Our good friend and long time PJ2T QSL Manager Scott Lehman, N9AG, became a Silent Key on July 19, 2011. We will forever be indebted to Scott for his grace, patience, and professionalism in handling the PJ2T cards, particularly including the 10-10-10 onslaught last fall. Scott never said "No," to anything that anyone ever asked of him. In addition, he was a crack top contest and DX operator, most often heard from J6DX and N8NR. We will miss him, but will never forget him. W3HNK has graciously agreed to take over the PJ2T QSLing duties.
PJ2T, located at our club's permanent QTH called "Signal Point," is situated on half an acre of oceanfront property within the grounds of what used to be called the Coral Cliff Hotel, formerly owned by PJ9EE, Mr. Chet Brandon. This was the site of the famous Radioteam Finland PJ9W contest operations in 1990. The QTH was previously owned by W1BIH (SK), and has played host to winning contest operations since 1968.
With towers of 100, 80, and 54 feet, stacked monobanders on 10, multiple long-boom monoband yagis on 15 and 20, a 40 yagi at 107 feet, and a hilltop European tribander, PJ2T can split power and simultaneously beam toward Europe and the U.S. for contest operation. Wire beams, Beverage antennas, flags, and an RX four square serve on the low bands, and indoors are four fully equipped stations with desktop computers, Writelog, an Ethernet LAN, and DSL Internet connectivity. The station is located on the southwest coast in the "sticks" about 45 minutes from town, so it's an electrically quiet location, good for hamming and so dark that the stars are incredible.
Our "CCC" contesting club is a group of 24 guys who pool our resources to maintain and constantly improve the station, and we contest under the PJ2T callsign whenever we can get enough operators to go to Curacao. We've learned in our eleven years of operation there that by far the biggest challenge is dealing with the oceanside tropical climate, where the salt eats almost all forms of metal, and the heat and humidity take out computers, linears, and amps mercilessly. We had to rebuild almost all of the antennas in 2006-07 and believe now that we have perfected our salt-proofing techniques. In addition, we scrape and repaint the two Rohn steel towers top to bottom nearly every six months with epoxy paint. Inside, we've found by trial and error that FT-1000s and FT-2000s survive the extreme heat and humidity better than anything else on the market and our six new Dell 560 Inspiron slim Windows 7 PCs are performing flawlessly thus far.
We've posted quite a few World # 1 wins in ARRL DX, CQWW, and WPX contests, as well as in 10 meter and 160 events. Our members are overwhelmingly CW types, but our contest wins are evenly distributed across both phone and CW. The statisticians tell us that PJ2T has been the most-logged callsign in all of ham radio for the past nine years. We aren't the biggest, best, or loudest contest station on the DX side, but we're ALWAYS on in all of the major contests.
Propagation from Curacao is almost magical. Located at 12 degrees north latitude, within the well-documented "equatorial anomaly" of 10 to 15 degrees above the equator, this is one of the best contesting locations in the world, especially for the ARRL DX contests.
Curacao has an advanced infrastructure with good roads, reliable power, safe tap water, top notch medical care, great shopping, reasonable prices, broad availability of goods in stores, high speed Internet and digital TV connectivity almost everywhere, and 130,000 incredibly friendly, intelligent, and welcoming people. Nearly everybody speaks at least three languages, the University of the Netherlands Antilles offers many advanced technical degree programs, we have a large and mature commercial seaport and drydock, and the longest airport runway in the Caribbean at 11,500 feet. American Airlines serves Curacao with two non-stop 737s daily to Miami, and there's daily non-stop air service to Europe and to many other destinations within the region.
If you would like to hear about becoming a CCC member, or would like to visit the QTH as part of a PJ2T contest team member, please contact me at email@example.com.
When the CCC club is not using the QTH it is available for your use. See http://www.pj2t.org for more information or E-mail me, Geoff Howard, W0CG/7, firstname.lastname@example.org. I serve as rental coordinator for CCC.
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