Contest Expedition to Prince of Wales Island_ Alaska

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Paul Kiesel, K7CW
         Why Go to Alaska?
• KL7FNL KL7GLL VE8BY - Late 50s and Early
  60s on 6-Meters
• Exotic DX before days of SSB – Fading AM
• K0CER’s 1970 Trip to Ketchikan – KL7ABR
• Make KL7 Available – Lower Latitude = Better
  Chance for Sporadic-E
• Increase Weak Signal VHF Awareness in Alaska
  – KL7UW Efforts – Alaska VHF Up Group
         Location Attributes
• Primary: Unblocked Horizon to Canada,
  United States Lower 48 and South Central
• Reliable Electric Service
• Internet for Accurate Time and Sked
  Coordination Before and After Contest
• Other Facilities & Conveniences a Plus
        Search for Location
• Check All Cities and Towns for Unblocked
  Horizons in Necessary Directions
• If None, Check Resorts, Hunting Lodges
  and Vacation Cabins
• SE Alaska Defined by Mountains and
• Most Land Outside of Towns Totally
  Undeveloped and Roadless or Wilderness
Need to Get Back from Mountains
                Drucker Cabin

•   Near Thorne Bay
•   Has All Amenities
•   Reasonable Rates
•   Has Satellite Internet
•   Tim & Teresa Lindseth Very Friendly and Helpful
      Preliminary Trip in May
• Make Sure Cabin Fulfills Requirements for
  Contest – Very Important
• Determine What Needs to Be Brought
• Talk to Lindseths About Extra Table,
  Internet Activation
• Find Out Where Ferry Docks Are, Ferry
  Schedules, Waiting times
• Visit Old Ketchikan to Buy XYL Present
Ketchikan – Creek Street
Ketchikan – Creek Street
Cruise Ship Moored at old town Ketchikan
Ketchikan Street
Inter-Island Ferry M/V Prince of Wales – Ketchikan to Hollis
Haida Way Lodge, Craig, Alaska
Inside Drucker Cabin
Inside Drucker Cabin
Inside Drucker Cabin
Inside Drucker Cabin
Inside Drucker Cabin
Drucker Cabin – Looking South
Prince of Wales Island in the distance…
1st & Tuttle
Tuttle Way – Looking East
     Getting Stuff to the Cabin
        Kevin (2m)               Paul (6m)
• Transceiver & Brick     • Transceiver &
• Computer                  Amplifier
• Mast for Antenna        • 8-Element Yagi
• Tower Sections for 6-   • Tower Top Section
  meters                    and Rotator
• Coax Cables             • Bring 2-Meter
• Tools, Adapters,          Antenna from WA
  Jumpers, etc.           • Rope
Shipping Stuff from Washington
• Amplifier, 6-Meter Antenna and Sundry
  Non-Perishables Shipped via Alaska
  Marine Services Barge from Seattle, WA
  to Ketchikan.
• Remaining Equipment, Tower Section,
  Rotator, Rope, etc. Packed into Pickup for
  Trip on Alaska Marine Highway Ferry from
  Bellingham, WA to Ketchikan.
Decision About Land or Sea Route
• Desire to Pass Out Rare Grids to
• Driving Time
• Cost of Gas Plus Ferry Prince Rupert
• Cost of AMH Ferry Bellingham - Ketchikan
• Sailing Time
• Compare Ferry Schedules
• Decision: Take the Ferry – Good Decision
Bellingham, Washington Terminal
Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada
Dryad Lighthouse near Bella Bella, BC
K7CW on deck of
M/V Malaspina
Commerce on the Inside Passage. A tug towing a load of logs
Observation Lounge – M/V Malaspina
Cruise Ships in Ketchikan Harbor
Big Salt Lake – West side of Prince of Wales Island
KL0RG at a USFS rest stop west of Thorne Bay, Alaska
K7CW assembling the 6-meter yagi
The 12 element 2-
meter yagi
                Order of Battle
2-Meters: Concentrate on Meteor Scatter Skeds. Watch
For Tailenders After Each Sked. Call CQ on WSJT
FSK441a Mode. Watch for WA6KLK for Possible KL7-
W6 Tropo QSO. Use 144.143 for FSK441a and
144.180 for SSB.
6-meters: Meteor Scatter Skeds with 4 Stations. Hope
for Sporadic-E. If Not, Work as Many Stations as
Possible via Meteor Scatter. Check for Aurora.
Periodically Rotate Antenna Towards South Central
Alaska, to Pick Up Possible Callers. Play CW CQ Loop
on 50.103 When Things are Slow. Listen for Callers on
That Frequency. Try to Avoid 50.125, if at all Possible.
KL7FF – 144 MHz station
KL0RG operating 2m
KL7FF – 50 MHz station
K7CW operating 6m station
All the comforts of home…
CQ Contest from KL7 Fox Fox
              144 MHz Results
 16 QSOs in 9 Grid Locators during the contest, One QSO
     the day before (1 More Grid). Stations Worked:

VE7DAY CO70 – FSK441        K6MBY CN88 – FSK441
W7IUV DN07 – FSK441         KF7CQ DN13 – FSK441
W7MY DN06 – FSK441          KD7OWT CN97 – FSK441
W7EME CN85 – FSK441         VE7BBG CN88 – FSK441
WA7GSK DN13 – FSK441        KL7UW BP40 – FSK441
AL2P CO45 – FM              K7MAC DN13 – FSK441
VA7ISL CN88 – FSK441        K7ND CN87 – SSB
W7GLF CN87 – FSK441         VE7SL CN88 – FSK441
WA7BBJ CN97 – FSK441
               144 MHz Analysis
Left for Alaska with 9 skeds. 2 more skeds made after arrival.
Worked 5 Stations at sked time. Worked 1 local on FM.
3 skeds not completed; 2 of them due partly to stations out of
sequence. Remaining QSOs due to tailending and replies
to CQs. 5 of these had skeds but called early and completed.
1 SSB meteor scatter QSO attempt was successful.
All 14 FSK441 meteor scatter QSO attempts were

Conclusion: Very glad we decided to do 144 MHz in Contest.
Making FSK441 meteor scatter contacts in the June Contest
is duck soup due to Arietids Meteor Shower. Need to convince
more folks to try this mode. Next time try 144 MHz EME
Using JT65B. Also have 222 MHz for meteor scatter QSOs on
that band. Need more operators and tighter planning for this.
                    KL7FF – 2m Grids Worked

Blue rectangles = QSOs in contest
Gray rectangle = QSO before contest
White rectangle = KL7FF QTH
                    50 MHz Analysis
We hoped to have Sporadic-E. It essentially didn’t happen. We were
blessed with many meteor scatter contacts. We did have a path
across the Gulf of Alaska which may have been tropo. NL7OW has
been pushing his belief that there is a consistent path across the Gulf
of Alaska.There was also an interesting path to two stations in Central
Washington State where signals were consistent and strong as compared
to the rest that we were hearing via meteor scatter at the same time.
Three guesses are sporadic-E, ionospheric scatter or tropo. More
discussion is needed about this. There was no apparent aurora.

There were four 50 MHz skeds. None were completed due to lack of
propagation. Two were beyond meteor scatter range. Completed with two
of the stations later. Digital modes were not used. We had to plan to have
sporadic-E which would not allow time for digital modes. I would not plan
differently next time even though one cannot guarantee sporadic-E propagation.

50 MHz got 74 QSOs and 27 grid locators in the contest. 125 total QSOs.
KL7FF - Grids Worked on 6m

        Black dots = grids worked in contest
        Red dots = grids worked next day
        Yellow dot = KL7FF location

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