1 Dec. 2016 – A Visit by Don Field, G3XTT

Chatham Island

Why go to Chatham Island for a DXpedition?  Don said the group known as ‘The 6 Gs’, that’s G3SVL, G4TSH, G3TXF, G3WPH, G3XTT, G3BJ plus G4JKS had a look at Club Log to see what DXCC Pacific location might fit the bill as ‘wanted in Western Europe’ as well as relatively easy to get to and provide a nice holiday location. The trip was entirely self funded and relied on light weight radios and elevated ground planes, all of which could be carried on board an aircraft.

Chatham Island is a dependent of New Zealand and is about 800 kilometres east of the South Island with a population of 600. On the island there are, in addition to the harbour, two shops, a hotel, cafe, police station, courthouse, weather station, a petrol station and a meeting hall. Fortunately, the group knew that the local power supply would be reliable.

Long before the trip, extensive modelling of antennas was undertaken by G3WGN and G3WPH.  A complicated station diagram of all the equipment and interconnections was made and the best time to go was selected, which was around the equinox. Since the focus would be on the lower bands, the grey line propagation would be favourable, which proved to be the case.

Each member of the group made their own way to Auckland where they met up for the once a week flight to Chatham Island.

ZL7G over the period 27 October – 8 November 2016 made a total of 42,723 QSOs, of which 13924 were unique.  CW was the most effective mode, especially at this point in the low Sun Spot cycle.