Pin collection


COTA - SOTA etc.

Hartwig Kauschat
Thürachstrasse 26a
79189 Bad Krozingen


           IOTA AF 027

WLOTA 0376


via DARC bureau or direct.

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: QSL-Policy

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.

From  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.

It's 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 down.

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 DL.

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.

Phill (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.

The trip 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 this time...

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...

my 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

2012 ham-radio activity in the school of Bruno - the local TV-station is there...

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 (2013)

me with my luggage prior departure (2012)