Seguin Island Expedition
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
2014 RSGB IOTA
ME - The
Wireless Society of Southern Maine ventured to Seguin Island, on July
26th, to take part in the RSBG IOTA Contest.
The 16 member team,
included 11-year-old Willie KC1AKU, and his dad Bill NG1P, Thom Watson
W1WMG, and brother Tim KB1HNZ, Dave Wood KB1FGF, the Dumont family -
Dakota KB1YYC, Bert KB1ZLV, and Annette KC1AMQ, Sam Webber N1WIG, Sean
Binette W1GFD, Frank Krizan KR1ZAN, Steve McGrath N1EOE, Charlie
Shepard W1CPS, and XYL Cindy W1CJS, Ryan Michaelson KB1YTR, and
Stefania Chiruta YO9GJY, who visited
The day began at Fort Popham, where we met the captain and crew of the Leeward,
which was to take us to the island. We left at around 8 under clear
skies and a stretch of shimmering sea before us. The first task was to
load the boat with all of our gear, but this went smoothly since the
boat crew was used to hauling fishing gear on its various charters.
Loading all the gear (and passengers)
Leaving shore from Fort Poham
The first thing we saw once we set off was Pond Island Light, on the
starboard side. Seguin still appeared far away at this point, and it
took almost another 20 minutes to reach it. Once we reached the island,
the boat anchored in a small cove, surrounded by rock ledges and tall
pines, and we began unloading passengers and equipment by way of an
Dave KB1FGF, Bert KB1ZLV, and Frank KR1ZAN
Bert and Frank check out Pond Island Light on the way by
It took several trips to get everyone and their belongings ashore. We
gathered on a small sandy beach, and began surveying the area. The
lighthouse was almost a quarter mile away, and sat at an elevation of
several hundred feet above the beach.
The WS1SM team landing on the beach at Seguin
The task of hauling all of our gear up ther appeared daunting, if it
weren't for an old tram, which was still in operation. We loaded our
things on, and one of the lighthouse volunteers operated the massive
engine which pulled the cart along a raised rail line to the
A member of the boat crew paddles Bert, Annette, and Dakota ashore
Sam N1WIG and Steve N1EOE, load up the tram car
Meanwhile, our team followed a winding path which passed underneath the
tram line in some places, to reach the top of the hill. Once we were
unloaded, we began unpacking and setting up stations. We did this in a
hurry because the contest had already started about an hour before.
stations were setup, including one exclusively for 40 meters, using a
Yaesu FT857d and an Ultra Lite dipole, supported at the center by
a telescoping fishing rod. Another station used an Icom IC706MKIIG and
a BuddiPole which was tuned for 15 and 20 meters. Charlie, W1CPS made
contacts on 17 meters, using his Icom IC7000 and a fan dipole, while
Ryan KB1YTR, setup a VHF station using a Kenwood D710 and a directional
yagi. At one point, Bill NG1P, worked some QRP with a sloper hanging
from the light tower.
Stefania, YO9GJY, poses with the lighthouse
The BuddiPole with Seguin Island Light in the background
The threat of rough seas forced us to breakdown earlier than we
expected, but despite this, and the fact that HF conditions were
downright miserable, we made lots of QSOs and had an awesome time doing
Bert KB1ZLV, Dakota KB1YYC, and Sean W1GFD operate 40m
Ryan, KB1YTR, operates VHF
The most important lesson we took away for next time is to pack
lighter! We lucked out having help from the tram and the number of
participants, who all shared the load, but if we were a few less and
had to hike the whole way, we'd be beat by the time we reached our
Up in the light tower
Gathering equipment for the trip back
We applied this lesson to our most recent expedition in West Quoddy,
where we were successful in trimming considerable weight from our gear.
This made for quick setup and breakdown, and allowed us to setup
on-the-fly on Campobello Island as well.
Team Activates West Quoddy Head Light for ILLW
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
ME - On August 16-17, WSSM members ventured to Lubec, Maine to activate
West Quoddy Head Light for this year's International Lighthouse and
Lightship Weekend. This year's ILLW saw more than 500 lighthouses in
almost 90 counties participate.
West Quoddy Head Light, located in Quoddy Head State Park, is the
Easternmost point of the contiguos United States, and the closest point
to Europe. The current lighthouse, with its distinctive red and white
stripes, features the only 3rd order Fresnel lens on the Maine Coast,
and overlooks Quoddy Narrows straight, between the United States and
Saturday, the 16th, was a beautiful day, and offered spectacular views
along the coast and across to Grand Manan Island. We setup three
stations, spaced apart in different areas of the park. The 40 meter
station was situated in the maintenance area, near the parking lot,
while the 20 and 17 meter stations were setup on both sides of the
Ryan, KB1YTR, operates 20m at West Quoddy Head Light
Once word got out that West Quoddy was on the air, we became extremely
popular! We had runs on both 20 and 40 meters at various times, and
experienced pileups - many of which reflected dramatic
propagation shifts. One minute you could be working stations in the W3
region and moments later you'd get 20 DLs in a row - all without
changing the direction of the antenna. QSB also dominated the
conditions, but it was never bad enough to bust a QSO.
While on the radio we were logging by UTC time, as usual, but there was
some confusion about what the local time was as our cell phones bounced
between the Atlantic and Eastern time zones depending on which network
Thom W1WMG spends some time on the air
Cindy W1CJS and Charlie W1CPS work 17m
The surrounding area is rural and somewhat depressed. It wasn't unusual
to see abandoned houses in one stretch, and million dollar vacation
homes in the next. Things are also spread out quite a bit. After we
broke down the stations on Saturday, we drove nearly 30 minutes before
finding a place for dinner! But once there, we were treated to friendly
service and heaping portions at very reasonable prices.
On Sunday morning we woke to rain, but once arriving at the lighthouse
only heavy fog lingered. This time, we setup the Ultra Lite 40 meter
dipole on the front lawn, in more of a north-south orientation, and
Charlie setup his fan dipole across the way, on the opposite lawn.
Later in the morning we were visited by Andy KB1DQT, of nearby Machias,
who joined in and made some QSOs.
Charlie and Thom operate 40m Sunday morning
Cindy works a pileup on 15m while Charlie looks on
Our expedition to West Quoddy was a great experience, and we hope to
revisit again someday. Special thanks to Park Manager, Shawn Goggin, and
Regional Manager, Mike Leighton, for the support.
VE9/WS1SM Activates Head Harbor Lighthouse
Campobello Island, NB
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
NB - During the afternoon of August 17th, members of the WS1SM team
crossed the border into Canada to activate East Quoddy Head Light, on
the northern most point of Campobello Island.
Campobello International Park
stands as a symbol of cooperation and friendship between Canada and the
United States, as well as the President who was instrumental in
strengthening those ties. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his family
summered on the island for more than 50 years, and his summer cottage
can be visited today. The island also features a golf course, villages
with shopping and dining, and two lighthouses. We visited the most
picturesque and well known of these - East Quoddy Head Light (known to
locals as Head Harbor Light).
Tim VE9/KB1HNZ, Thom VE9/W1WMG, and Ryan VE9/KB1YTR
Thom and Ryan are on the air, eh!
Here, we strung up a long wire in the trees and tuned it up for 20
meters, using KB1YTR's Elecraft KX3. We also setup a 2 meter station
and worked, among others, a lighthouse on Grand Manan Island.
Despite fending off a few
rain showers, we were able to operate for the rest of the afternoon as VE9/WS1SM, to
become the first to activate East Quoddy Head Light for ILLW.
Celebrating the Dawn of Mass Global Communication
RSGB Press Release - Used by
|LONDON, U.K. - At the turn of the
last century, radio communication was in its infancy. The properties of
"Hertzian Waves" – what we now call radio waves - were only just
beginning to be understood.
Marconi, the use of a crude form of radio communication began to evolve. The
development of the thermionic valve then opened up opportunities both in radio
transmitter and receiver design. However, the ‘conventional wisdom’ remained
that the longer wavelengths of radio signals (as used by Marconi) were those
most suited to long-distance radio communication.
In that age of
technical discovery, many every-day people experimented with radio. These
people were the early radio amateurs and their work was at first largely
unregulated. When it became clear that radio amateurs could cause interference
to the emerging commercial radio circuits, the decision was made to restrict
their experiments to wavelengths shorter than 200m – corresponding to a
frequency of 1.5 MHz and above, as it was felt that such frequencies were
worthless for long-distance communication.
And so radio
amateurs began to experiment at these ‘short waves’.
It wasn’t long
before they began to realise that, far from being worthless frequencies, they
in fact held the key to low power long distance communication.
In 1923, tests
were conducted to span the Atlantic with radio. Then, in 1924, as both
transmitter power and receiver sensitivity improved, the dream was to span the
globe by radio. After some false starts, on 18 October 1924, two-way
communication was finally established between Frank Bell, call sign 4AA, a
sheep farmer in South Island New Zealand, and Cecil Goyder, callsign 2SZ, a former
pupil of Mill Hill School, operating from the School in North London.
The world had been
shrunk, and things would never be the same again.
To commemorate the
90th anniversary of this historic contact made by Goyder and Bell, radio
amateurs in the UK and New Zealand will be operating a number of special event
GB2NZ will be
operated from 20 September to 18 October 2014 from a number of UK locations and
all bands from 10m to 160m.
callsign 2SZ will be aired from 11-18 October from Mill Hill School. The UK
spectrum regulator Ofom has agreed to issue this special callsign for the
anniversary week, and the radio waves can be expected to be buzzing with
stations seeking to contact this rare call.
A special station,
using the call ZL4AA, will also be operating from Shag Valley in South Island,
New Zealand, from 11-18 October 2014. At Mill Hill School and Shag Valley,
amateurs will recreate the first Goyder/Bell contact, hopefully on a wavelength
close to that used in 1924.
Radio amateurs in
New Zealand will continue to operate ZM90DX on all bands.
Pupils at Mill
Hill will be able to visit the radio station, speak to the operators, and even
speak over the air. Displays will be situated around the School giving more information
about the history and technologies involved, so that the whole event will be a
real learning experience for the School’s pupils. Whilst the station won’t be
open to the public, on 18 October 2014 there will be a live webcam at the School
covering the communications and celebrations.
Members of the Radio
Society of Great Britain (RSGB), which is the national society for amateur
radio in the UK, will be providing the station at Mill Hill School and much of
the supporting documentation. The School will be using the facility provided by
the RSGB as an interactive learning tool for the pupils.
Don Beattie, Vice
President, RSGB commented: “This was a significant milestone in the development
of global communications. I am delighted that the RSGB is able to help Mill
Hill School celebrate this anniversary, and share with its pupils and the
amateur radio world the historic nature of this event.”
August 24- October 10
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
weeks have brought some exciting DX, including the XV7BM expedition to
Vietnam from early July through early August, and many who were QRV for
the IOTA contest in late July. Towards
the end of August and early September, look for expeditions to Chagos
(VQ9XR), Tristan da Cunha (ZD9ZS), and Chatham Island (VK9AN).
As always, if you have a brag or know details about an upcoming
DXpedition, please let us know, and we'll be sure to include it.
As we enter late summer and early fall, have fun searching the bands
and Good DX!
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Trinidad & Tobago
Tristan da Cunha
|By K0UU; op to continue through Dec. 2015
By YO8RCW as V85/YO8RCW; 20m; SSB
By F6CTW; 20, 17, 15m; CW
By IZ2DPX, fm NA-103; 160-6m; SSB; QSL okay via Buro
By PE7T as 4W/PE7T & N1YC as 4W/N1YC; 80-10m; CW, SSB
By JH2DFJ; 160-6m; CW, SSB, RTTY, SSTV, WSPR, & JT65A
By EA7FTR, and others; fm Rabat; all bands/modes
By G3ZVW; HF; mainly CW
By G4BLH, fm Christ Church, Barbados (NA-021); 20-10m; CW, SSB
By OZ0J as KH0/OZ0J; fm Saipan (OC-086); 80-6m; CW & Digital
By N7XR fm Diego Garcia; 160-10m; SSB, RTTY, CW; QSL via N7XR
By ZS6AYU, fm KH22od; 6m; Holiday-style operation
By VE3LYC & KD1CT, fm Matthew I (OC-218); 40-10m; CW, SSB
By IK7YTT fm Coloane I (AS-075) QRV for All Asian DX Contest; SSB
By JA3IVU; HF; SSB, RTTY, PSK31; QSL okay via JARL Buro
By YO2MSB as 3A/YO2MSB; HF; QSL also okay via eQSL
By EA7FTR; 40-6m; SSB, RTTY, Spare-time operation
By WA4DAN, N0TG; 30, 20, 17m; SSB; 1430-2130z
By ZS1S; HF; more info to be announced
By JH1HRJ and others; 160-6m; CW; SSB & Digital; QSL via JH1TXG
By N7QT; 80-10m; SSB & Digital; Holiday-style operation
page 1, we featured a card celebrating Riga's designation as the 2014 European Capital of Culture. Below you'll find images of a card from the FT5ZM DXpedition to Amsterdam Island:
If you received an interesting QSL
yourself that you'd like to show off, please send a digital image to [email protected]
and we'll be sure to publish it in an upcoming issue.
|FT5ZM - Here's
some images of a QSL card sent to us by Stefania, YO9GJY for QSOs on
multiple bands with the FT5ZM DXpedition to Amsterdam Island, which
took place in late January through early February.
2/8/2014 - 0923 UTC 12m SSB
2/9/2014 - 1134 UTC 15m SSB
2/9/2014 - 1153 UTC 17m SSB
Congratulations on a job well done, Stefania, and thanks for taking the time to share it with us!