10 January - 06 February 2012
C21HA, Nauru, Public release #1
We had two focuses on our announced January/February 2012 South Pacific DX Tour: T2 and T30 with possible operation from T33. We are regret to advice that we had to cancel the operation from T2 and T30. That was the bad news.
The good one is that our new target is C2, Nauru.
The reasons of these very last minute changes, which are out of our control, are as follows:
- We had to cancel the T30 as the flights from Fiji to Tarawa are suspended since 12 September 2011, due to the air traffic dispute between Kiribati and Fiji. There is high risk to extend the flight disruption for even longer period. After the consultation with the airlines and our consulate in Canberra, we were advised that "there is high risk of not to get to Tarawa or can not leave Tarawa for a long, undefined period of time. This situation does not affect the flights to Tuvalu and Nauru."
We were waiting until the very last minute hoping that the air traffic dispute between Fiji-Tarawa-Fiji will be solved, but the flights has not been restarted, yet.
- Tuvalu government declared a nation-wide state of emergency on 28 September 2011 due to critical shortage of drinking water. The state of emergency was declared after existing desalination plants broke, exacerbating an already dire situation. The water crisis is still serious on two of the worse affected islands, the capital island of Funafuti and Nukulaelae. The airlines till do not accept excess baggage at all, including hand luggages, because of the loads of drinking water containers by Red Cross. We could check in less than the third of our technical stuff, resulting significant and unreasonable limitation of the station set up. Due to this restriction we decided to cancel the T2HA Tuvalu operation, as well.
- Due to the above detailed situation, we decided to change the target our DX pedition to C2, Nauru. Operation is planned between 10 January and 6 February 2012 as C21HA with two stations on all HF bands.
It was the first time that we asked support and received contribution from DX Foundations, DX Organizations and individuals. We appreciate these supports very much. However we will contact all organizations and individuals who supported us, and will pay the donations back if these changes would make them disappointed, despite Nauru is much better ranked on the most wanted DXCC list.
C21HA on the air
We have finished the antennas and station installation and started the operation on 12 01 at 00:50 UTC. Unfortunately the SteppIR BigIR motor gone during the transportation from the antenna bag. We set up an inverted L antenna for the second station, but it means strong limitation in the signal strenght. It is good for NA/SA but unlikly for EU. The two vertical doing the job well, especially on the higher bands. We tried the top band this morning, but the noise level was high, so we could log few station only.
The internet connection is very slow, so it is difficould to upload photos, however we will upload the log on reguler basis to the Clublog for search and to the LotW, as soon as we are able to send the copy of the license for the certificate file. Please be patient.
News from C21HA
The first week went away of our 4 weeks activation of Nauru. The antennas in the sea need daily maintenance. The sea is very rough and destructive. The high tide is cc. 2 meters with 1-1.5 meter high very strong waves. We can do the maintenance during the low tide, at noon. The temperature is in the sun around is 40 Co or even more, so it is very hard to working 2-3 hours in the sun every day. The propagation was not really good in this week. The low bands, 160 and 80 meters are very noisy. The equatorial noise level is S5-S9. Not really possible to work on the low bands.
The higher bands are quite O.K. to NA/SA direction. AS and OC is not a problem from here. However the EU openings are very poor. The signal level from EU is around the noise level. Very difficult to copy the EU stations. Everyone from Europe are like a very small pistol here. The operating attitude also does not help us to copy the stations. We are fully aware of the EU opening times on different bands. We are fully aware of the propagation. We try to do our best but needs your help to working with EU station. EU stations, please be patient, please listen, listen and listen. Repeat your full callsign three, four times with 20-25 wpm maximum. If we can copy a fragment only, please do not call if it does not match with your callsign. Repeat your full callsign two three times. Please check the on line log. Do not work again if you are in the log. You must cooperate. We also have strong QRM from near station, probably from VK, in the pile-up window and as well as on our QRG. It is a pity and we can not understand this attitude.
News from C21HA II.
Yesterday there was a nice opening to EU on the 14 and 17 meters bands. This morning we could log cc 500 NA and SA stations on 10 meter. CT and EA stations have reported that they could hear our signals on 12 meter around 22-23 UTC, but they could not get trough in the massive NA pile-up. It is really amazing. This morning we could log some of them on 12 m. Big surprise. Top band: still very noisy. We could log only a couple of JA stations, KH2 and KL7 within one hour around the sunset. Difficoult to copy in the strong equatorial noise. This is the same on 80 meter. However we will check the band condition time by time.
Antenna works: we finalized the antennas set up. Only the daily maintenance is required.
News from C21HA III
I want to share my worst experience I ever had during my 40 years of ham radio operation.
This morning, between 20-21 UTC we were working with State side on 12 meters band. 1 kHz below of our QRG someone was also making QSOs in our pile-up using and identifying himself with our C21HA call sign. We know that there are police stations, we know that tuning on the DX QRG can happen, we know that sometime there is interference on the frequency.
We know that sometime pirate stations are working. We know that there are fake spots in the clusters, using invalid own callsign (like HA5DX, but we know the IP address). We know that very strong station continuously making QRM on our QRG and/or in the pile-up window. However, this cheeky, insolent attitude of this morning surpass every imagination. No words to classify this person. It is not simple annoying. It is fare beyond the rude, impolite behaviour. It will make lots of stations disappointed, as they may be changed reports with this pirate station. We are sorry about it. Is there anything further down? We spent a lots of our money to make other hams happy putting the C2, Nauru into their log. Whos (bussiness)interest has been disturbed by coming here to this remote Island?
That could help you to indentify the real C21HA: we always working with high speed CW, (35 wpm or more) on the higher bands, with 50 wpm rprt and TU. It may be helps.
There are pirate operations, time by time, using our C21HA callsign. We will report it here, as soon as we recognize or we get the information. Please check the on-line log. The Clublog is the only official on-line log for C21HA. We upload our log to Clublog every day, around 24z. If you are not in the log, work with us again.
CW on 12 m, 19 January, 20-21 UTC
This morning, between 20-21 UTC we were working with State side on 12 meters band. 1 kHz below of our QRG someone was also making QSOs in our pile-up using and identifying himself with our C21HA call sign.
18 MHz on PSK 19 Jan around 22-24 UTC.
Please be advised that we have not been working on PSK, yet.
RTTY on 12 m, 20 January, 21-22 UTC
This morning I was working on 24921,3 kHz RTTY. A pirate station just below my QRG was calling CQ end CQ EU. Many station was listening the pirate station frequency and not mine. I had to send several times the reports, when I recognised the situation, then I went QRT. We are really sorry, but it is not our fault. Many spots in the cluster reported that there in no operator, auto CQ, etc. It was the reason. It is pity and we are sorry about it. I am pretty sure, that many of you, and we also, want to see into the eyes of this mentally illness person.
21 MHZ CW, 21 January 08-09 UTC
After a spot, requesting CW on 15 m, the pirate station started to work on 21011 kHz. At this time only one of our station was running on 20 m, RTTY. The signal from the pirate was week here, but readable, possible from EU.
News from C21HA, IV
Beyond the half of our operating time the QSO number exceeding the 16 kQSO. Unfortunately the Solar radiation storms resulting significantly increased proton flux and very high Ap index which does not help us. We have received comments from EU asking more attention to the 15, 12 and 10 meters bands. We check the band opening regulary, but these bands have been closed to EU. We continue to monitoring these bands on the proper time to EU. Thanks for the valuable propagation calculations, we received by emails helping us in this effort.
We need to publish some details on the strong jammer station, who regulary disturb our QRG or in pile-up window trying to make impossible to copy the signals. With the help of our friends from different continent, NA, SA, EU, and even from Australia, having proper technical background and instruments, we could localize the source of the jammer station. We have proof that this very strong signals coming from Australia. We do hope that this information is enough to stop the jammer. If not, we will publish very accurate location and even more details.
News from C21HA, V
Last night on the 80 meter was less noisy making it possible to hear the stations from State side. However there was stormy weather which caused some minor damages on the antenna system in the time of 80 meter NA operation. We can do nothing during the night in the high tide, than to wait for the morning low tide. We could make some QSO with the damaged antenna on 40 meter early in the morning.
We spent 5 hours to fix and repair the damages. We also put the antenna controller even higher on the pole. Now it is on 3.5 meter. Now, everything is back to the normal condition. We do hope that this hight is safe enough even in the stormy big waves. We lost lots of time, first on the 80 meter with NA, than we lost the morning opening to EU on the lower bands, than to the NA/SA on the higher bands. This is the reason of the low QSO number on this day.
We received questions about the 160 meter operation. We can just repeat, that unfortunately the Equatorial noise level still very high, S7-S9. At this noise level we can not hear anything. We continously monitoring the band condition and as soon as the white noise level is getting down to allowing the operation on the top band, we will be there.
15/12/10 meters to EU. Unfortunately the Solar radiation storm still block these bands and they are closed in the time of the possible EU operating time. We are optimistic and we do hope that in the next two weeks the band conditions getting better allowing us to get over to EU on the higher bands, as well. Please understand, that the propagation from the Equator is completely different, than ie. 100 km Southern, or Northern QTH. We also see in the cluster, that the 10 meter is open to EU from ZL. It is not the same, so please do not make the conclusion, that we do not pay attention to EU on these bands.
News from C21HA, VI
Yesterday morning (UTC) there was a nice, but very short opening to EU on 15 meters band. The band was open for 20 minutes only, but we could log several EU stations. The complete opening, from the very beginning was recorded, including the pile-up, by HA5PT, Tamas. You can hear this nice opening here in this link. Thank you Tamas, HA5PT for this valuable recording.
This morning around 20 UTC we could log some EU station first on 12 meter, than on 10 meters band. We were calling EU only several times, but IT9TJH is in the log on 10 meters band only. We will countinue to monitoring the higher bands.
Hopefully the Solar geomagnetic storm is getting down. Stay tuned.
News from C21HA, VII
On the 24th day of our operation we exceeded the 30 kQSO. There are 30302 QSO in the log. During the last 3-4 days we were able to work on the top band. The equatorial noise level went down to S2-S3, which is still high to hear the EU stations. The second station actually has not been running for days. The imrovised Inverted L antenna is not effective enough to get over with 100 W not even to State side at this low sunspot number periode. (As you know, the motor of our SteppIR BigIR antenna gone at the transportation.) The 95 percent of the QSOs were made on one station.
We are really sorry that instead of two station we could actually run only 1.05 station.
We will go to QRT on 6th February, Tuesday, around 24 UTC. We have two days left but we will continue the efforts to working on 160 meter, as well. We will leave the island on 07 Februalry at 02z, which is 08 Febr 14:00 local time. We will have an overnight in Brisbane, than we will arrive home to Budapest on 10th Febr, Friday 12:00 MEZ.
After 26 days of operation C21HA went QRT at 00:15 UTC 07 February. The "two back-packers single station show" is over from Nauru. There are 32392 QSOs in the log from 160 DXCC entities. Detailed statistical information available on the log search page. The log has been uploaded to the LotW, as well. The OQRS service is now opened and available at the on-line logsearch page.
QSL manager, HA5AO Pista.
The log correction request will be answered after arriving back home. The corrected log will be on the Clublog and will be uploaded to LotW, later. Thanks for all the contact and our sincere apologies goes to those station whose call sign we were not able to pick up in the pile up.
These 26 days were very challenging and are unforgettable for us. We will never forget the station who called us, but he forgot his call sign, the station who was begging to work again on the top band, as he overslept the opening because he was drinking too much at the evening, the station who was so happy and extremely overwhelming like a child for the Christmas present, that he was able to make C2 as new one. We will never forget the Nauru operation.
Special thanks to our families, to our wife's for their support and for their kind understanding. We missed them very much.
We need to say many thanks to AA7JV, George, for modelling and designing a special lightweight antenna for the top band and 80 meter for this operation. Thanks for our friends, HA5PT, HA5TI, HA7RY for the valuable propagation information they sent day by day on line. Thanks to my colleagues, especially to Gabriella, for keeping up in the works instead of me, while I was away, here at Nauru.
Thank you for the support of DX Foundations and Clubs and as well as for the personal contributions of many DXers.
C21HA QSL status
The QSL cards for the principal individual sponsors and the first huge batch of QSL cards for the request we received by OQRS system, were posted yesterday. The QSL cards have also been sent to the sponsor DX Clubs to forward to their members. Now, our QSL manager continue to process the direct requests were received by post. We uploaded the log to the LotW from Nauru. By now, more than 45 % of the total QSOs were confirmed via LotW. We could submit our application for the Mix and CW DXCC Award via LotW only. There are 4 confirmation missing for the WAS Triple Play Award, 3 RTTY (DE, SD, VT) and 1 SSB (DE). We do hope to receive these confirmations, soon.
C21HA signal recording
C21HA 20 m CW 23 01 2012 (TNX Tomi HA5PT)
DXpedition report: C21HA, Nauru
One month on an out of the way island that’s really way-out...
(HA5AO and HA5UK)
- Keep it simple! –
Early 2011 (after our successful YJ0HA-Vanuatu trip) we decided to strike the chords again and after some research voted for another Pacific tour in autumn with a target this time of Tuvalu, Banaba, West Kiribati and Fiji with primary focus on the first two. Lots of investigation led us to understand that landing at Banaba is not an ordinary issue—we would have to hold the landing permission of 'The Council of Elders' besides the allowance of Kiribati Government. This 'Council' (they live far from Banaba) was difficult to connect with so we ran out of time when finally they accepted our plan, so we had to postpone the trip to next January. Meanwhile we encountered some other troubles. The air flight between Fiji and Tarawa was temporarily suspended and the nationwide freshwater crisis on Tuvalu resulted in an extreme limitation on checked baggage and moved water to being a top priority cargo on the planes