Tuesday, 21 October 2014

2014 W/VE Island QSO Party from ON-022

10m Buddipole Dipole
It was a grand weekend for the Island QSO Party, the weather was good for the most part (not as nice as years past), but the wind cutting across the island was a bit too sharp on Sunday afternoon to be really comfortable.  Sunday was 7C with a 35 kph wind blowing in our faces.

I managed to work stations on 10m, 20m, 40m and 80m, but the vast majority was done on 10m.  Band conditions were pretty good really, the SFI was 160, SN was 60, the 'A' Index was 15, and the 'K' Index was 3.  We've all worked in better conditions, but we've all worked in far worse.

Don VE3MNE and Mark VE3EOG and myself worked on Simcoe Island, ON-022.  Don operated his own station under his callsign, as did I.  Mark had never done an island activation before, so he came along to see how things are done, and I think we have a convert.  Operating from Simcoe Island is great as there is no RF noise at all, and you can hear many more signals than from the home QTH. 
The Go-Box in action, out of the wind.
Don used his 31' vertical and I used my Buddipole as a dipole.  Both Don and myself used our go-boxes with FT-857D's in them.  Lots of DX to be had, thanks to the stations that spotted me on the cluster, and a BIG thanks to Stephan, ZS6SKY, for calling me from Johannesburg, South Africa, he called me on 10m at 1547Z on Sunday.  It was a Five-Six contact each way, with me using the Buddipole mounted on a 16' painter pole.  Yahoo!!

There were lots of JOTA stations on the air over the weekend, and it was great to talk to the Scouts and Cubs on the radio.  As well as JOTA we also had the New York, Iowa, South Dakota, and Illinois QSO Parties on the air, so there was no shortage of stations to talk to.  But, as well as all that, there was also lots of great European DX rolling in on 10m and that kept me busy.

As you can see from the picture on the right, I operated beside my truck, semi sheltered from the cold wind, but I wish I had taken a pair of gloves with me, my hands froze and it was difficult to log.  Don worked out of the cab of his truck so he could stay sheltered as well.

All in all, a great weekend.  It's a shame that more Canadian stations do not take part as it's lots of fun, and always a good time.

Here's a few more photo's from Simcoe Island, ON-022.

Don VE3MNE operating his station out of the wind.

The set-up on Simcoe Island.

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