Day 1: Saturday, September 25, 2010

I’m alone for the 2010 EMU Field Day (EFD) and I choose a nice place near my QTH, on the coral coast of Brazil — the second biggest coral reef of the world after the Australian one (i.e. The Great Barrier Reef).

I begin to prepare for the field day weekend some days before — checking all the equipment and trying to forget nothing.

On Friday, in the evening, I made a last minute inspection of the equipment and it happens that the 2.500 kW Branco generator isn’t working.

Well it’s 18h00 o’clock and, luckily, I have time enough to fix the problem.

Fortunately, 3 hours later and it works again.

The problem comes from the gasoline which happens from time to time here.

On Saturday, at 7 o’clock in the morning, 2 friends of mine were waiting to help me to put the antenna up.

The mast, a 10 meter galvanized tube, is heavier than a 10 tonne elephant.

So we put first a 1.5 meter tube in the beach sand for about 90 cm.  The part out of the sand will receive the mast on top due to its smaller diameter so it will be able to rotate.

That’s our plan anyway hihi.

Tragically, the first tentative erection wasn’t a success and we crashed the precious 3 element yagi antenna mama mia!

Guys this mast is really very, very heavy.

Fortuitously, nothing is broken but the look of the antenna elements is a little bit different than normal as you can see on the pictures.

So we needed the reinforcement of 3 more strong persons to put it on and then it was possible to turn it with the hand…… ummmm…….with 2 hands is more exact as some great force was needed oooouuuuuch my god!

By 9 o’clock everything is ready. 

The first tests with the Yaesu FT-857d transceiver show that all is okay and working well; So let’s GO with the DX!

For the first call as 3DA/FD-001 the antenna is beamed towards Europe but surprise, surprise 11ET119 Mr Mike from Puerto Rico in the northeastern Caribbean Sea responds with a solid 5/6 report!

After 5 minutes I elect to beam (humph) towards Asia. 

At this time, I catch some South African stations (44 Division) and the eastern Caribbean Sea island of Martinique (136 Division) in back-scatter at 5/1. 

I also heard Reunion Island (173 Division) and the United Arab Emirates (94 Division) but could not QSO with them as they didn’t hear me.

Some minutes later I log 79WO079 Mr Jack from the Philippine Islands at 4/1 with QSB and then 153RT399 Mr Kagti from Radio Thailand club at 5/4 and receive a big 5/9 report from him.  The 400w Zamin amplifier is boosting the signal for sure but conditions are good!

After 2 hours and with 6 stations in the log, I opt to turn the 3 element yagi towards Europe before the friends are going…he he he.  “Come on guys, turn, turn, it’s easy!”

First from Europe in the log is 1AT455 Mr Carmelo at 5/9 here.  Some minutes later the first EMU Field Day station is logged with 14RD/FD009 David and the Romeo Delta team on Mont Aimé nice and strong.  I give progressive number 010 and receive the progressive 030 at 14.44 UTC.

Next, I am happy to work 161DA/FD005 Ralf from Voivodship Silesia — the first one with him at 5/6 5/9 QSB.  10 minutes later I log 14FDX/FD006 Mr Chris at Moulin des Pennes and from then on the pile up doesn’t stop! The Heil Pro Set Plus Headset is very helpful here!

At 19h42 UTC I finish the day on the coral coast of Brazil with 86 stations in the log and 90% of those from Europe.

Today in the log also is 14FDX/FD008 John and Dorota, 30DA016 Dave, 14CAM/FD013 Alexandre and the Charlie Alfa Mike team at Capens, 14DA033 Laurent, 14DA224 José, 14DA/FD004 Phil in his WW2 German bunker watching the English coast, 14DA115 Muriel, 14SD/FD-010 Gerard with the team from Sugar Delta at Col de Pailheres, 14DA/FD-015 Fred, 14DA062, 14FDX/FD-001 Pascal and Fred and Jerome at 14OD/FD-007 from Luchon. 

It was so wonderful to work all of these field day teams!

Day 2: Sunday, September 26, 2010

Last night there was some strong wind and heavy rain but no problems with the tower…hopefully…

I decided to make some exercises this morning (humph) and turn the burdensome antenna to Asia and Africa, right over the ocean.

The first station logged is 44FJ001 Mr Ferdi near Cape Town and some moments later, a good surprise, 85ET/0 (new DXCC for me) Mr Athol in Zimbabwe from whom I receive the progressive number 091.  I’m very excited!

After a QSO with YL 153RT381 Miss Jinny I decide to make a big exforce and move the weighty antenna to Europe (Humph again).  To reach the 100 QSO is my objective…

At 14.50 UTC I assign progressive number 100 to 13DA007 Simon (tnx mate) and again a fantastic opening to Europe eventuates. 

14DA058 John and 14DA161 Dorota are delivered progressives 132 and 133 and 14DA007 Chris progressive number 139 just 10 minutes later.

At 19.21 UTC after giving the progressive number 189, 2WW279 is calling me at 5/2 on the side of the yagi.

Let’s GO to turn the beast antenna and try to reach progressive 200 for 3DA/FD-001!

After turning the antenna (oops) with one hand, I complete the log with stations from Canada (9 Division), Mexico (10 Division), the United States of America (2 Division) and Brazil (3 Division) until 200 in the log is achieved at 21.50 UTC with Mr Jeff 2UNIT777 from West Michigan!

Well it begins to be dark and it’s time to run away now before the mosquitoes suck all my blood.

Funny weekend here on the coral coast of Brazil for the Eleven Meters United Field Day (EFD)… 

I enjoyed myself immensely as 3DA/FD-001 but I think I will have a look to find a telescopic aluminium mast for the next one because the muscles in my arms are sore and throbbing!

A special thank you for those friends who spotted me on cluster.dk as this gave me some never ending pile-ups!

The QSL Manager for 3DA/FD-001 is 14DA115 Muriel. 

The special EFD QSL card will be available from her when the design is done and printed.

Please visit the DA-RC website and read https://www.delta-alfa.com/activities/3dafd001/ for more information on the location of my EFD activity also 😉

73’s from Roger 3DA012