Dominic Smith ⇓

Miquelon, 2011

In September 2011, I operated from Miquelon island in St. Pierre et Miquelon.
This page is archived. It was last modified in February 2012 and it will probably not be updated.

Activation Information

  • Dates: 23-30 September 2011
  • Operators: G3ZAY, G4EAG, M0BLF, M0TOC, M0VFC, M1BXF
  • Callsigns: FP/homecalls
  • Bands: 80-10m
  • Modes: SSB, CW and RTTY
  • Equipment: IC-706MkIIG, Elecraft K3, IC-7000, FT-450; Vertical antennas and 80m dipole
  • QTH: Motel de Miquelon

This activation was organised by the Cambridge University Wireless Society.

Itinerary

  • Fri, Sept 23, 2011


    I fly to St. John's, Newfoundland to meet the first part of the team, then fly to St. Pierre
  • Sat, Sept 24, 2011


    Take boat to Miquelon, set up first antennas, start operating from IOTA NA-032.
  • Fri, Sept 30, 2011


    Take boat to St. Pierre, fly to St. Johns, fly to Halifax, fly to London

Twitter

During the activation, We posted Tweets as @CUWSinFP:

QSL Information

Direct or via bureau to our homecalls.

  • For QSOs with FP/M0BLF, please use the Log-search & Online QSL Request Service to request your bureau card.
  • To send direct cards to many different operators on the same trip, send your cards to G3ZAY.
  • Please carefully check the callsign you logged, since you may not receive a reply if you send your card to the wrong operator!
  • The FP/M0BLF log has been uploaded to Logbook of the World.

Write-up

G3ZAY, G4EAG, M0VFC, M0TOC, M1BXF and I went to Miquelon Island at the end of September. Miquelon is the largest island in St Pierre et Miquelon, which is a French-owned territory just off the coast of Newfoundland, although the population of Miquelon is smaller than that of the neighbouring island, St Pierre. Saint Pierre et Miquelon (FP) is a semi-rare DXCC entity, and we went there for that reason and also because Martin G3ZAY had previously been to the Motel de Miquelon, a very ham-friendly establishment right on the coast of Miquelon.

We flew to FP via St John’s Newfoundland, then transferring to a flight to St. Pierre. The original plan had then been to get on a Cessna to fly on to Miquelon, but fog prevented this idea, so we had to stay in St. Pierre overnight and get a ferry to Miquelon the next morning.

We took four rigs: an IC-706Mk2G, IC-7000, Elecraft K2 and an FT-450, which we set up in two separate bedrooms. For the antennas, we made simple wire verticals to mount on fibreglass poles on the beach, although we also used a Butternut vertical that had been left on the beach by a previous visitor. The Motel de Miquelon has a lot of ham radio equipment in its stores, and so all you really need to take is rigs, power supplies and laptops for logging. Pretty much everything else is already there. Moreover, Patricia (the motel’s manager) is really helpful, and she’d even re-guyed a vertical on the beach prior to our arrival, after it partially collapsed in a storm.

The presence of such a large group of hams in the islands certainly attracted attention, despite the motel having a fairly regular turn-over of amateurs during the year, and so on one afternoon the local television crew came to make a report about our activation. It was great publicity for the hobby.

Radio conditions during the week were great, and the sunspot activity peaked at just the right time to keep our pile-ups busy. Our best QSOs included VK4 (Tasmania) on 24MHz, and running JAs on 7MHz around our dawn. Not everything went brilliant to plan, though, and we struggled with strong QRM on 80m in particular. We also had a bit of bad luck in that our power supplies were stolen in Quebec while en-route to FP, causing G3ZAY to have to make a quick diversion to pick a couple up as he went to Heathrow.

Nevertheless, we managed to make 17,520 QSOs (including dupes) in 124 DXCCs between the six of us. For tedious licensing reasons, we each used FP / our personal callsigns, and so here are a number of dupes caused by people working different operators on the same trip. We still managed to get 9272 unique calls in the log, however.

Media

Television report

A report about our DXpedition was made for the local television news. You can watch it online for a limited time (In French; the report starts 2mins50secs in).

Photos

View the full photo set.

Slideshow by Flickr.

DXpedition talk

A 35-minute presentation that I gave at the RSGB Convention in October 2011:

Watch on YouTube.

Timelapse: Setting up antennas

Watch on YouTube.

Video Blog 1: Arriving on Miquelon

Watch on YouTube.

Video Blog 2: Stations and antennas

Watch on YouTube.

QSO Audio

Watch on YouTube.

DX Spots

Archived DX Spots for the expedition (all operators)

 

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I am Dominic Smith and this is my personal website.
I am a radio amateur, Agile project manager and website developer living in Cambridge.   More about me »