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VU4N - Andaman and Nicobar Isl.

VU4N Update (Dec 27)

10:00Z - The 60m Vertical is back up, since many of you have asked for it. So went and get some help to put it up and the SWR is spot on, as per the radio and did not even need to engage the tuner. 

The 80/160 vertical has been removed from the beach at low tide.

So tonight, it will be 30/40/60 and 2 higher bands.

The hex bean will come down around 11:30z, so until then, it will run 6m


( 01:30am local time) - The 160m vertical SWR seems to be acceptable to Acom, so it is now chugging along. If you want a 160m Contact, please try ASAP.  Sunrise in 4 hours at 00:00z


It is low tide and the tide is receeding. The 160m antenna has been exhibiting 2.8 SWR, but the 80m on the same pole is within 2.0.

Went out into the beach and walked over the rocks to the antenna with a flash light. The top hats seem to be intact. So not sure, what is causing the High SWR and the Acom is going into ARC Fault. So will wait for a bit and try again. I am afraid that, it may not change for the better. But in the event, it does, overnight, i will spot on the cluster.

Another bad news. The 60m vertical is broken. The vertical was positioned on the fringes of the beach, where the waters from the channel flows. This reminds me of the movie "All is lost". This large piece of bamboo, about 20=25ft long and about say 6-8 inches in diameter gets washed ashore. It seems to have spun in the waters, coiling up the radials and the coax too. So it basically uprooted the pipe, that was driven into the ground to secure the fiberglass pole. The 12m fiber glass pole fell and it is broken as well. I could fix it in the morning, but then the VNA is toast. So basically, the 60m broken mast is an early packup.

Update - Pics shot after day break.

The 60m radio is on 10m, since i have a note from South America that the band is open. So it is running for what it is worth.

VU4N Update (Dec 25)

Merry christmas to everyone!!

7am IST - The tide is still high at this time and the verticals did well at night.

It rained last night and the 20m vertical SWR was high and the KPA500 was on the band. I noticed the SWR at 3.0 and i reduced the power, and at the next transmit cycle, the amp went offline, stating Hi Reflection. I heard a Pop. This morning, when the radio transmits through the amp, the SWR is high. But when the amp is bypassed, the SWR is fine. So i believe, i lost the KPA500. Will need to bring it back to W4 for service. Was not expecting to do so, since this amp was a part of the VU2VKU station.

VU4N Update (Dec 24)

I have been trying to get this 60m vertical tuned and it has been a challenge. I shut the station down today, during the day and worked on the vertical. Some progress, but no go as yet. This was a piece of cake in VU7A. At any rate, one more try on Dec 25th at low tide.

QRN continues to be an issue at Sunset and through the night. I installed the MFJ nosie canceller and used the Hexbeam as the sense antenna. I had it on 40m on 24th and it dropped the QRN by 2 S-units. Today, it is on the 80m setup. I wish, i had a few of those for each of the radio.

QRT plans - The permission for the special call expires at 23:59 IST (18:29Z) Dec 27. I plan to depart by noon on Dec 28th. All gear needs to be packed and ready by 9:00am on Dec 28th. 

Btw, the 80/160m vertical will need to be taken down on Dec 27, during the day time. Primarily due to the tide schedule. It does not lend to removing it at daybreak on Dec 28. I will not be able to pack it up for cargo and departure, if i plan to remove on Dec 28 morning. The low tide is at  3:48am and high tide is 9:43am. It may be alright at 5:30am, but getting help at that time, might be a hit or miss, esp if i wait till Dec 28. So will run the 30/40 vertical on Dec 27th at my sunset and night. May be will be on the high bands too, depending upon whats open. The Hexbeam will also come down during the day on Dec 27th.

VU4N Update (Dec 22)

Today, i brought down the 80/160 vertical again at low tide, since we had the 160m wire and the 80m wire tangled up. So happy to report that the tide is back up and the vertical is in the water and the SWR looks to be spot on. 

The same with the 30/40 vertical. Appears to be holding up well. I moved the 60m vertical from behind the sea wall to into the water. This way, can avoid any QRN. Yet to go and tune it. This VNA that i use does not tell you that the battery is low, but it does weird stuff :). At any rate, will go out and try to tune the 60m too.

Will post pics of the verticals soon. Esp the before and after and i would also like to post videos of the QRN, before and after. Let me find time. This has been a test of endurance and persistence. And we don't give up? Do we? :)

VU4N Update (Dec 20)

The 5th radio is up and running now after some cabling and soldering work. But during the day time, there are not that many bands open. I tried 6m. It was received by a JA station at -8db PSK spotter. But there was no one active. The antenna was turned to VK/ZL briefly and then later to EU. After no QSO's 6m was shutdown. 

The AC in the room went out today. After a lot of badgering, they are working on it. The equipment temperature is rising, esp the solid state amps. So watching it carefully. There is some breeze coming in from the ocean. So that helps with some cross draft. 

I am hoping to get out and work on the 60m vertical. but since the door to the room is ajar for ventilation, cannot leave as yet.

I also have a small AM radio. So will try to start troubleshooting today for the source of the QRN.

VU4N Update (Dec 19)

The 160/80 vertical is up!!!!

Yesterday, we got the Dxcommander 20-10 all tuned up. The 40/30m vertical is also tuned up and works well.

The Hex beam is now up at 45ft from the ground level and on the terrace. I could not raise the 30ft Aluminum mast, since the hex is already on the edge of the roof and not enough anchor support at the bottom to resist the torque from any more top loading. So it will stay where it is.

Two of the radios seemed to have an audio input issue. It worked fine in VU7. So not sure, what happened. Got one TS-480 fixed with Audio coming out via the 8pin DIN and audio feeding into it via the Mic jack.  One more radio needs similar remedy and will get to it later this evening or tomorrow.

Getting an AM radio to track the source of QRN and find ways to work around it. Fingers crossed. I know everyone is frustrated. Patience please is all i can request for. 

Also, will try to run multistream to thin the pile out, so the weaker signals are not smothered by the stronger signals in the geography.

Tropical showers are a thing. The sun rises at 5:30am and starts to set at around 5ish. Will try to run 30/40 every night and 20/17m too, until the 80/160 is up and the 60m is tuned up (will do this tomorrow prehaps).

VU4N Update (Dec 17)

The equipment arrived from VU7 on Dec 16 as planned. The gear was picked up at 9am and then taken to the place of stay and the installation was started. Established 3 phase power to the place. Ran cables to the beach line for the verticals. There are no tables of any sort in the room to arrange the gear. This is a minor issue. We got the 20-10 vertical installed. The 20/17m SWR is acceptable. The 15-10 SWR is off the chart. The tide is a pain here. The swing is about 1.8 meters. The worst part is not the tide, but all the debris that washes to the shore. The radials for the 30/40m vertical got washed away in the high tide at night on Dec 16. It gets entangled in the debris and except for 1 radial, the rest got ripped out. 

On Dec 17, we moved all the verticals to high ground, above the sea wall. The 60m vertical is up. But for some reason, the SWR appears flat. I do not believe it. I will investigate the old SO239 connector box tomorrow. Also moved the 40/30m vertical to high ground. It seems to be working, but not sure, how strong the signals are. Will check later. 

Another setback is that, in VU7, while trying to pack, the 18m fiberglass pole got damaged. Today, when raising the pole for the  160/80 antenna, the pole snapped at 2 spots. We tried to reinforce with some hose clamps, that that did not cut it. A new pole should be here by air on Dec 18, so hopefully will get back on track.

Also, the QRN is horrible S9 - S9 +10db at times on 40m, 20m . When the QRN drops, i get a burst of callers and i respond, but then i never get a chance to pick them up. Its frustrating. The plan is to also put the Hexbeam up on the terrace at over 45ft, so it will help the 20-6m situation. Will also move the 20-10m vertical, which is now on a tall bamboo, to clear the 1.8m tide swing. Will move the vertical to high ground on Dec 18. Also, the audio output to some of the radios are not working with the old instance of MSHV on the laptop. So need to install fresh instances and reconfigure the settings. So still trying to get stability here. Also, we used all the shipping cases and created tables. So the gear is all powered up and running now. 

VU4N Update (Dec 10)

The equipment coming over from VU7, will be available on Dec 16 at VU4 for pickup. Will get to work in the morning. The electrician will come in to setup the 3 phase supply in the morning. Will install the multiband 20-10 vertical first and get it going. Then the next will be the 30/40 vertical. Dec 17 is when, will get the 80/160m vertical up. May be sooner, depending upon, how the other 2 antennae go up. The hex will be last. Atleast thats the plan. I will find a spot for the Rx loop, once i get there.

VU4N (Nov 30)


Bands: 6M - 160M

Modes: SSB & FT8

Qsl Info: Qsl via W4VKU

Start Date - End Date: Dec. 16 - Dec. 26


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