighthouse (ARLHS# CYP-001).

We planned the expedition at least a month in advance. We got a permit to operate from the lighthouse and to use the P3CA special call. Four amateurs 5B4AFQ (Manos), 5B8BE (Marios), 5B4XB (Dafnis) and 5B8AP (myself) took part in the expedition.

I set off from QTH (Nicosia) at 2AM on Saturday morning. I met with 5B4XB in Limassol at around 3:40AM and then drove to 5B4AFQ's QTH where we also met with 5B8BE, finished loading the cars and set off to the Akamas lighthouse. Our cars were loaded to capacity! We were carrying tables, chairs, portable masts, VHF and HF antennas, coolboxes, generator, tanks with fuel and water, tents etc. etc. It was funny to see the way people looked at my car with a beam antenna on the top when I was passing by :-)

We arrived at Polis at around 6:30AM. We had breakfast and bought our last supplies including ice for the coolboxes. We then started driving towards the lighthouse. The road was pretty bad and actually there's a sign at the beginning stating that the road is dangerous for all vehicles. Steep cliffs and rocky terrain make the route impossible to anything less than 4x4. Although we visited the lighthouse before, this was the first time we were driving to it. Harbor police provided some directions to help us find our way. I had my APRS tracker transmitting all the way from Nicosia. Although there is no APRS coverage in the wildernes of Akamas and my tracker was not working perfectly (I think I've fixed that now) we have a rough plot of our route before and after Friday midnight (UTC).

We arrived on site at around 8:00AM after an hour of driving on gravel roads and some rock crawling. We set up our antennas and stations and started operation on 9:15. VHF propagation was quite dissapointing and did not hear any stations taking part in the Aegean VHF Contest. While waiting for things to get better, we started working on HF. 14Mhz were booming! As the day was becoming hotter other bands were opening and pileups for P3CA were becoming common.

The lighthouse provided shelter and excellent working conditions for DXing. It's divided into two large and a smaller room. We used the small room to store our supplies, the first large room for HF operation and sleeping and the second one for VHF/HF operation (and sleeping). The view from the lighthouse is astounding! During daytime you can see the coast below and at nighttime you can see the lights of Latchi and Polis and most probably the clearest sky with many constillations. Thousands of mosquitoes and other insects live up there as well, so serious anti mosquito measures are required. My anti-mosquito didn't work that well :-(

What started to be as a VHF contest participation endet up to something else but the most important is that everyone had an excellent time!!

Last update: 19 July 2007