This is Tom, KHØ/KCØW & KHØW on Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands. I have been living on Saipan since 2019. Some of you may have worked me from my home station here on 160 - 6 meters CW/SSB or FT8.
I’m a brand new member of both SOTA & POTA.
After 62,000+ QSOs from my home station on Saipan I have decided to try something new…Activating Summits & Parks… There is only one SOTA Summit on Saipan - KH0/SA-001. The SOTA Summit Database lists it as “Oako Takpochao” but it’s better known as Mt. Tapochau. I will be activating Mt. Tapochau primarily on CW along with a sprinkling of SSB every now and then. Sorry, no FT8. I have decent portable antennas for 80 - 6 meters.
Beaming Australia/New Zealand
Beaming USA/Canada/South America
This will be a historic event because it will be the first time the Mariana Islands have be activated on both SOTA & POTA. I’m (im)patiently waiting for my portable gear to arrive from the mainland. I don’t want to lug my home station gear up Mt.Tapochau. Everything will be all ready to go by mid May. My goal is to put out a strong signal along with excellent receive. Antennas are homebrewed 2 element phased arrays for 20 & 40 meters. Portable verticals for all other bands. Radio is a Yaesu FT-891 at 100 Watts.
Hope to put you in the log from WAAAAY up in the clouds on the top of KH0/SA-001.
I’ve been trying to get you in the log for ages now (loved your postings on QRZ.com’s forum some years back and your subsequent travels) but never succeeded. Keep us updated on your portable setup and hopefully by June we can have a S2S between Saipan and Taiwan.
P.S. and then please do give me your SKCC number as well, because you are going to use a straight key for SOTA activations, right?
Great deal Tom! Was wondering when someone other than myself was going to get out there and activate the CNMI! I’ve done Mt Tapochau before, but way before SOTA. We had to cancel our trip back out to Guam two years ago due to the Covid and had planned on snagging Rota, Tinian, and Aguijan summits as well. The summit on Aguijan might be a bit harder - boat ride over from Tinian and some booniestomping - and hopefully they come back for ya! Recall looking in to seeing what it would take to get up to some of the further islands up north. Needed a contact with a fishing charter, and some kind of permission from the Governor and local Mayors office. Was in email contact with a peak bagging expedition couple years back as they were trying to get up to Pagan and Agrihan, but think some volcano activity nixed their plans.
Look forward to seeing your spots and working you. Have fun!
What a great news! In my last activation I did a S2S with Guam KH2/N7PN SSB and his signals were TERRIFIC, so on CW QRP level you can have fun with activators and chasers from BV, JA, VK, YB and ZL.
I hope someday we can do a S2S QSO.
73 de JP3PPL
There have been tremendous advancements in battery’s over the last 5 years or so. It’s now possible to run 100 Watts for MANY hours. I have a Bioenno Power BLF-1230AS which is feather light and will power a 100 Watt rig for almost 7 hours.
I’ve been to Guam many times for work. I recall reading about Operation: Christmas Drop and how ham radio was used to coordinate. Is that still happening? I’m planning to bring my kit on my next trip and try to get the summits on Guam.