QSL-Info: via DARC bureau
Because of many cards
returned in the past, I only will answer incoming QSLs (direct
or via bureau). The conditions regarding QSLs can be found here:
Mayotte, located between Mosambik and Madagaskar, is a French
overseas department since March 31st, 2011 - like
Guadeloupe (FG), Martinique (FM), French Guyana (FG), St. Pierre et
Miquelon (FP) and Réunion
(FR). The island is about 375 km² big and had in 2007 about 187.000
inhabitants. The capital Mamoudzou is located on the biggest island Grande Terre,
whereas the international airport Dzaoudzi is located on the smaller
island Petite Terre.
My friend DH1BL Bruno of Freiburg
has taken over in 2010 a 4 years' assignment at a school on Mayotte
and is active under his call FH4VOS. He invited me to visit him on the
island, which of course I appreciated very much.
The QTH of
Bruno is located in the center of the main island about 120m asl. Of
course I wanted to use my stay on the island also for amateur radio -
sitting one more time on the other side of the pile-up. The station of
Bruno consists of a 5-band-Spiderbeam for 10 to 20m.
I intented to
use my travel-equipment IC7000, linked to HamRadioDeluxe and
DigitalMaster 780 as I wanted to be QRV in DigiModes as well. To build
up a 40m Triple Leg, I took with me a 10m aluminium mast with a
Spiderbeam 12m fiberglass mast as extension.
After a long and tiring journey from Basel over Amsterdam and Nairobi
I reached Mayotte on March 20th 2012 - without any luggage - this one was
heading on to the next stop of the aircraft in Moroni, Comores. So I
stood there without any clothes and radio equipment... By luck my 3
luggages were sent back to Mayotte the same evening by another airline
and I was "complete".
In the first night I tried
ot for the first time PSK31 - FH/DL7BC was on the air. After 11 QSOs
however my IC7000 started to act funny - switching off and on again
automatically. All trials with a different power supply and other
stuff didn't help, so I gave up. By luck I was host of a radio amateur,
so I continued with Bruno's FT920 - but without connection to my
laptop DigiModes were not possible any more. After my return to DL I
found out, that in the original Icom power supply cable the fuse
holder was melting and caused a voltage loss. If I just would have
discovered this earlier...
On March 21st I set
up the 40m Triple Leg, first trials were successful. All in all
however just a few QSOs, even though e.g. one VK station was answering
my CQ call.
With just 100W it was quite
difficult to work simplex, espcially after being spotted on the
cluster. As soon as the pile-up got too big, I started to work split to
keep my calling frequency clear of QRM.
March 23rd on I used the special call TO7BC which had been assigned to
me for 14 days. Expectedly a lot of questions "what country" were
asked - many OM turned their antennas first to the Carribeans, as most
of TO calls are operating from there only.
contest-time - on March 24th/25th the CQ-WPX was on. I was very
disappointed about my result on 20m, just 88 QSOs on this band. Even
stations which I could copy with S9+20dB didn't come back to my call.
On the other side the conditions on 10m were great on my side - 1.212
QSOs were in the log at the end. All in all 1.504 QSOs and about
3.300.000 claimed points were the final result - I had expected
something more than that however.
For March 28th
Bruno had initiated a practical demonstration of amateur radio at his
school. A W3DZZ was hung up for this purpose. As in the morning hours
the conditions for DX were very poor already during the previous days,
we contacted some hams on FR (Réunion) island ans asked them to be on
the air for the big event. It then worked out very fine, and some of
the students could ask their questions to a few FRs and even one 3B8
station. Team member at the school was Phill, FH8NX. Around noon time,
a small team of the local TV statioin dropped in and turned a short
film about the activity. Bruno gave an interview about the project,
and I was asked about my ham activity on Mayotte. In the evening we
were on the air - in the TV news ;-)
As I wanted
to see a little bit of the island, I was not QRV each and every day
Some pictures taken during my sightseeing tours can be seen further
The last station in the 2012 log was RX6CC on
April 4th at 09:00 UTC. The same afternoon we went back to the
neighbouring island Petite Terre, were we met Phill FH8NX for a nice
dinner and overnight stay at his home. On March 7th the nice time on
Mayotte island was over, and back home I went via Nairobi and Paris to
March 25th, 2013 - the
same route as in 2012, landing on 03/26 on Mayotte. This time all my
luggage has been unloaded on the island...
The first QSO was run the same evening with VU3WIJ. This time I was
using my IC746, as the very compact constructed IC7000 becomes very
warm during long-term use. Without any big experience I anyway dared
to work digi modes, mainly PSK31, but FH was also very much required
in RTTY. Again I got a lot of "thanks for the new one...".
On the weekend March 30th/31st I was active again in the CQ-WPX phone
- the target to reach last year's score was missed unfortunately. Only
1239 QSOs compared to 1504 in 2012, and about 1 million points less in
the log - let's see whether it will be enough to defend my 2012 first
place in Single Operator All Bands Africa.
For two nights from April 7th to 9th I was changing my QTH to the
beach of Hotel Trévani. A vertical antenna with a total hight of 16m
(52ft) was built up soon, radials buried in the beach and the antenna
connected with a CG-3000 tuner. Scope was to make contacts in the
night hours at least with Europe on 40m and 80m - unfortunately this
did not work out. The frustration was compensated by a lot of QSOs on
20m, mainly JAs and Ks.
(FH8NX) picked me up when arriving on Mayotte, but left after 2 years
the island by end of March. However there's now Jean-Paul FH8PL with
his Mini-Beam on the air from time to time. Of course we went to see
him - and I could exchange a QSL for my first HF-QSO from FH to FH -
tnx for the new one...
Most of what needs to be
seen on Mayotte I have seen already in 2012, that's why I could
concentrate more on ham-radio. Anyway I used the time to climb up
Mount Choungui, the view from its 594 m (1950 ft) over all the island
is really breath-taking. Snorkeling was again a highlight, this time I
could even take some underwater pictures and films of sea turtles.
Unfortunately time was flying also in 2013 - on April 12th I ran the
last QSO with VQ9JC.
back was good and on time - for me, but not for my luggage. The last
of my bags I got only over a week after my return. Air France is now
using small aircrafts between Paris and Basel, which have space
enough for passengers, but obviously not for their luggage... In addition to the
delay - the lock of the last bag had been broken and parts of the
content was missing (everything has been replaced however by Air
France, at least), by luck my IC746 was still in the bag...
One more time QRV from Mayotte - from March 21st till April 5th, 2014
- my call for the complete journey was TO7BC again. This time the
flight was via Paris and Réunion Island (FR) to Mayotte. Unfortunatley
I only had a 4 hours stop-over on Réunion Isl. so there was not enough
time to discover the nice island. One day after my arrival on Mayotte
our friend Pierre-Louis F5NED joined us for two weeks, who then ran
some QSOs under TO5NED in CW and SSB. After two trips to Mayotte, I
could show him some of the most important sightseeing spots. That's
why in the end there was less time for my amateur radio activities.
Including 802 QSOs (only....) in the CQ-WPX, I returned with 2.614
QSOs in my log. Unfortunately the score was not enough to get a plaque
All contacts from my 2012, 2013 and 2014
activities have been uploaded to LoTW.
Some statistics regarding
my ham activities:
The result of my WPX phone 2012 participation
... and in 2013 "Winner Contest Expedition World"
Some impressions from my stay on Mayotte:
Baobab trees on the beach
Mount Choungui in the south of the island
Sunset in Tsingoni
On Mount Choungui
Where do we go next? Unfortunately not...
vertical on the beach of Hotel Trévani (2013)
geckos can be found everywhere ....
... and lizzards, too
maki in the garden...
... and on Bruno
hanging around or flying - Flying Foxes
no beam - just spider ;-)
traces of turtles on the beach
ham-radio activity in the school of Bruno - the local TV-station is
the dream of every island-operator - the call in the sand ;-)
FH8NX Phill, Bruno FH4VOS and me,
FH/DL7BC, FH8PL Jean-Paul and
FH/DL7BC and TO7BC
(2012) Bruno, FH4VOS
me with my luggage prior departure (2012)