E6GG : Niue : September 2015.
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The E6GG team (G3BJ, G3SVL, G4TSH, G3WPH, G3WGN, G4JKS and G3TXF) are welcomed on arrival by Miss Niue. Air New Zealand runs two flights per week for the three and a half hour trip from Auckland out to the Pacific island of Niue.
Baggage trolleys galore as the E6GG team makes the short journey across the road from the Novotel into Auckland Airport. Flight NZ784 (AKL-IUE A320 ZK-OKG) landed on Niue in a heavy rain shower.
The island of Niue rises up out of the sea. There are hardly any beaches, just varying height cliff drops into the Pacific Ocean. Chris G3SVL, Mike G3WPH, David G3WGN, Don G3BJ, Hilary G4JKS and Justin G4TSH at the site of the four E6GG stations.
Amateur Radio licences are issued by Telecom Niue which has a small office in Alofi, the main town on Niue. E6GG team accommodation was a short up-hill drive away from the four operating stations. Five-star it was not!
Nine separate vertical supports were used to separate antennas for nine bands. The 40m vertical was run up against the side of a palm-tree. High horizontal dipoles were used for the HF bands, with verticals for 40m/80m/160m.
Uploading the E6GG log to both Club Log and LoTW had to be done from an Internet cafe in town, involving a 25 mile round-trip. One of the two shacks : David G3WGN, Chris G3SVL, Hilary G4JKS and Justin G4TSH. There were three K3s and one K3S.
Chris G3SVL operates E6GG on RTTY on 17m, using an Elecraft K3 and KPA-500. There were three KPA-500 amps at E6GG. Chris G3SVL collects supplies of bottled water from the one supermarket in main town of Alofi.
The three KPA-500s were supplemented (for a bit more umph on 160m) by an SPE 1.3 Expert amp kindly loaned by Olof G0CKV. Justin G4TSH samples a local beer : DB Draught. Although in the view of the beer drinkers, the brew was distinctly lacking in dBs!
Our host Frank with Don G3BJ. Frank had kindly arranged for our use of the Mutalau village hall for our operating and eating areas. Justin G4TSH, David G3WGN and Mike G3WPH at the second of the two two-station shacks (all Elecraft K3/K3S) in use at E6GG.
Justin G4TSH takes a panorama view of the E6GG site with his iPhone just prior to departure. Farewell dinner for the seven members of the E6GG team with the locals who had helped us out with catering during the two weeks.
A farewell to our host Frank, as all the luggage is loaded onto a truck for the ride to the airport. David G3WGN does a baggage count as the various suitcases, ski-bags and carry-ons are prepared for the long journies home.
The rigid vertical lines on the World Map in Win-Test confirm that the E6GG operation included the September 2015 Equinox. "Machette Mike" G3WPH prepares to hack away at the undergrowth to ease the installation of the numerous antennas.
Hilary G4JKS and Justin G4TSH share a joke at the one main cafe in Alofi : the Crazy Uga. Tsumani evacuation route signs and tsunami shelters are dotted all around the Pacific island of Niue.
Six of the E6GG team in the grounds in front of the village hall at Mutalau. The Niue flag is bright yellow with a facsmile of the Union Jack in the top left corner.
Iced coffees all round at the Crazy Uga café : Mike G3WPH, David G3WGN, Chris G3SVL, our host Frank and Justin G4TSH. Nigel G3TXF operating a K3S. Does the K3S work better in CW pile-ups than earlier K3s? Subjectively the answer is "definitely yes"!
Chris G3SVL and Don G3BJ working on antennas at E6GG. Installing the 160m vertical. The top loading of the Top Band vertical was in a tee. Don G3BJ and Justin G4TSH adding more radials to the 80m vertical.
Rocky coves, cavans and sheer cliffs are more common on Niue than beaches. Radials at the base of the 80m vertical. Operation on 160m, 80m and 40m and 30m was only on CW.
Mutalau is the most northerly village on Niue and as such provides the best short-path sea-path take-off for Europe. Avid readers of "Practical Wireless" (edited by top DXer Don G3XTT) are to be found in exotic DX locations around the world!
Whale watchers : Don G3BJ, Mike G3WPH, Chris G3SVL, Justin G4TSH and Hilary G4JKS. Numerous whales regularly pass close to the shore on Niue. From the E6GG location we saw whales passing on several occasions.
"No more photos, please" says Mike G3WPH while boarding the Air New Zealand flight (A320 ZK-OJG) back to Auckland. Justin G4TSH in the departure lounge at Alofi airport with a souvenir photo of the Niue coastline.
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