Please write the name and Call.
VQ9, CHAGOS ISLANDS. Jim, VQ9JC/ND9M, informs OPDX, “I’m back on Diego Garcia until mid November. The ham shack was closed for maintenance during my absence from the island, and I don’t know yet when it will be re-opened. Hopefully, the closure is only temporary. In the meantime, I’m operating from two different locations on the island, both of which are in recreational parks. All of my operating is currently Field Day style in that I bring all my gear (rig, power supply, antennas, power and coax cables, keyer, laptop, and tools – about 40 pounds) with me in two back packs. (I wear one and hand carry the other.) Being a tropical island, there’s no shortage of trees, but I can only get the antenna up about 25 feet because of the density of the palms. I get the supporting lines into the trees using fishing line and lead weights and throwing them up by hand. (Think David and Goliath.) I’d be able to get the antennas up higher if I could use a slingshot or bow and arrow, but those are considered weapons here and are illegal under BIOT law. Since my two operating spots are outside in public areas, I have to set up the station and then break it down each day, which further limits my operating time to 1230-1615z on most days typically. My HF rig is an FT-897D (barefoot at 100W) and single band dipoles. Most of my operating will be on CW, but I’ll do SSB on occasion. I don’t have a Rigblaster with me yet, so digital modes aren’t available for the time being. My CW operating is normally with a keyer, but I have a retired shipboard hand key with me at all times and can easily switch to manual keying for SKCC contacts. I also operate through the LEO satellites with an FT-857 (TX) and FT-817 (RX) for duplex comms. The antenna is a 5-element Elk log periodic. All of my HF operating is from the island, so contacts are valid for DXCC and other awards that require that QSOs be made between land-based stations. My satellite operating is from both the island as well as the ship I work on. All QSOs that I make from the ship will be clearly identified as ‘/MM’ or ‘maritime mobile’, and the QSLs will indicate that as well. QSL via ND9M.”