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E6SP - Niue


E6SP Update (Apr 29)


Operations ceased abruptly at 04:16z on April 27, 2024 about a day earlier than planned with the Yaesu FT-DX10 malfunctioning. It was a mixed blessing that this occurred later into my stay in Niue, rather than earlier. With luggage restrictions/limitations, carrying another radio as a contingency was not possible. The Yaesu is off to Australia for repair later this week.


Over 11 days 3,642 QSO's were from 112 countries with a mix of FT8, FT4, SSB, and several SSTV and VarAC QSO's. All bands were worked from 160m to 6m. 6m was a bonus with Nauru, Hawaii, Guatemala, Wallis & Futuna Islands, and several stations from Mexico worked; given the Chameleon antenna is very inefficient on 6m.


I was impressed with the antenna's performance in such a noise free location. Some of the signal strength readings on voice and digital were stunning.


A personal goal was to work DXCC 100 mixed on LoTW, hopefully as logs are updated this will be accomplished. A bonus was that I had worked all states for the LoTW WAS award, it was not something I was actively tracking, so a nice surprise.


There are a number of operational aspects I would change next time regarding technology; it is a little tragic having one notebook screen it was too cumbersome tabbing between programs. On digital modes Log4OM was doing auto look up on QRZ of the QSO, but there was insufficient screen available, so a portable screen to extend the view is a must. It was all happening so quickly. Running WSJTx for Fox/Hound was fun, but my preference was JTDX for standard digital operation created some logging issues. I would also like to use JTAlert next time.


The livestream to Clublog worked well overall with instant upload and to QRZ. LoTW was updated every hour. Between Log4OM, QRZ, and LoTW they all reconciled. Internet was provided by a WiFi device on 4G, it was delivering only 10Mbps maximum speed, and would have micro-outages. There is no mobile roaming in Niue, so we just used WiFi calling on our phones that were then essentially on the New Zealand home network, when we were in WiFi coverage at our accommodation. We used just under 90Gb of data, cost $NZ250 (ouch). Note to oneself for the future turn off computer auto updates, and set the computer to metered mode. 


Niue is an enchanting paradise with stunning natural landscape, we will be back in 2025, probably April in holiday style mode. Thanks for all of the kind messages and encouragement received.


 

E6SP Update (Apr 22)


Location is excellent with no noise apparent, there are no neighbours within 500m.


Antenna installation presented a curved ball, with the Chameleon MPAS2 vertical with it's spike mount would not go into the ground because of the the volcanic base which is 10cm down, so improvisation prevailed, and built a rock cairn to support it.


Have worked a mix of digital, FT8, FT4, VaraAC, some SSTV calls and SSB. Also, spoke to Hayden VK7HH via the Hobart, Tasmania FM repeater on 29.680Mhz. So far have made 2,000 plus QSO's from 84 countries. This is a holiday style mini DXpedition so am enjoying this beautiful South Pacific paradise as well. I am very happy with the antenna performance.


Please note when outiside the standard FT8 slots I am running the genuine WSJTx Fox Hound mode using WSJTx v2.7.0 rc4. This behaves differently on occasion than expected with valid QSO's being worked when the caller is over 1,000 and the software does not pull them down as expected, and makes a valid QSO. Anyone enlighten me please?


I am getting a lot of emails, thanks, and will do special requests if possible. Note I am uploading to Clublog and QRZ in real time, and LoTW every hour. Electronic QSL is free and instant, paper QSL as above via Pedro EA5GL in May on return to New Zealand.




E6SP (Mar 28)


Op: ZL3GAV


Bands: 6M - 160M


Modes: SSB, FT4, FT8, SSTV & VarAC


QSL Info: QSL via EA5GL, LoTW, qrz.com or ClubLog


Start Date - End Date: Apr. 16 - Apr. 28




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