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Friday, 6 March 2015

From C5 in 2014 were you really qrp from the beach...

I just had an email exchange with someone I contacted last March from there as asked if I could try a few skeds with some of his locals (He is in ZL near Christchurch, where that Earthquake destroyed the city, not a million miles from a mates place but definitely not local to me!) to allow them to confirm C5. This kinda answers this question and a few other about the station...

This photo was taken by the wife Christine as I sat on the beach that last morning session as I finished operating, she had just finished packing and was 'collecting me' for breakfast! I already had packed the previous night and I had everything I needed with me.... note I am paper logging !

Photo taken Sun, 09 March 2014  08:00:30 AM the qso I had with Paul ZL4PW  5W SSB was just minutes before so there's some proof for you ( I never checked the times until just yesterday). I do not have the biggest rig or antenna set-up ever, of course the sun lounger made all the difference (damned comfortable way to operate!). Bit of a shame but just out of shot to the left were the security guards that had been watching over me the whole time, never did get a photo of them all, I owe them a lot really. A West African beach at night time not safest place to be. 

I often use a buddipole, some call them dummy loads well I'd say those that do are probably being dummy as they probably had not thought about HOW or WHERE to use them. Yes they are a compromise antenna but they work very well if you use the little grey cells and think about what you are doing. Very quick to put up too. Yes I like fishing poles too but sometime the buddipole wins for me.

I was on 15m at the time so a buddipole is pretty efficient.

The antenna base was usually about 4 feet from the waters edge at high tide, near where the photo was taken from. I had just moved it as they were about to sweep the beach!

8am and no guests were even thinking about being up whereas I'd been there most of the night.

Zoom in on me and you can see KX3, paper log and a motor bike battery and the feeder to the antenna so no snake oil pa's used. I was running VOX (down and up 4 as you know to shake up/off the pile up) so hands on the log and pen. Simple qrp radio fun from DX just as it should be. I was still going and asked Christine to just take photos as I put another 10 qso in the log :-)

The sun had come up and the sky had been very pink, and I had just watched the local pelican flock fly up the beach to Tanji bird reserve ready for the tide to turn as the fishermen were setting off from Tanji fishing village (off to my left) The Gambia was unseasonably cold in March 2014... night dropped to 18'C which for the locals might as well have been -18'C for me very comfortable operating in shorts.

This photo was the operating position few days earlier Wed, 05 March 2014  04:31:38 PM clearer picture of rig etc.

Note the essential Cricket Hat and the green thing on the lap is actually the portable seat I use. Everything fits in the rucksack next to me.

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