- The following is from Stan SQ8X and is displayed in full.
Weather at Rapa Nui finally stabilizes. It’s much warmer and there are less showers. Winds also start to calm down. We managed to install our spiderbeam at last. It was a very tough operation as we couldn’t take any telescopic mast with us. So we had to put the spider on top of a water pipe mast while standing at the top of a roof of our cabin. Believe me, it wasn’t easy. But after 3 hours the antenna has been risen up and working. Today we made first RTTY contacts on it and it confirmed it works very well. We must only re-check 12 & 10m elements as SWR isn’t good there yet.
Somebody in our neighborhood turns a device that produces massive QRM on top bands. It makes working on those bands extremely difficult but we get along with it. This is the reason we must ask for repeating calls several times. We hope it will be gone asap!
Easter Island is not on the top 100 most wanted list but pileups seem they don’t end at all. It’s a distant place from here and we used to assume it wouldn’t be that easy to get into the log. We are surprised with signals from Europe and interest we receive. Some important notes have been passed by our pilots. Once our operating became more regular we can pay more attention to ie. QRPs or difficult paths from here. We also adjusted our bandplan frequencies so that people with basic class licenses in the US would be able to work us. Please keep in mind our vertical for 160m is the one for 80m band as well. This is why we cannot operate on 160/80 simultaneously. We will swap these 2 bands each other day. Important: in 2 or 3 days we will announce a special window for the most difficult, antipode location in the world to work us – Central Asia. This will probably take a place on 80 meters. We also want to dedicate the same day for non NA, EU, JA areas. Stay tuned for further announcement.
An important notice regarding digital modes: please spread out when calling us in RTTY. Pileups are HUGE and it’s easier for us to pick up takers if you don’t keep on calling just 1 up. We will try some PSK one day, too.
We finally had a chance to see something of cultural heritage of the island. Yesterday we visited to unique sites related to Moai’s cult: Rano Raraku and probably the most famous Moai site – Tongariki. It’s been a really, really jaw-dropping experience. You can always see some of pics in advance before coming here, so one could expect how things look like here. But seeing those huge stone statues in person is something totally behind seeing them. You really feel a presence of something more here. Something hidden, unveiled and hard to express… Now we understand why native Rapa Nui people say that the island has its force. And landscapes are outstanding and can be hardly compared to any other place in the world. See some pictures below with text!
Since we lost like 5 days of sightseeing because of very bad wx conditions, we decided we will take one day off next week to rent a car and to tour the island. It will be reserved for daylight hours only. So please understand we will disappear for like 12 hours some time in the second week of the DXpedition – we really want to see the island as the team as well. Thanks for understanding!
The following decision regarding QSL cards has been taken by Stan SQ8X. – We first expected the expedition at such a place as Rapa Nui would be quite easy to organize. When some totally unexpected issues stroke, we received a huge feedback with so positive words from the ham radio community – says XR0Y team leader Stan SQ8X. – This is why I decided our premium card will be something more than a regular, folded, multipage card. The card will be printed in 3D technology and it’s gonna be really something special. This is a way I really want to come back with after this avalanche of good vibrations sent to us from all over the world – adds Stan. Apart from the premium 3D card, even regular, bureau cards will be something more than just a card. We are also going to pick up random persons that will receive some volcanic sand or small rockies from the island. They will be collected out of nature reservations, of course – adds Stan.
On Saturday 7th Marco CE6TBN left for mainland Chile. Seems like he´s the lucky one to work us on bands, too 🙂
SQ8X @ XR0Y