2016 A25MC

I hope the attached photos do not make this email too large for your email system!

WP_20160313_09_21_47_ProThe first one is of the rig – an Elecraft K2 (on loan from Mark, G4MEM) with MFJ-993B Auto ATU, laptop with N1MM+ and Winkeyer USB.

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This one is of the SOTABEAMS 10m (33ft) mast in place on the balcony and guyed, with Double Rainbow in the background…..the rain that evening became torrential, so I was unable to get the aerial up!

WP_20160314_17_24_31_ProThe other shows the aerial up at The Capital Guesthouse, Gaborone.  The aerial was a 132ft doublet (fed with 450 ohm balanced feeder).  The Auto ATU would tune it fine on all bands from 80m to 10m.

I made 104 QSOs in the contest – it was pretty hard work being so far from the centres of activity, and conditions had been much better in the days before the contest.

Keeping non-BERU callers away was particularly hard work…..on Brazilian was even calling CQ BERU…trying to get in on the act!

I managed to take everything within my standard baggage allowance, plus the items required for work!  Radio and Power supply were in hand luggage, plus laptop in a separate laptop bag, which BA allows.  Air Botswana do not allow more than one hand luggage item, but this was not challenged – but the bigger hand luggage bag was loaded onto the plane from the tarmac – which is always the case as the lockers in the ATR-42 are very small.  I did sacrifice taking a paddle though, as my check-in bag was at the weight limit, and hand luggage was also at the limit for Air Botswana.

Anyhow, it was a successful trip work-wise, but I did not get on the air as much as I had hoped.  One night there was an amazing lightning storm for the whole evening, with extremely rain eventually , but the lightning went on for hours, so I did not do any radio that night – just got soaked running from a restaurant to the car after a very nice meal!

So, keep up the good work in promoting this wonderful contest, and maybe I will be visiting some other customer in a rare Commonwealth country in the future!  If not, then I will be enjoying the contest from G.

Vy 73,

Mark, G4RCD, A25MC.

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