H4ØAA Bulletin 02
Update: The Temotu Islands, H4ØAA
22 March, 1998
All systems are "go" for the launch of the H4ØAA DXpedition. Some of the
team members have already arrived in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon
Islands, and have been very busy making final preparations. Limited radio
activity can be expected starting this weekend, while an all-band effort
will be made in the WPX SSB contest next weekend.
Remember, even though the contest effort will be taking place from the
DXpedition site in Temotu, QSOs will count for Solomon Islands DXCC credit
(H44) before 2359Z on 31 March. At that time, the H4ØAA call will be
debuted, and QSOs will begin counting for Temotu (H4Ø) DXCC credit,
pending approval of the new country application.
There has been some confusion regarding the prospect of Temotu being added
to the DXCC List. It should be pointed out that the application is NOT
based on political independence--Temotu is clearly within the political
influence of the Solomon Islands. Rather, Temotu qualifies for separate
DXCC status by reason of separation by water. The new DXCC rules, which
become effective at 2359Z on 31 March, change the separation criteria from
225 mi to 350 km. Because Temotu is separated from its "parent" country,
the Solomon Islands, by more than 350 km, it clearly meets the new
criteria. Thus, the addition of the Temotu Islands to the DXCC List
should be a rather routine affair.
Many DXers have also asked specifically which islands will be included in
the new DXCC entity. The answer is all the islands that make up the
Solomon Islands' Temotu Province. This includes the Santa Cruz Islands,
the Reef Islands, the Duff Islands, Tikopia Island, Anuta Island, and
Fatutaka Island. Altogether, the islands of Temotu have a surface area of
only 926 sq km, although they are scattered over more than 150,000 sq km of
the South Pacific.
To further confuse things, the largest island in Temotu--officially known
as Nendo--is more commonly referred to as Santa Cruz Island. The H4ØAA
operation will take place here, in a small village known as Lata (10° 43.5' S,
165° 48.1' E). Although it is the provincial capital, only about 1500
people live in Lata. Far from the beaten path of tourists, only one small
resort is available, and its owners have agreed to allow it to be converted
into "Operations Central" for the H4ØAA DXpedition.
Getting around in the Solomons can be both a challenge and an adventure.
To keep the expedition within schedule and to move a large amount of
antennas and equipment, two small aircraft have been chartered from
Honiara to Santa Cruz. This will also allow the necessary power
generators to be brought along as backup to the limited and sporadic
service on Santa Cruz.
Lata is very hot, humid and WET--the annual rainfall often exceeds 6000 mm
(235 in). Because the H4ØAA operation will be taking place during the
rainy season, average daily rain totals of 25 mm (1 in) or more are
expected. The associated high QRN levels will make for challenging
reception at times, particularly on the low bands.
Three regional coordinators--Martin, G3ZAY; Bill, K6GNX and Gary,
K4MQG--have been appointed to provide the H4ØAA DXpedition with a
reliable, two-way information channel. These coordinators will
communicate any information from the team to the DX community during the
actual operation, as well as provide the DXpedition operators with
valuable feedback from their respective geographical areas. The idea is
to help the operators maximize the short openings on the most critical
paths from Temotu, particularly Europe.
The coordinators can be reached via e-mail for any questions and/or
comments related to H4ØAA:
Martin, G3ZAY: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill, K6GNX: email@example.com
Gary, K4MQG: firstname.lastname@example.org
The H4ØAA team is sad to report that one of the original team members,
Kari, OH2BC, will be unable to make the journey to Temotu. Kari recently
suffered a fall in which he broke several bones in his hand. Even though
he will miss the excitement of running the pileups, Kari continues to work
in many key ways behind the scenes to contribute toward the ultimate
success of this operation.
As an experiment, many of the pileups during the H4ØAA operation will be
digitally recorded. The idea is to provide play-back of these QSOs at DX
conventions and hamfests. The recordings will also help ensure that the
log and QSLs are as accurate as possible.
Based on input from several DXers, two changes have been made to the
frequencies listed in the original H4ØAA announcement. Please note the
following new transmit frequencies:
160 (SSB and CW): 1824.5 kHz
10 SSB: 28395 kHz
Finally, because this will be a "new one" for everyone, the primary goal
of this operation is to maximize the total number of individual DXers who
make at least one QSO with H4ØAA. The secondary goal is to make a large
number of total QSOs by operating on multiple bands and modes.
Every effort will be made to exploit the critical openings to Europe,
which will be the most difficult target area to work. European DXers are
reminded that both short path and long path opportunities exist for
working Temotu. It is anticipated that short path will normally be best
for Northern and Eastern Europe, while long path will be most common for
Southern and Western Europe. Of course, this can vary by band, time of
day and many other factors. The cooperation of DXers in other target
areas will be most appreciated when the H4ØAA operators are working
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