Diary of ZS1AN

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16 August 2003 Activated Cathedral Peak for Summits on the Air
9 August 2003 Married Stacey ZR1SC!
4-7 April 2003 I was a member of the team that activated Robben Island AF-064 using the callsign ZS1RBN. A fantastic time was had by all!
11 January 2003I activated Lion's Head for Summits on the Air
1 January 2003I activated Maclear's Beacon, the highest point of Table Mountain for Summits on the Air
16-18 August 2002Dassen Island (IOTA AF-064) Activation for International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend 2002.
14 April 2002I operated a field station from Rondebosch Common for the SARL Hamnet 40m Simulated Emergency Contest, see picture and brief description.
9-10 March 2002I operated a field station from the Cedarberg Mountains for the SARL Field Day contest, see article.
26 February 2002I gave a talk to the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre entitled "The Computer Optimization of Multiband Dipoles". It looked at antennas like the G5RV and ZS6BKW that use a high-impedance matching section instead of traps to match a low-impedance feedpoint on multiple bands. The presentation includes a new design for use on the 80, 30, 20, 15 and 10 metre amateur bands. The presentaion slides are available here.
21-24 September 2001I joined 11 other amateurs to operate two stations from "Die Hell", a very remote valley in the Karoo. The valley was though to be uninhabited for many years until 1901 when a patrol stumbled upon a totally self contained agricultural community that had been living there in complete isolation. They remained cut off from the rest of South Africa until 1960 when the road to "Die Hell" was built. This is the road that we used, and it consists of a series of mountain passes and drifts (river crossings) which are best negotiated with a 4x4. The valley is incredibly beautiful although it is hemmed in on the North and South by high mountains, so it is not a particularly good location for DX. However we achieved our goal of completing the requirements for the Worked All ZS award over the weekend, and I also managed a few CW DX contacts to the Far East and South America (with the beam pointed East and West respectively). Needless to say a great time was had by all! I hope to have some photographs of the weekend the website soon
25-26 August 2001I was in the Cedarberg Mountains about 200 km north-east of Cape Town for the weekend and operated portable using a homemade 1/4 wave vertical with short inductively loaded radials strung from a tree. This proved remarkably effective with 56 and 57 reports being received from the West Coast of the USA via the long path. I was also able to load the antenna on 40m using the ATU, although I suspect it was fairly inefficient (due to low radiation resistance) and made only local contacts on 40m. I used this setup to operate in the South African Radio League annual HF CW contest. I had a great time, especially since this was my first experience of sustained CW operation. Despite my paltry score I won the "novice" award for the best score by an operator who had held a license for less than one year - at the time I had only been licensed for two weeks.
18-19 August 2001I operated special event station ZS1CT/L from Green Point Lighthouse over International Lighthouse and Lightship Activity Weekend