Derek-G3KHZ, Hans-SM6CVX, Luis-CT1AGF, Mike-G3JKX and Martyn-G3UKV along with
Swedish friend Stig Nyman sailed from Kokopo in New Britain on 1st April. Three IOTA references were visited – Feni OC-101, Nuguria OC-257 and Green OC-231, in that order.
Two new gasoline 2kVA generators had to be purchased as the diesel generators previously rented were not working. Additional coaxial cable, telescopic fibreglass poles and an amplifier were air-freighted ahead.
The following equipment was used:
1 x TS2000
2 x K3
1 x K2/100
1 x Alinco DX70-TH
1 x Acomm 1010 amplifier
Single band vertical dipoles were used for all bands 30 through 10m. A ground plane was
used for 40m. These were all located close to the ocean. A small antenna for 6 and 10m
was kindly loaned to us by the UK 6m Group. We were fortunate in catching an opening to Asia/VK and worked 97 stations on this band from OC-101.
At each location we were able to use a north facing beach which gave clear take-off to NA
and EU. On Feni we used a little island called St. Johns; one Nuguria we used Paity Island
and on Green we were on Nissan Island.
Band conditions were much improved since the last visit to PNG in November 2009. Good
openings were available until 2300z and again from 0500z. We used single band ICE filters and there was surprisingly little mutual interference between the stations which were all co- located.
Some wet weather interfered with our operations on Paity Island. Antennas and coaxial cable became contaminated with sea water. Some coaxial connectors had to be replaced and the contamination affected the resonance of the antennas. Some time was taken re-trimming them. The amplifier failed on Nissan Island. A capacitor in the high voltage supply blew and took several rectifiers with it.
We planned to operate on 80m and 160m but the continuous pile-ups on the higher
bands took all our time. From the IOTA standpoint we wanted to give QSOs to as many
different stations as possible. Restricting the bands gave the opportunity for more stations to contact us rather than filling the logs with duplicate calls.
A total of 23,500 QSOs were made from 11,000 different stations.