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In the beginning there were just two tribes Ular and Helang. Each had eight members, all strangers, and their task was to survive for 40 days and nights on the remote island of Pulau Tiga to win 1,000,000. The motto "Trust no one". Compulsive TV viewing for much of the UK this summer. Fact or fiction? Let's see!

This is the tale of SM5/G0GRC an expedition to IOTA EU177 in the Swedish Baltic.

wpe19.jpg (45029 bytes) The two tribes meet. CW and SSB. Seven members of the SSB tribe and just two in the CW tribe - but can CW beat SSB?
Kevin and Alan count the 1,000,000 prize - but is it  a million Pounds or a million Lira? wpe1A.jpg (46690 bytes)
wpe1B.jpg (26204 bytes) After a two ferries and many hours driving we arrive to meet out boat to "Pulau" Lammskar.
Our ship's Captain doesn't let on what is in store for the teams. wpe1D.jpg (71467 bytes)
wpe1E.jpg (67547 bytes) Why were we looking so happy?
On arrival it was each team for itself. The CW team sprinted across the island to bag the more distant operating hut while the SSB team contented itself with a short walk from the jetty. wpe1F.jpg (41063 bytes)
wpe20.jpg (66698 bytes) This was a fight to the death. The SSB team took an early lead, getting their station on the air fastest. Pictured here is Tom G0PSE, my colleague on the CW team.
The SSB team fielded their hottest operators. Each of us fought well, knocking off more mosquitoes than QSOs in some parts of the night. wpe21.jpg (55284 bytes)
wpe22.jpg (36790 bytes) But it was during the night that the inevitable advantages of CW started to come to the fore. We soon overtook the SSB team who despite their best efforts, gave up in the night and slept. The CW team was, of course, made of sterner stuff. We take no prisoners.
The CW team were the innovators and used kiteborne aerials for the ultimate DX performance. By the end of the first night CW had a 200 QSO lead over SSB but SSB fought back valiantly narrowing the gap to less than 100. However yet again, they gave up in the night and CW opened a 500 QSO lead that was to prove insurmountable for the SSB experts. wpe23.jpg (8525 bytes)
wpe24.jpg (54136 bytes) SSB continued to struggle but this was the death throes...
But at the end we were all still friends even though CW clearly showed that it was the superior mode with the best operators. CW made 2002 QSOs, SSB 1,600 in our 72 hours on "Pulau" Lammskar. The CW team are still waiting for their prizes to be delivered...

(CW team back right with G3CWI on far right and Tom G0PSE on my left).

wpe25.jpg (40283 bytes)
wpe26.jpg (56067 bytes) Having been humiliated by the operating, the SSB team decided to get their own back. A 12 hour mad dash across Sweden, Denmark and Germany saw us in Hamburg at 0100am. It was then that the SSB team announced that they intended sleeping in a carpark at the docks (we were 14 hours early for the ferry)....
And so we returned home, tired but happy after a successful Dxpedition.

This story would not be complete without adding my thanks to the Grantham Radio Club and Alan Gibson G0RCI for allowing me to gate-crash their annual expedition. Thanks guys!


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