A visit to the Polish VP2V DXpedition

Discussion in 'The DX Zone' started by K6TOP, Mar 25, 2014.

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  1. K6TOP

    K6TOP Ham Member QRZ Page

    The British Virgin Islands (VP2V) are a group dozen or so small Caribbean islands located 100 miles East of
    Puerto Rico. The largest and most populous of the BVIs is Tortola, where the capital of Roadtown is
    located. 20 miles north of Tortola is the island of Anegada, the second largest of the BVIs - and the
    least populated. It is a low, flat coral island, with a population of about 200.

    I had an opportunity to visit the Polish DXpedition to Anegada, British Virgin Islands on March 23, while I was
    on a sailing vacation there. The team is currently active until April 1st.

    I have been traveling to the BVIs for 20+ years to vacation and sail. I often bring the rig and operate
    as VP2V/K6TOP. in the 2013 ARRL 10M contest, my wife's cousin Robert (W6RWC) and I operated
    from Anegada and made some 2300 QSOs.

    Upon learning that I would be on Anegada at the same time as the Polish DXpedition, I emailed Janusz,
    SP9FIH and asked him if I could stop by for a visit and meet the team. Janusz' response was very
    positive. He said that he and several of the team members had worked me both in the contest (as VP2VGG)
    or on one of my many vacations there (as VP2V/K6TOP) and would like to meet me.

    On March 23, 2014 I arrived at Anegada anchorage on my 47' sailboat after a 2 hour sail from Virgin
    Gorda. After securing the boat on anchor at Setting Point on the southwest side of the island, I rented a car
    and drove to the Loblolly Beach Cottages on the northeast side of the island.

    There I was met by Janusz SP9FIH and Kazik SP6CIK, who proved to be gracious hosts. They have rented 3
    cottages on the sand dunes above the beach. What a great location! The site faces north and overlooks the
    sea about 25 meters away. They have a clear saltwater horizon from the NW (towards NA and over the pole
    to JA) around to the the ENE (to EU).

    The antennas include a multi-band wire spider beam up 10 meters overlooking the beach and an HF9V multi-
    band trap vertical 25 meters from the water. The remainder of the antennas are vertically oriented and
    located on the beach near the water's edge.

    The antennas were designed by the team specifically for DXpedtioning:
    - 40meters: a two element vertical "C-beam" consisting of a driven element and a director
    - 80 meter: vertical (also operates on 30meters)
    - 10/15/17: vertical nested wire beam (like a spider beam, but oriented vertically)
    - 12/15/20: vertical nested wire beam
    - 160M: loaded vertical and 200M beverage for RX

    After a tour of the antenna farm I met the rest of the Polish VP2V team: Leszek SP6CIK, Robert SP9WZS and
    Bogdon SP2FUD.

    The plan is to keep 4 stations on the air during the day and 2 at night. They have 4 stations, Acom and
    Elecraft amps, two K3s and among other gear. With no set operator schedule, Kazik says "the guys just
    grab an unused coax to an antenna and start operating. They have to be quick about it, though!" .

    160m has been troublesome with heavy QRN during the rainstorms at night. The Beverage has been disappointing in reducing the QRN. The 40M vertical C-beam has been working great -even when barefoot with 80 watts they have been told they are very strong into NA and EU. Janusz says "Overall propagation has been very good" and they have made 15K QSOs in just 4 days.

    Most of the team are experienced DXpeditioners. "There are many DXpedition profiles" KaziK
    explained. "They range from single-suitcase or backpack expedtions all the way to the hundred thousand dollar high-profile expeditions like FT5K. Ours is someswhere in the middle. We wish to de-emphasize filling of band-slot QSOs". There are no 'leaderboards' for this operation. The team hopes to fufill VP2V demand from
    little-pistol stations as well as big-guns and also demand from Japan, Asia and the Pacific.

    After sharing a beer, I reluctantly had to leave to pick up my wife and guests who were enjoying a swim at
    a nearby beach 1/2 mile from the operation. The Polish team were true ambassadors of the hobby and I
    thoroughly enjoyed meeting them.

    That evening back on the boat I worked VP2V/SP9WZS on 18MHz CW. My report sent was

    "UR 599, Robert. TU for the beer, 73."

    Some pics below:

    The view from the cottages

    The cottages:

    Spider beam

    40M 2-el C-beam and 10/15/17 nested wire beam on the beach

    More antennas

    Right to left:
    SP9AXW Kazik, SP6CIK Leszek, K6TOP Kevin, SP9WZS Robert, SP2FUD Bogdon


  2. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey Kevin, great write-up and pix, thanks for posting. Best wishes to the dxpedition. Cliff
  3. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, great write-up. Thanks!

    Do I have your permission to use this as an article in my club newsletter?
  4. K6TOP

    K6TOP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Cliff, Ron - thanks for the nice comments. And no problem to use it in the newsletter, Ron.

  5. KD2BBC

    KD2BBC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Congratulations for your visit, they are very polite radio operators... I wish them all the BEST, i worked them at home and also from my mobile station with very good report.
    way to go and 73's Congrats once again to all the Team Players.
  6. N4UFO

    N4UFO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great bunch of guys, obviously... thanks, Kevin, for allowing us to 'visit' with you. And thanks to the guys for entity number 90 on 160m! After reading your post, I am feeling even more lucky to have gotten in the log. :D

    73, Kevin N4UFO
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