Our DXpedition P29RO ends in a few hours. On local Wednesday morning, November 9th, we will start dismantling the antennas. QRT is expected at around 0400z. We are happy to have reached the 90,000 QSO mark from 160m to 6m on all main modes with some stations still calling for the first QSO towards the end. 160m has been extremely difficult due to the local QRM situation. Nevertheless, we are happy to have roughly 550 QSOs on Top Band in the log.
This expedition involved a lot of logistics and didn’t come cheap. The climate took a heavy toll and sleep was also neglected. At the end of the day, we are very happy with the result. We appreciate the many positive comments that reached us. Our flights to Germany will leave on Thursday and we should arrive home after some 30 hours on Friday.
Please wait for the final online log. Our QSL manager will do his best to correct errors beforehand. We hope to receive our nice color QSL in four weeks to start sending out QSLs and the LoTW upload for donors before Christmas. On behalf of the entire team, I would like to thank everyone who supported us with a donation. [DL7VEE]
After a week and almost halfway through our stay, it’s time to sum up.
The choice and decision for this location was a very good one. Just off the coast of Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, the island of Loloata is situated. It can be reached in a few minutes by ferry from the mainland. The luxurious Loloata Private Resort is a modern holiday complex for day-trippers and tourists. Electricity is available 24 hours a day and good internet is provided. The warm and humid climate is a challenge for central Europeans. Working in this heat takes a lot of energy!
We were able to install our antennas on the hiking trail on the mountain ridge. With water around the island and a free takeoff into almost all directions with no disturbances from the hotel complexes down on the shore, this is one of the best possible QTHs for worldwide radio operation. However, this comes with a downside: we needed roughly 60 m of coaxial cable for each antenna. On the high bands, we only use a robust two-element wire beam from LZ Antennas. A pentaplexer from LBS allows us to operate simultaneously three bands from 20 to 10 m, each with 500 watts HF. Loops are used for 30 and 6 m. For the other bands 160, 80, 60 and 40 m, we use verticals with an elevated radial.
We are very happy with the propagation and the good RX situation from 40 m upwards. After 7 days we already have over 55,000 QSOs in the log. The pile-ups are still tremendous. We have strived for equal operations on all modes and bands. The FT8 stations are also manned. All operators work in rolling shifts. 4.5 hours at the station and 9 hours free for eating, sleeping, checking emails and making repairs.
We have major hearing problems on 160, 80 and 60 m. On these bands, the noise level is always at S9 plus! Possibly an atmospheric problem near the equator at sunspot maximum and not man-made noise. That means stations calling us have to be louder than the noise floor. 80m CW is very hard to read. Under these circumstances, all OPs agreed that CW operation makes no sense on 160m.
A note on FT8 Fox & Hound. We use WSJT-X, not MHSV. This means, the confirmation must be on our transmission frequency. Additionally, those who call us below 1,000 Hz can’t be worked. There are still a lot of stations from all parts of the world who cannot work correct F&H. So fare in last days we may use normal FT8 mode.
Due to the hot climate, we have to finish the antenna dismantling a day earlier. We are therefore only QRV until November 9th around 4 UTC.
We’ve been QRV on all bands since two days. 160 and 80 m are quite atmospherically affected. We have not yet received any signal on 6 m but are monitoring 50313 kHz. It is big fun working through these strong pile-ups under good conditions. We want to get each of you in the log! All team members are well and busy. And we are happy for so many positive comments! Thank you! Please don’t bombard us on our contact address with log discussions, inquiries and useless hints. These emails will be ignored. Please clarify log differences with our QSL manager after the DXP. Mistakes will corrected of course. If the QSO is not in the online log, work us again. The contact address should be used only for really serious hints. P29RO will participate in WWDX SSB contest. These QSOs will be posted online after the contest. Please be patient – Updates to our homepage in DL require one to two days.
[OCTOBER 26] – It’s the second day on PNG. The picture shows first antennas on top of the hill at P29RO QTH with good take-off to Europe. At the moment, installed are wire beams and a homebrew 40m-vertcal plus a homebrew 30m-loop. More news on website soon. [tnx DL7VEE]
All team members and equipment arrived safely in PNG. No problems with Covid-19 but we had to wear a mask at all times. Everyone was tired from the lack of sleep over the past two days, but started installing the first antennas and radio room. The weather is extremely hot and muggy and is a challenge for everybody. At 50 degrees in the sun with no shade, we need three times as long as usual to set up the planned antennas. The way from the hut to the antennas is one kilometer long plus a few meters of altitude! Loloata Resort General Manager Mr. Uday helps us a lot in our radio expedition. Loloata Private Resort is a beautiful self contained resort and the staff is very friendly. The electricity from the hotel’s generator is stable 24 hours a day. We have the option of installing our antennas alongside the island’s hilltop trail. This will require more coax than expected, but we should be able to manage it for all antennas. Due to the great heat, we can only do antenna work in the morning and in the last hours of the day. On Tuesday we were able to raise the 5-band LZ wire beam for 20 to 10 m, the 40 m vertical and the 30 m loop. The next bands will follow. Today we will finalize the 160-m-Vertical. Please refrain from comments and emails like: Why aren’t you on 6m today? Please be patient. We do our best.
[OCTOBER 20] Keep an eye on the P29RO website for further news and updates. QTH is Loloata island OC-240.
All members are well and ready for departure from BER airport on Sunday. After a long trip we should arrive in Port Moresby at local Tuesday morning (October 25). Hopefully we are not too tired to install first antennas on Tuesday and start the operation still the same day.
[AUGUST 25] Rolf, DL7VEE informs DX-World of the following info:
Our team from Germany (last activity was HU1DL 2020) is planning another lightweight but serious DXpedition to Papua New Guinea (QRV 24/7) from October 25th until November 10th this year. All things are going well. More details shortly if our homepage is ready. Hopefully, Covid-19 will make no trouble for traveling in the autumn.
Additional updates to follow here.