the middle of May Hakan SM3EQY found a Site on Internet, LA7M
was searching for crew members for a planned DXpedition to Svalbard.
After a couple of mail between Sweden and Norway we decided to join
6:e July, all started with a flight between Oslo and Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen. Including a stop in Tromsö in the northern part of Norway. 12 amateurs with a lot of equipment, including aluminium towers (there are no trees that could bear the antennas). Our part of the group had to spend some hours in Longyearbyen waiting for the rest of the team, it was really exotic to se people walking around in the village carrying big guns on their shoulders, these are necessary for protection against polar bears.
the whole group had arrived, it was time for a 3.5-hours journey
with a Russian tug to Barentsburg, a Russian coalmining town with about 1000 inhabitants. All of them working for the Russian mining company, with a lot of different things, including take care of the guests in the Hotel, and a farm with 20 cows, a bull, 300 pigs and about 1000 hens, there was also a greenhouse with different vegetables like tomatoes and potatoes.
The inhabitants have food and free housing during there stay, and hopefully get there Paycheck from the mining company then they arrive back home, after a couple of years.
After our arrival we put all our stuff, and our self in to “HOTEL Barentsburg” a nice hotel built about 30 years ago. All rooms have toilet
and shower, and the bar had good Russian beers, and also beers bottled
LA3OHA Terje, had already prepared a shack on a mountain close to
the hotel.300m ASL, this mountain slops down to Greenfjord / Icefjord. A marvellous QTH with a good take off in all directions, except towards southeast. A TH6DXX was placed in a tower at the old TV-station, our radio shack during our stay.
so many operators available, we decided to split the group into two.
main group stayed in Barentsburg, and a smaller group went with an
old boat to a Russian Cabin in the arctic wilderness. A really marvellous place, close to a little lake, with a glacier on one end and this cabin on the other end. After a hard time carrying all stuff to the cabin (rig, antennas, towers, battery, petrol, generator and some food) it was time to assemble
the station, a half square for 20 meters was put up in the air between the cabin and one of the towers in no time at all. Geffrey KG0VL had to spend many hours before he managed to get the power generator working okay.
I think it was trouble with the Russian petrol, (we got it from one of the cars in Barentsburg). At last it was time to start the operation from Icelake. In a few minutes two 220 volt 25 amps. power-supplies was blown up, together with the power supply to the computer. The generator probably delivered about 300 V instead of 220 V.
(Of course we had not brought a simple voltmeter)
logging computer and power-supplies, we had to operate from a single battery,
and try to keep it in good shape, with a batter loader (10 amps). it was so hot
that we have to keep it outside then we run it on the 300 V from the generator.
Next day Jasek SP5DRH assemble a mini beam for 10/15/20 metres, it was almost as
good as the half square antenna. Geffrey had
put up an 50 MHz dipole outside the cabin and we listened on SIX during the
evening and nights. The only signal heard on SIX from Icelake, was the VE8BY
beacon, a few minutes one night.
The group managed to work about 850 QSO:s on 20 and 17 metres from the Icelake
Which must be OK, with all the
equipment problems we had in the beginning.
our stay in the marvellous wilderness, the expeditions main station had spent a
lot of time making QSO:s from the
Mountaintop-QTH outside Barentsburg and also a lot of energy climbing the
mountain up to the station. It was 700 steps; Dave (KF6XA) counted them during
one of his many tours. Hakan SM3EQY spent a lot of time on 50 MHz calling and
looking for conditions without any QSO:s so fare.
the wilderness group came back to Barentsburg, we arranged a second station at
the hotel with the half square antenna on the roof.
Tuesday night (11:e July) an Aurora-E opening to Scandinavia gave us some QSO:s on 50 MHz. OH9SIX and SK3SIX beacons, OH6JW, OH8K, SM3GSK, OH7KM, SM3VEE, OH6MPC, OH1AYQ, SM3EFW and OH1ZAA was worked. After that we could listen to the VE8BY beacon about 1.5 hours, without any QSO in to North America. Almost all members in the crew was surprised that we made any QSO:s at all on SIX.
I am shore that we will meet some of them on the magic band in the future.
Thursday 13:th of July, time for journey home.
First with a Russian Tug to Longyearbyen,
then a flight to Oslo,
and then with car 420 km, totally 36 hours.
5 operational days with a
total of 7700 QSO:n
from a QTH on 78° North, most of them with the call JW7M.
And naturally wee have the pleasure to know all the team members
from different places in the world.
Expedition Homepage: http://www.dxpedition.org
Expedition Logs: http://www.xdenews.net/logs/svalbard/
IK2XDE Bernardo Andrea – Italy
IK2JYT Terzaghi Giovanni – Italy
KF6XA Dave Donelly – USA
KG0VL Jeffery Leer – USA
S57FYL Alexandra Kavs Slovenia
S53AC Atila Lajmis – Slovenia
SM3EQY Haakan Blomberg –Sweden
SM3JGG Staffan Lindberg – Sweden
SP5DRH Jacec Kubiak – Poland
OE3GEA Gerhard Elsigan – Austria
LA7IL Jon Fredrik Klepzig – Norway
LA3OHA Terje W. Hovde – Norway
And our Arctic guide Mr Eugene Bouzney – Russia
73 de Staffan SM3JGG