*DXPEDITION REPORT* Chambenier Island

For several years now I’ve participated with great pleasure in the 11m World Islands Festival and this year is no different.

At the end of the day, on Friday, June 3, I prepare the station equipment and load it into the car.

The next morning at around 5:00 GMT, I leave the house accompanied by my eldest daughter Léa who likes to come with me on my portable outings.

Our dxstination is Chambenier Island, a picturesque inland water island (IWI) which encroaches into Departments 7 and 26, therefore achieving the rather unusual feat of qualifying as 2 IWI entities.

We arrive on site at around 7:00 GMT, for the first reference of the day — 14DA/26-027R — a new one freshly referenced for the occasion.

Here, we begin to install the station, along with the power supply — a 130 amp slow discharge battery.

The portable station consists of a Yaesu FT-891 transceiver, an RM Italy KL-503 200w amplifier and a Heil Pro-Set Elite headset.

The antennas include a Thunderbolt SSD 5/8 attached to a 12m Spiderman mast + a 3 element delta loop on a 5.5m aluminum mast.

After about 20 minutes, we begin our “CQ DX” calls on the international call frequency, 27.555 MHz USB with instant luck.

The first station ITL is prominent DX Hunter 47DX101 John from the Kingdom of Denmark at 7:23 GMT.

It’s with a lot of QRM, however, that we log the first QSO and doubts arise around the future of the activity if the wall of man-made noise continues.

I realize quickly that the QRM is constant and an S7 across the whole band which makes RX the calls of hungry island chasers almost impossible.

It’s then that I leave my daughter to mind the portable station for a while, so I can hopefully find a more suitable location.

A 20,000 volt power line, it appears, is the origin of my frustration so a second point of emission on the inland water island, about 800m away, is chosen.

In the QRM hotspot, the station is dismantled but soon reinstalled at our new site and we take back the microphone and are QRV as 14DA/26-027R with more satisfaction!

54 stations are logged from this IWI entity, including the following DA members: 14DA011 Bruno, 14DA049 Fred, 14DA073 Thierry and 14DA059 Jack in France and 3DA012 Roger in Brazil.

At 12:05 GMT the last QSO is made with my friend 14RC052 Ludo who closes the log.

Fortunately, we’ve managed to validate this IWI with the requirement of a minimum of 50 QSOs.

With the assistance of my young dx adventure compatriot, we dismantle the station again in order to shift us a little further on the same island because it is divided into two departments (26-Drôme and 07-Ardèche).

The call sign will now be “14DA/07-003R” which identifies the new department, yet still on Chambenier Island.

The band remains open and the 27 MHz propagation is still abundant which allows us to continue in good conditions.

Our first QSO is with 47PL122 Arne in Scandinavia at 13:20 GMT and we chain the “ITL” easily until the Alfa Tango Polish Contest starts and, unfortunately, settles on the same frequency as us.

Despite my requests for “QSY”, the transmissions become complicated, and it’s with disappointment that we cease all emissions at 14:30 GMT with 14RC121 Sylvain the last station in the log.

Despite this inconvenience, it didn’t detract from an enjoyable day in the field from a very interesting IWI entity and the encounter with many passionate Island Hunters.

Among them are 14DA073 Thierry, HQ Member 3DA001 Tulio and 3DA012 Roger.

It’s always a real pleasure to be able to be active as a portable station and especially to participate in the World Islands Festival which has always been an incredible project for the 11m Community.

Best 73s de Stéphane, 14DA010