Leonids 2002, OH8K double x-pedition
KP24 was the other square to be activated during OH8K double x-pedition. The operators for this trip were Johannes, OH6HFX and Antti, OH8MDT. Because other group was on air from KP55 with OH8K call, we decided to use call OH6HFX.
The place was checked many times during the summer and fall, and everything was ok before the trip. Antti OH8MDT got result-center house rented from Ylivieska city, which was a big thing. We got a +25c warm "hamshack" with plenty of space already when we got into KP24!
We arrived in the place at sunday 07:20UTC. It took about 1,5 hours to get station up and everything, even SWR was OK. We got also cluster connection via 9k6 packet node, and in the beginning also converse mode 14345 was working well. During the x-pedition cluster connection was breaking many times and in certain point we didn't manage to get converse mode anymore. The cluster was a big help for telling if we were calling random hscw/fsk. Many stations asked us to turn antenna from their direction and give a try, but we were busy with skeds...
Later that day some members of radio amateur club OH8AAU nearby were visiting us. Some of them were very interested of meteor scatter working. I, Johannes, worked all the skeds from 17th nov to 18th morning. Then Antti, OH8MDT came and let me to go catch a little sleep. I was resting only for an one hour, then I woke up because of a terrible noise behing the wall. The men of Ylivieska city were doing some woodwork there and hammering a lot! So, no sleep that morning...
We had a problem with QRN from QTF 200-240 degrees. They were nearly our main directions! With preamp the noise was about S3. It quite surely came from power transformer and another building. That was a thing we didn't manage to do nothing anymore. The QRN was most likely the reason why some stations were wondering why we didn't copy them. Maybe the weakest reflections were under the noise!
We got only nine of 34 skeds completed. That was most likely because the conditions at 18th november were not so good, QRN and maybe wrong timing. Later we have talked about not to having so much skeds, maybe no skeds at all! Concentrating in random operation we can work the stations who we can hear.
The SSB conditions began tuesday morning around 03UTC, when DL8GP came in with very steady signal. After spotting myself on cluster the pileup on .224 was big! Many station must have been wondered why I didn't hear them, but when there is about 10 stations in pile with fluttering MS sound - it's very hard! In the end of the page some .mp3 files of the SSB pileups and qsos. The peak on tuesday morning compensated the quietness we experienced earlier - I worked over 40 SSB QSOs, best I4XCC, 2366 km!
After the SSB conditions went down (at least i tought so) I tried a little FSK CQ. I got one QSO and giga-big burst from G4FUF. The antenna was to direction 190, and G was something around 240 degrees! I replied R38, but then I heard little slam outside. One of the Ylivieska city guys were driving snowmobile, stopped and looked me - looked like quilty for a murder! The shovel in the snowmobile was touched the antenna cable pulling the mast heavily! First I was worried that the mast has fallen down on the car. Then I checked the situation outside, and everything looked ok. I continued the FSK working inside, but got no reflections.
After only some hours of sleep, I was totally tired. I decided to sleep for one hour, and then continue. After sleeping, i CQed random on FSK, but no reflections. I tried also to listen some beacons and repeaters, but the signals were not so good. Quickly I checked the SWR, which was 5!!!. I checked the mast again, had to take it down and look the connections. There were something with the N-connectors. The panduit-bond was broken and I replaced it with new one. After that SWR was again OK, and i continued working. Fortunately there was no damage for linear amp! It was a pity to lose about two hours...
Later that morning Antti OH8MDT came again and we got some FSK and HSCW random contacts C and the conditions looked good. However the x-pedition was planned to end until dark, so we began to close the station after 11 utc.
Big thanks for Ylivieska city sport-office, which so kindly let us to rent the result-center house. Also thanks for the city men for understanding and not using the motorsaw when we said it makes some interference...
HSCW MS 10
(c) J. Karhula, OH6HFX 2002