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Spider Beam Antennas

Roberston Island, Pelsaert Group, VK6IOA January 2010

The initial planning was for us to head to Robertson island in the Pelsaert or southern group of islands in the Abrolhous, however, in the week before heading out, Peter, the skipper of C’est La Vie, proposed that we would head instead to the Wallabi group to the north, as that was where his cabin was and he needed to do some work on it. However, the day before we were due to go out, he had to change the plans, as the weather was deteriorating and the forecast was for 80 Kkph plus winds over the weekend, so he revereted to Robertson Island as it is closer to Geraldton.

It was of course, another interesting IOTA Activation. As always, not as many contacts as we would have liked, with the 3200 odd over the 4 days, but the higher bands were just not active, and daytime was as if someone switched off everything for quite a few hours. The loss of one transceiver early into the second day when my 6 week old IC7000 let the smoke out of the back slowed us down a little, but in reality the propagation was the main factor. (the IC7000 has been repaired under warranty, thanks to Andrews Communications in Sydney, and they advised that it was the driver stage that failed)

Bruce, KD6WW, got going on 40m early on CW, and was in effect the backbone of the operation, leaving Nigel, VK6NI, and myself, VK6YS, to work around other bands and antennas as bands showed openings.

Our antenna systems were as planned, with the Force12 40XK vertical dipole on 40m for the majority of the time, an inverted V dipole supported at around 8 metres for 30 metres, and the Spiderbeam on 20/17/15. With the winds we experienced on the first 3 days, we were not game to put the Spiderbeam up any more than about 4 metres up, but it was on the small wharf which in effect gave another 1.5 to 2 metres above the water. Basically though, if we could hear stations, we could work them.

Huts at low tide Operating huts at low tide Huts at high tide hightide moonlight the camp Spiderbeam on Wharf spiderbeam 40XK and Spider Eagle nest Sooty Tern

Pics in order: 1.Huts at low tide, 2.Low tide, 3.Huts at high tide, 4.High tide, 5.Moonlight shot, 6.Spiderbeam on wharf, 7.Spiderbeam again, 8.40XK, hut and Spiderbeam, 9.Nigel next to Osprey nest, 10.Sooty Tern pic used for QSL card

QSL only to VK6YS or VK6NI

Robertson Island Location

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