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E51RAT South Cook Islands flag South Cook Islands

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Kia Orana from the Cook Islands

E51RAT

Operator:  Steve Bloom also KL7SB

Operating the CQ WW CW Contest AND IARU from Paradise

Just for fun I decided to operate the CQ WW CW Contest from a new location:  Rarotonga (IOTA OC-013) in the Cook Islands.

Operating here is rather different!  First, it is a LOT warmer and a lot more humid than Alaska -- daytimes have been close to 90F with 80 to 100% humidity.  It cools off a bit at night to the upper 70s but still very humid.  Couple that with radios and amplifiers generating heat -- and NO air conditioning -- operating here puts you in the "hot seat" in more senses that one!

For contesting, operating presents unusual challenges . . . .   the pile-ups are so fierce that the contact rate drops of dramatically as the pile up grows -- and if someone spots you on the cluster -- it is difficult to pick out anything in the bedlam that ensues-- even for an experienced contester!  You would think an exotic location would be a REAL asset in a contest -- well, maybe not -- we'll see indecision

I was lucky enough to be able to use the station at E51AND, augmented with a Micro Keyer, so I am QRV with an Icom 756 Pro, an Ameritron AL-1200 amplifier, and a Palstar AT-Auto Tuner.  Antennas include a 5 element long boom yagi for 20m at 70 feet; a Tennadyne T7 Log Peridic for 17 through 10 meters at 80 feet; and for the low bands: a ZeroFive 43' vertical with an extensive ground radial system; AlphaDelta DX-A slopers for 40, 80 and 160, and a OCF dipole at 70 feet cut for 80 meters.  Here are a few pictures of the set up. 

This is me, Steve at the beginning of the contest -- still looking pretty fresh though it was 90 degrees and "sticky"!

 . . .  . .  .   and a few view of the antennas -- first looking SW

Looking SW -- the wire antennas are invisible against the sky

 

 . . . . . . .  . And looking NW

And a gorgeous Rarotonga sunset on November 29th. . . .  .

 

6245301 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:26:09, 5268 bytes

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