Myanmar - October 2003
Oct 16, 2003
Today is the last day! We will be on the air until about 0100 UTC, Oct 17.
We returned well to Yangon. Handling the luggage was no problem due to the efforts of MTT. The TITANEX V80 has a small damage. We told already about the problems that the top loads were taken away. The top segment of the antenna got so much bent so that it needs to be replaced. Also the sea salt water wasn't good for the antenna - it has to be cleaned well when we return home.
We built the R7, a 80m dipole and the vertical for 30m in the darkness. But operating was a little pain because everyody was tired from taking down the antennas, travelling and taking the antennas up again. Another 700 QSOs came into the logs this day.
Oct 14, 2003 - latest news 0930 UTC
The Ngapali station is taken down today at 0900 local time and the group goes back to Yangon. Again thunderstorms. The luggage will be picked up at 1300. In Yangon we will be QRV with limited antennas for the last few hours - the R7, the 30m vertical and a 80m dipole.
Oct 14, 2003
Sigi DL7DF is totally frustrated after watching the 160m QSO rates of Dietmar DL3DXX who is just at BQ9P. Despite all efforts it's not possible to get larger numbers of QSOs into the 80m log. We have beverages however the large thunderstorm fronts over the sea make receiving impossible. During the only night where we had propagation we had the undervoltage problems. The amplifiers then generated less power than the transceivers. But at least this is solved now with the new special power line cable. Only miracles can help now to improve our lowband results.
In the morning hours propagation is different every day. Yesterday 30m and 40m ran long towards W. But there was not one signal on 20m. This was different the day before. In Yangon we at this time already on 12m or 10m.
Today we go back to Yangon. Therefore 160m operation is done. Our first Asia trip was not as successful as we had had planned...
Oct 13, 2003
The power supply problems are solved now. We got a special power line from the transformer to the shack. Now all stations can be run parallel again. Propagation hasn't become better however. Again and again thunderstorms during the nights. The QRN level is enormous.
Oct 12, 2003
Shit happens - a damaged vaccuum relais had to be replaced. The spare vaccuum relais didn't work too. We then took an ordinary relais with 16A contacts. This worked well. In the afternoon the second amplifier showed the same symptoms. We also took another relais. But the reason was that we had only 190 Volts power and the relais didn't get enough voltage. During the night voltage was at times so low that the switching power supplies temporarily switched off. All other equipment was not affected.
Regarding the vertical's top load our guide attached signs in Myanmar language to the antennas warning of high voltages present at the antenna. It helped, the top load wires weren't taken away anymore. 16 QSOs are now in the log on 160m.
New pictures added to the XZ7A pictures page!
Oct 11, 2003
We are not quite happy about the conditions here at the new location - it's probably the progagation, probably because we were spoilt by the conditions at the Yangon QTH.
There are a few problems with our antennas. We couldn't work 160m because the vertical's top load was taken away every night (editor's note: this reminds me of Albania when we operated ZA1A...). We are in talks with the hotel management.
The beam was almost in the water. There is a difference of 4m between low tide and high tide. One of the mast anchor points was in the sea water then and was washed away. But we solved th problem. We now have the yagi, the V80, quad elements for 17 and 12, the R7, a vertical for 30, a bevarage and the beam for 6m.
Thunderstorms like in Yangon. Much QRN!. It ain't easy! Despite air condition very hot and humid condittions here. That's sometimes a pain.
Oct 9, 2003
We arrived well in Ngapali yesterday. MTT has again organized everything very well. Thanks a lot! Unfortunately it was too late then to build the V80 vertical. Darkness came very suddenly. During dinner a lot happened. We gave Myanmar Radio an interview. This will be broadcasted on 561 kHz in October/November. We don't know yet the exact time.
This morning we built the yagi, the V80, a 30m vertical, the R7 and the 6m beam. But we are suffering from the HEAT. Now we're ready again for the pileups!
Oct 8, 2003
The first stage of our DXpedition is done. We will take down our antennas this morning and bring them to the airport. At 1 PM the team will go to the airport too. We'll be arriving at the new seaside location in darkness. Because we don't know the location we'll probably begin to build the antennas in the morning. We hope the W's are happier now. Another 2000 QSOs came into the logs. Some statistics will be published here later today.
Oct 7, 2003
10m/12m USA: we worked a lot of US yesterday on 10 and 12m. But it's not easy to tell the Europeans to standby during the short North America openings.
40m USA: we tried 1200 to 1400 UTC but no luck. We have daily thunderstorms, man-made noise from the power generators plus marine radio. This all gives us a hard time receiving weak signals.
30m USA: we were on 30m during the last two nights until 2300 UTC. At 2230 we couldn't hear any more stations. We continued to call but no luck. We then moved to 40m.
Oct 6, 2003
There is heavy QRN on 80m and 160m, probably from the infrastructure of the hotels (own power generation, air condition etc.). We experience this on the vertical as well as on the Beverage and the Sloper. We believe this gets better when we change to the seaside location on Oct 8. On 40m the entire band is covered with marine radio starting at 2300 UTC. All signals are S9 and more. They are transmitting in USB. Be sure that we listen more and more for North America! The log transfer works perfectly, we are able to upload the logs daily.
Oct 5, 2003
12270 QSOs in the log on Oct 4, 2359 UTC. No 160m QSOs so far.
Oct 4, 2003
Everything is going very well. The pilots have given instructions to listen for North America during the short openings. We are glad to present the first pictures of the XZ7A DXpedition. Please check our XZ7A pictures page.
Oct 3, 2003
First report from the team: We have arrived very well. Just the stopover in Bangkok was a little too long. The employees of Myanmar Travel and Tours met us at the airport. Therefore entry including all the equipment was no problem. Nothing got lost this time!
5500 QSOs are in the log already. The entire roof is covered with antennas now. The hotel crew gave us a lot of support. Receiving on 80m is difficult (and worse on 160m). We try to send pictures and to publish them here. In the mornings the bands ard rather dead. We used the time to take a tour through Yangon. We are sitting in the 5th floor of the hotel and have a 180 degree view over the city and watch the lightnings of storms at the horizion. Apart from that the usual business. Noone really listens and many miss their calls. Nothing has changed in the last years...
Oct 1, 2003
XZ7A came on the air today! The team is located in a Hotel in Yangon. The team and the equipment are all in very good condition. However they had strong thunderstorms today and the antennas were built in heavy rain. The QRN makes receiving on the low bands impossible. There is no room for beverage antennas. On October 8 the team will change location and move to a seaside location with a hopefully quieter low band noise.
Sep 30, 2003
Everything is on schedule! The team arrived well in Bangkok and is on the way to Myanmar. No problems so far. We'll see how well our preparations was. Best regards from the crew and will hear you in the pileups.