Wednesday, October 31, 2007

E51 Planning

Ron and I have been planning this trip since early in 2007. With the help of Victor, E51CG, we obtained our E51 licenses several months ago. Visitors are limited to 3-letter call signs, so we opted for E51MMM and E51NNN, as those seemed best for our planned concentration on CW.

Here is the run down on our two stations: Elecraft K2 and Icom IC 7000. Antennas will be "verticals on the beach" - one Force 12 Sigma 5, two Force 12 Sigma 40XK's fed through a Comtek phasing box, 160m inverted L, 80m vertical, two beverages and one pennant antenna. The 160m and 80m antennas will be held aloft on 60 ft. telescoping fiberglass poles. Our QTH is the Kii Kii Motel on the north shore of Rarotonga, the main island of the Cooks. The Kii Kii, which comes highly recommended, has been the home of many DXpeditions to Rarotonga.

Logistics: Ron and I will each be carrying all the gear with us. Nothing has been shipped in advance. In addition to our carry-on bags, each of us will check through four pieces of luggage. Weight limits have been carefully checked with the airlines - United and Air NZ - and we are expecting to pay a reasonable amount for excess weight.

Victor, E51CG, Bob, W7YAQ, and Bill, N7OU have all been invaluable in answering our many questions about operating from Rarotonga. Victor lives there, and Bob and Bill have recently operated from there.

Time to departure: 11 days and counting!

73, George, K5KG