Hier, samedi 13 avril, a eu lieu le traditionnel salon SARATECH F5PU à Castres dans le Tarn.
Un peu plus de 600 visiteurs venus de tout le Sud du pays pour cette édition 2019.
J’ai encore eu le plaisir cette année de tenir le stand du CDXC en compagnie de Gérard F2VX venu controler les QSL pour le DXCC.
Nous avons encore cette année accollé notre stand a celui de l’UFT tenu par Francis F6HKS et Gérard F6EEQ.
Pas mal de passage sur notre stand tout le long de la matinée avec comme de coutume un pic d’affluence à l’heure de l’apéritif…
La présence de notre stand fut l’occasion pour les dxeurs de passages de se rencontrer ou se retrouver. Parmis les indicatifs exotiques de passage on peut citer entre autres FK8IK Michel et TR8CA Alain qui nous ont honoré de leur présence.
Quelques nouvelles adhésions et renouvellements ont été enregistrés.
Little Diomede is a
small island of 7.3 km2 in the middle of the Bering Strait. It lies 36
km west of mainland Alaska and 3.9 km east of Big Diomede Island, the
easternmost point of Russia. The International Date Line passes about 1 km west
of the island, whose cliffs rise sharply to 494 m above sea level. These
islands were part of a now subsided land bridge, used by humans in their
migration from Asia to North America more than 10,000 years ago. They were
sighted by the Danish-Russian explorer Vitus Bering on August 16, 1728, St.
island is home to 64 residents, whose village is located on the western shore. The
Inupiat are known as the “walrus people”, due to the role played by these
mammals in their life and culture. Their community can only be reached
year-around by helicopter, from Nome, 230 km away. Little Diomede is part of the IOTA reference NA-150, in
demand by 88.6% of the IOTA members. Organizing my trip in March aimed to take
advantage of better HF propagation this season, as well as ice pack conditions,
possibly allowing for passage and setting up camp at the northeast edge of the
island, in order to avoid the massive rock wall obstructing the propagation
path to NA and SA.
The radio station was setup in the mechanical room, on the ground floor
of the local school, while my accommodation was on the third floor. Built in
two stages, 1975 and 1983, the school enrols now 17 students. A blizzard began soon
after my arrival, lasting for five days. Northern cold winds pummeled the
island at 65 km/h and -20oC, bringing more snow on top of the
largest amount ever witnessed by locals, 2.5 m high at times.
Since the ice pack wasn’t thick and stable enough for passing, once the
wind subsided, Rob – one of the school teachers – and I attempted to climb the steep
hill instead. Unfortunately, without proper ice climbing boots and picks, we
were forced to abandon the try before long. The wind switched from the south
for the remainder of my stay, bringing warmer weather. Fog and freezing rain became
common, preventing the helicopter landing, which left me stuck on the island
for an additional seven days.
I used an IC-7000 with a KPA-500 amplifier, and a multi-band wire
vertical. The log includes 2667 QSOs between Mar 19 and 31,
2019, with 2456 stations in 58 DXCCs on 5 continents. About 17% of the contacts
were on 20 m, 82% on 30 m, and 1% on 40 m. All QSOs were in CW, since the polar
flutter and heavy QSB conditions made the use of the SSB less reliable. The
continental distribution of QSOs was EU 59%, AS 38%, NA 2%, OC 1%, and AF
<1%. The French hams ranked #7 among all DXCCs with 75 stations and QSOs,
all of them on 30 m, and #5 in EU, following UA, DL, I, and UR.
I wish to thank The Inalik Native Corporation for allowing me to carry
out this project. I remain indebted to Rob, Mike, Anthony, Steve, and Curt – from
the Diomede School, and Langdon – visiting on assignment, for their help during
my stay. Ramon’s (AL7X) assistance in Nome is highly appreciated. This project
benefited from grants provided by Clipperton DX Club, as well as DX News,
International Radio Expedition Foundation (IREF), RSGB, and German DX
Foundation (GDXF). I am also grateful to Bob (KD1CT) for his exceptional
support, to the top donors N4WW, N6FX, PT7WA, VE3ZZ,
VE7DP, VK5MAV, WC6DX, and many others who offered financial assistance.