Gooseberry Island Activation Success

The following comes in from Jim WA1ZOU, reporting on the Gooseberry (West Passage, off Hope Island) activation of RI002S (Note, RI002S was originally listed as Gooseberry off of Hazard’s Beach in Newport, for indeed there are two, that second Gooseberry Island will be renumbered in the future):

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The NCRC Bay Activators were finally able to activate Gooseberry Island (West Passage) on August 7th.  An earlier attempt was abandoned when it became evident that several species of gulls were actively nesting.  This activation was our Scarborough Reef—steep rocky flanks with very little surface for our station setup.  With clever engineering by Willy, W1LY, we were on the air by 11:00 AM.  In response to requests from local hams, we started on 40 meters and it quickly became clear that we were on the downhill side of solar cycle 24.  Contacts were slow in coming, but picked up in mid-afternoon on 20 meters with strong QSB. The final log shows 75 contacts and 4 DXCC entities.

Thanks to Pete, W1LAB, who is behind the lens in these photos, and provided transportation for the crew as well as on-air talent.

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Rocky shoreline of Gooseberry Island is evident

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Wily, W1LY, sets up the 4BTV

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Willy, W1LY (on left), and Jim, WA1ZOU (on right), on the air

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Two wild and crazy guys enjoying a rocky activation!

 

NCRC Activating Rabbit Island RI027S

Officially RI027S as of 15:14 UTC, (VE5XU happened to be the 25th contact),  Evan, K1GEA, is still busy adding contacts to the log, having started at 14:47 UTC.

Their operation will be on 20 meters ONLY today, 14.260 +/-

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EvanRowing

Evan, K1GEA, rowing onto Rabbit Island with all the gear

Rabbit Island Operating Position -- Could the antenna be more in salt water?

Rabbit Island Operating Position — Could the antenna be more in salt water?

Evan, K1GEA, operating W1SYE from Rabbit Island

Evan, K1GEA, operating W1SYE from Rabbit Island

Log shows 25th contact about 27 minutes after the first contact.

Log shows 25th contact about 27 minutes after the first contact.

Goblin, Pete's (W1LAB) hard-bottomed inflatable support boat

Goblin, Pete’s (W1LAB) hard-bottomed inflatable support boat

Hazard of operating near the shore -- rising tide! (Evan had to move the coax a bit shortly after this)

Hazard of operating near the shore — rising tide! (Evan had to move the coax a bit shortly after this)

W1SYE on-air from Cornelius Island

Today’s activation of RI026, Cornelius Island, is on the air as of 14:34 UTC.

Evan, K1GEA, and Jim, KA1ZOU, are today’s operators.  They are starting out on 7.235 MHz as there been feedback from near-by states that 20-meter copy is challenging so close by.  They will shift to 14.260-265 at some point in the future.

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To hit 40-meters, they are using a new Hustler 4-BTV vertical today — it does 20 meters as well.  This is unlike the R6000 which does 20 but not 40-meters.

As of 15:14 UTC, Cornelius Island was officially activated and became RI-026S. And as of 16:00:00 UTC they have moved to 14.260 MHz.

Tune in tomorrow for an activation of Rabbit Island (not qualified but hopefully soon to be RI027S).  Will start on 40m and move to 20m starting about 14:00 UTC.

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Jim, KA1ZOU, on left, Evan, K1GEA, on right. 4BTV on the left, and R6000 on the right

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KA1ZOU, Jim, at the controls

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Operating at the edge of the water is the key — the antennas should be less than 1/2 wave from the water’s edge

Propagation is NOT stellar for sure, but the pileups are persistent:

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As the winds were picking up, operation was shut down around 2 PM.  But not before putting 63 40-meter QSOs in the log along with 78 20-meter QSOs.

W1SYE at Fox Island on Air: 14.262

After a few rig hiccups, W1SYE is on the air at Fox Island, soon to be RI025S, and beginning to work their pileup.  Close to this author’s location, their signal is booming, and I can’t help but notice that I am not hearing the stations they are working.  So their salt-water vertical is doing a wonderful job.  They have worked at least one DX entity and many US stations so far.

From US Islands Website:

Fox RI025 Narragansett Bay Washington NA-031 -Not yet qualified

Above Video taken by David Brown — many thanks Dave!

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2m White Stick, Vertical, and shack. Pete, W1LAB, taking some photos.

At the desk, John, K1JSM, and Jim, KA1ZOU. Pete, W1LAB standing. (Evan taking photos)

At the desk, John, K1JSM, and Jim, KA1ZOU. Pete, W1LAB standing. (Evan taking photos)

As of 14:43 UTC, the activation is official, they are now RI025S

Fox Island Activation Coming July 16

The NCRC intrepid activation crew will be activating Fox Island, (US Islands RI025S once qualified).  This is a rare/unique opportunity, as the island is now owned by a corporation and visitors are not allowed.  Through good fortune and our ability to show a series of successful activations in the past two years, Jim, KA1ZOU, was able to secure one time permission to activate the island.

Expect the gang to be on the air by 10 AM local time and to remain until at least 2 PM (or later if band conditions support it).  Check around 14.260-14.265 MHz, using callsign W1SYE.

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