HB9HFN - Amateur Radio Station

CÚdric Baechler

1999 Pacific DXpedition: Wallis and Futuna

23 February - 8 March 1999


Bulletin #1 (30-Sep-1998)
Bulletin #2 (31-Dec-1998)
Bulletin #3 (18-Feb-1999)
Bulletin #4 (11-Mar-1999)

Bulletin #4 (11-Mar-1999)

Hello all,
Now that I have a little bit recovered from the jet lag, it's time to relate the highlights of my DXpedition on Wallis, OC-054.

Just after my arrival on Wallis, I erected the vertical antenna AP8 und needed only 2 times to take down the antenna to adjust it for the different bands. Soon after I cq'ed and the first pile-ups could grew up. The FinnFet linear worked well for the first 300 qso until I forgot to switch it to the right band position and blew up one of the MOSFET transistor without any warning and only 20 w input :-( I thought it had some kind of high SWR or overheating protection! It meant that from now I had to live with only 100w.

By chance it was the only damage I had during my stay on Wallis.

I also decided to cancel any operation on the 160m band as there were no support around the hotel and I had not enough coax to reach the next coconut tree. With 100w it would have been also very difficult...

The next problem was RTTY: the soundcard of the portable PC could not be configured ok with the RTTY program (BTL). I heard sound from the PC speakers but nothing was decoded by the program. Probably the soundcard is not 100% Soundblaster compatible... 1. Lesson: test the RTTY program with the PC you'll take with you.

The pile-up were huge the first days and I must admire the discipline of the japanese operators. If you say EU they will all stand by, if you say JA1ABC and nobody comes back it means you did an error! The americans are less disciplined but it's still ok. The worst are always the europeans. I know that my signal was weak but when I came back to a specific callsign, everybody else answered... By spreading up the pile-up I could achieve better results. But it was a great pain... The worst case was a PT7xx that call me several minutes on 40m during an european opening and prevented me from working the EU stations even if after QSO I called "qrz eu". At last I gave him something like "PT7xx ur lid ur lid nw qsy" and he still came back one time with "599". Not to my great surprise he was a dupe and I didn't log him...

The propagation was really not on my side with bad A indices that prevent me to work a lot of western Europe stations where the short path goes exactly thru the north pole. Only the long path was reliable. Estearn and Northern Europe was luckier with qso up to 28 Mhz.

Atfer about two weeks on Wallis I ended with 7554 QSOs, among these, 25% were with european stations. You can see the statistics at http://www.qsl.net/hb9hfn/pacific_99_stats.html

I've also put the final logs at http://www.qsl.net/hb9hfn/log/fw_search.html

After one discussion with the chief of the "Service des Postes et telecommunications" of Wallis and Futuna, I've updated the homepage where you can find information about how to obtain a ham radio license: http://www.qsl.net/hb9hfn/pacific_99_license.html

Besides ham radio I took time to visit the island. The landscape is wonderful and the people are very welcoming. I think I was the only tourist on the island. There are a lot of french people but they are all either teachers or representatives of the french governement as Wallis and Futuna is a french territory like New Caledonia or french Polynesia.

Pictures and more informations about Wallis and Futuna will follow later on my homepage.

73, Cedric HB9HFN, FW5FN
ex: 4X/HB9HFN, A35FN, 5W0FN

Bulletin #3 (18-Feb-1999)

Dear OMs,

It's just a few days before I'll leave for Wallis Isl. (IOTA: OC-054). So far everything is ok and I'm ready to have fun and hearing you in the pile-ups. I'll be QRV from Feb 23th to Mar 8th with verticals, dipoles and a PA.

It's foreseen that I'll post the log during the DXpedition every 3-4 days on my Web page at http://www.qsl.net/hb9hfn/log/fw_search.html

For important communications I'll be locally reachable via E-mail at the address: mailto:hb9hfn@iname.com (but don't expect an answer!).

QSL cards will be available via the bureau (you can fill up your request at http://www.qsl.net/hb9hfn/log/fw_search.html#request ) or direct with a SAE
(Self addressed envelopes) and the necessary return postage. I will print a beautiful color QSL and I would be very thankful to receive a small donation with your card to help me with the DXpedition costs. SAE with insufficient return postage will be answered via the bureau.

What I need for a letter up to 20 gramms from Switzerland is:

To Overseas:
  1 US$ or 1 IRC for white return envelopes (without 'Air mail'
  indication, priority B).
  2 US$ or 2 IRC for air-mail return envelopes (with indication
  'Air mail', priority A).

    -> Experiences have shown that a letter without the 'Air
    mail' indication took only 2-3 days more than the one with
    the 'Air mail' indication to reach its final destination!

To Europe:
    1 US$ or 1 IRC for any envelopes.

Note that I prefer to receive US$ instead of IRCs!

My address:
    Cedric Baechler
    Mettetlet 26
    CH-1763 Granges-Paccot

More info at http://www.qsl.net/hb9hfn/

73, Cedric HB9HFN, FW5FN

Bulletin #2 (31-Dec-1998)


Today I received by E-mail a copy of the ham license from the Wallis PTT and was given the callsign FW5FN.

73 and happy new year,
Cedric HB9HFN

Bulletin #1 (30-Sep-1998)


After my successful (from my point of view!) DXpedition in A3 and 5W last february where I had a lot of fun, I'm already preparing the next one. It'll be Wallis and Futuna (FW) next February/March (23 Feb - 8 Mar 1999). Again I'll be QRV especially for Europe, mostly in CW, from 1.8 to 28 MHz.

This will be a one man DXpedition unless someone with DX/contest experience is interested to come with me. Don't hesitate to contact me if interested.

I've put up a homepage at http://www.qsl.net/hb9hfn/pacific99.html where you can find more info (geography, schedules, material, logs, qsl, flight plan) about the DXpedition.

cu in the pileups...

73, Cedric HB9HFN
ex A35FN, 5W0FN

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Last modification: 08.08.2003