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In August 2016, RAC Ontario South Director, Phil McBride, VA3QR/VA3KPJ, was part of a team of 11 operators who embarked on a DXpedition to St. Paul Island  (IOTA NA-094). Phil is currently a member of a team of eight operators for a return to St. Paul Island from July 31 to August 8. 

Phil will be providing regular updates here on the RAC website and on social media via our Twitter and Facebook accounts.  All images are used with his permission. You can find out more about Phil and follow his journey via his blog and Twitter account and also on the CY9C St Paul Island DXpedition website.

CY9C II – Day 2:

Good afternoon! It’s another beautiful day on St. Paul Island. The day started out with a great deal of fog and it took until nearly noon to burn off. It is a pretty stunning thing to see first thing when you get out of your tent. That said, Pat, N2IEN can’t fly in fog – his ship is VFR only, so we had to wait until it burned off to get the rest of our supplies from the mainland.

Connor the Co-pilot

Connor had been chomping at the bit to go flying again, and then Pat came and asked if he’d mind if Connor came along for the ride, and then something that looked like lightning whizzed by me and I realized it was Connor making a bee-line for the chopper.He didn’t make it for the first trip because there was some concern that the fog might roll back in and Pat might be stuck in Dingwall, but then the fog never came back and Connor went for two rides back and forth.

We brought over the rest of the gear, as well as Murray, WA4DAN, who didn’t make it to the island last night. Once here, he went surveying the island to figure out where to put the rest of our antennas.

We’ve since put up a dedicated 20m dipole, and we’ll be putting up a 20m monoband yagi tomorrow for EU/VK/JA/ZL. We’ve got a third station set up, which gives us 17m, 20m and 40m (which might pull duty on 80 and 160 as well). We’ve got one more to deploy and we’ll be at full strength.

The current challenge is that we need to set up antennas far enough away from each other to avoid interaction, but we also need to stay out of Pat’s glidepath to the helipad – we lost the mess tent today when he had to change landing direction due to a change in wind direction – I hadn’t even thought of it when we set up the tents.

Nothing lost, we just moved the mess gear to the inside of the old lightman’s house – it’s still standing…. kinda.

Dan, W4DKS and Will, AA4NC, operating from St Paul Island

I took some time with Bill, K5DHY, to get the logging network up and running and to push the current log out to ClubLog. After that, I got ClubPi working, so we are now pushing out all QSOs to ClubLog in realtime.I’ve never used ClubPi before – we were going to use it for CY9C in 2016, but we couldn’t get data to Atlantic Cove, so I decided to scrub it because I didn’t want half the QSOs being logged live. Now that we’re all in once place, it’s a snap. That said, since I’ve never used it before, I’m keeping a close eye on it, but there still may be hiccups. I apologize in advance if there are any glitches due to my lack of knowledge.

Please note that I’ve pushed the master log (big document) as of 2018-08-01 @ 2103z to ClubLog for processing, and I’m waiting for the merge to happen.

As I type, I’m hearing the sounds of FT8 coming from the operations tent. We’re running in fox and hound mode and it’s working quite well, but we’re running CW and SSB as well. I’m hoping to get on 80 and 160 SSB later myself.

Lee, WW2DX, has the 2m EME array up and I saw him getting the 6m EME array going a short while ago, so I expect he’ll begin his operations soon. You can stay tuned to his Twitter account – I’m sure he’ll be posting updates there.

All in all, things are going quite well thus far. Time to go make dinner 🙂

– 73, Phil McBride, VA3QR/CY9

My RAC Challenge Coin on St. Paul Island