Tuesday, September 24, 2019

VERON HF day - DP1POL/DP0GVN presentation

Trophy giving: left to right: PE4BAS Bas 2nd place,
PA0AGF Remy 3rd place. PA0Q Hans, PA9M Marcel organisation
I've been attending the VERON HF day in Apeldoorn last weekend. Not only I got my 2nd place trophy in the LOW PWR SSB section of the PACC 2019 prize, there was also a presentation from Felix DL5XL who has been operating from the German antarctica research base Neumayer II and III. I did not stay the whole day as for me personally the presentation was the main reason I got there after all. It was a 2 hour drive to and 2 hours from to get home again but it was well worth it.

Last year I met Bert PA1B, this year I met PF5T Frank unexpectedly. It's always fun to meet an enthousiastic HAM. Frank was there together with PD2PC Patrick to collect his trophy as well.  Frank is most times QRP and portable in contests with his own call. So it's always fun to talk to him. I certainly have respect for his contest working style as it takes something from the operator.


Well, back to the antarctica presentation. It was one of  the most interesting presentations I've seen till now. First part was about the history of the German research station.
Very interesting to see the development they made from a underground tube base to a building on hydraulic columns. The station is built on a ice platform of 200m thick and not on solid rock like other stations. Supplies and travels are all going from Novolazarevskaya station which is Russian.

Information website: https://www.awi.de/en/expedition/stations/neumayer-station-iii.html

The second part was the most interesting. Going through the history of German amateurradio operators active from Neumayer and from the east-German (DDR) antarctic research station Georg Forster. After some years without any activity Felix was assigned to a radio operator job. First with his personal callsign DP1POL and later also with the callsign DP0GVN. Felix told he was trying to use the stations radio R&S equipment first with not much success. Later he brought decent amateurradio gear. The main antenna is a broadband dipole which is not efficient at all but works on all bands. They had a beam up for one year but it couldn't stand the extreme elements on the south pole. Some interesting facts I noticed; that it is difficult to operate from the south pole. Often there are no conditions at all. Best band is most times 30m (CW). A few weeks a year, or actually a few days, 160m operation is possible. Felix uses a dipole directly on the snow. Snow seems to be a isolator, so his dipole is about 200m above sea level. Seems to be working fine. We suggested forming a directional antenna that way, in theory that is possible. But don't forget you need a huge area to make such a thing and imagine there are more people and transport around the station that are not radio minded at all. Felix is not the only one operating from Neumayer station, there are some other operators using DP0GVN and even DP0GVN/P !

However, I worked Felix with his callsign DP1POL in 2014. I remember it well as it was during the PACC 2014 contest. I doubt Felix was aware of the contest? But I remember he was calling above 14.300MHz USB and had a big signal of at least S9. Most unusual...although propagation was a lot better as it is this year of course. This QSO made this all very special in the end...

Felix also showed something I was not aware of. It's a propagation research tool that is also connected to the Neumayer WSPR station DP0GVN.

See: https://wsprlive.net/

This site is not dependable from the unreliable wsprnet.org database but does use a own number of stations contributing to this site. Felix showed us a nice example how to see best times to work DP0GVN from the Netherlands.

2 comments:

  1. What an interesting post! You were lucky to be able to go to that presentation. One year, I worked SSB with DP0GVN and the /P version on the same day! The Polarstern ship-based research now underway is getting a lot of media coverage, and it's nice to show the kids the WSPR spots on the map, and then read about it in 'New Scientist', or hear about it on the BBC!

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    Replies
    1. Hello John, since the Polarstern is on a expedition they do not have a supply ship for the research station. Felix told us. Now they need to find to find another solution to get new supplies like diesel oil. 73, Bas

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Thanks for your comment. Bedankt voor je reactie. 73, Bas