FR/RE-004 and FR/RE-005

I am back on Reunion Island.
Planning for tomorrow 2 easy summits in a row RE-004 and RE-005 if weather allows (some intermitted rain is forecasted).
As usual will try 20 and 15m on ssb.
Hope it works but otherwise, for the first time, the backup solution is to switch to ft8.

73 Thomas


Sorry activation reported
On the summits very cloudy and currently raining

73 Thomas


Rescheduled for tomorrow Friday May 31st.
Same timing, frequencies and modes.

73 Thomas

Good luck tomorrow Thomas - I’ll be on a summit at the same time, perhaps we can manage an S2S if the conditions are good to us. Do you also have 40m as at your start time, the MUF is often under 14MHz.

73 Ed DD5LP.

Hello Ed
Yes I may use 40m too but never had much luck with from here. If I manage that I would be around 7.060-lsb.

73 Thomas F4HPX

Hello Thomas,
I think propagation is probably not good enough as it’s a 8800 km path, but who knows - I’ll have 40 & 20m available.I’m hoping for long path into VK from 0515 UTC for about 30 minutes and after that I’ll be looking South East !

Indeed it was difficult.
I could make only VK and ZS on SSB. I was too weak for european stations although I was hearing many of them quite well.

73 Thomas

Sorry Thomas,
I had to curtail my activation early and rescue my antenna system from the farmer who was intent on cutting the grass with his giant tractor in his field! Actually he was very polite about it but his early start meant an early close down for me before your first spot on SOTAWatch. Well done on the VK contact - that’s a reasonable haul from there.

73 Ed.

Hi Ed
Well I did not have issues with the farmers at that altitude but my gear was giving me lot of headache. SLAB battery died after 5 minutes of use and later on the drivers in laptop to communicate with radio and audio interface stopped responding…
Next time will prepare better….
Maybe will do another summit before flying back home.

73 Thomas

Hi Thomas,
Sorry to hear of the problems at your end. Yes my summit was a very easy one to get to as I needed to be there by 0500 UTC to catch the long path window to Australia - which never worked unfortunately.

On the driver problem - I presume this is a USB connection between PC and rig? Often switching the physical port the USB cable is plugged into the PC on will force a re-install of the drivers and things start working again.

I hope you do get another chance to get out and if so, I’ll make the effort from this side to get to a better summit to try to work you from.

73 Ed.

This is Surface Pro with external hub. I had to “reinstall” driver and reboot machine to find workaround otherwise windows was saying a copy is already in memory…
I managed 6 QSOs from 1st and only 2 from second summit. But at least did something to not say I lost my journey :sweat_smile:
Later I discovered that laptop is very sensitive to RF if too close to the rig (even @ 3W) and was continuing to break the connection. After increasing distance this seems to solve the problem. Maybe also a quality of my cheap cables used.
73 Thomas

RF in USB cables can be problematic in portable gear - addition of clip on ferrites of the correct “mix” for the frequency can help, as can specific in-line filter boards but I have found the best solution to be to try various cables and cable lengths until one that isn’t affected is found.
With only one physical USB port on the tablet, removes the option simply swap ports unfortunately. so a re-install (from drivers already on the disk) is often the only option, as you have found.

73 Ed.