V5/KT6Q, JG73ni, Luderitz, Diaz Point, Namibia
HB9CRQ / KT6Q, Dan (432 and 1296)
ZS6OB, Pine (144) and his XYL Erika (she prepared great meals for us!)
ZS6WB, Hal (144 satellite, MS and EME)
ZS6JR, Daniel (our great mechanic and 2nd operator on 144)
N7BHC, David (he did the transatlantic-tropo-ducting)
Bob our driver and owner of the minivan
2m: 4x9el yagi, preamp, 280W at dipole, automatic az and el control
70cm: 8x12el yagi, preamp, 100w at dipole, armstrong az and el control
23cm: 1x59el yagi, NO preamp, 50W at dipole, armstrong az and el control
2m: 263 QSOs (262 JT65b, 1 CW), 231 initials, 47 DXCC, all continents
70cm: 24 QSOs (19 JT65b, 5 CW), 18 initials, 13 DXCC, 2 continents
23cm: 22 QSOs (20 JT65c, 2CW), 18 initials, 12 DXCC, 2 continents
The V5/KT6Q story
Getting from Pretoria in South Africa to the operating location and back, was a 3200 km round-trip with total driving time of 40 hours in 4 days, 2 days each way. We had one minibus towing the 144 EME trailer and one pick-up truck towing a second trailer. Our destination was Diaz Point, Luderitz, Namibia (JG73ni). Luderitz is on the Atlantic cost just southwest of the Namib Dessert. It is nestled in a very nice bay. The town still has a German touch. To get to Diaz Point we drove 20 km on an unpaved road. At Diaz Point (about 2 km west of Luderitz) there is just one house that is available for rent, a second house is being renovated, a very nice café (restaurant), a couple other buildings (unmanned weather-station), a few camp-sites and a light-house. The landscape of Diaz Peninsula looks like the moon-surface. Hills of black rugged lava, different rock-formations, sand and only very few small plants make it a very special and mystic place. Diaz Point is surrounded on almost 360° by the Atlantic Ocean. Only a narrow double sided sand beach connects it to the peninsula. Lot’s of birds, seals and dolphins can be spotted there. If you visit Namibia, this is definitely a place you should see!
When we arrived they had no electric power on the site, only solar cells and one car battery, despite a written confirmation that 220 V power-service is be available. The owner of the Bay View Hotel helped us to get a generator, but we still were limited in operation, since more energy was needed to operate 3 EME stations plus the terrestrial station at the same time. And we run into even more problems. The 144 PA power-supply went QRT when switched-on the first time. 2 and 6 m yagis were crashed during tower erection when a cable let go. This put us out of business on 6 m EME. We also lost the main 144 antenna for the tropo-ducting test. Fortunately no one was hurt. The 144 preamp was burned during the first attempt to work CW on 144.
During several days we had to withstand gusty winds peaking more than 100 km/h. The wind blew sand everywhere. The shack was covered with sand! To avoid damage we had to lower the antennas to ground several times. The 144 cross-yagi for satellite was damaged by a very strong wind gust, so satellite activity was limited to the handheld antenna and the egg-biters. Due to all the problems, we had to cut-back on activities and we could only be QRV simultaneously on 2 different EME bands. Overall we are very happy with the results and it was a great experience for all of us! Many thanks Erika for the great food you prepared for all of us! Many thanks Pine for organizing the DXpedition! Many thanks Hal for sharing some of your equipment! Many thanks Daniel for helping everywhere! Many thanks Dave for your support and last but not least many thanks Bob for driving us safely to Diaz Point and back home!