2017 ILLW DA2017LH

2017 ILLW DA2017LH

Hello ham friends,

this Report describes our radio activity at the ILLW 2017 from the Island of Fehmarn.
After more than 6 years of abstinence at the ILLW we felt ready to participate in this event once again. So in April, the search for a suitable and still barely occupied lighthouse began. We had many ideas which went from Denmark to the South of France and V5. Then, however, we as the DR2W contest station team decided to retain our call sign nomenclature which we had used on several events in past.  It was not intended to operate in contest style we did not want to take the route of 864km per direction and approximately 11.5 hours of driving with our trailer for only 1000 QSOs.

After we had found a suitable lighthouse we had to explore the location to make sure that the event would work at this location. Even a good outline about the surrounding is really useful based on the fact that we must be sure that we have enough space to erect the antennas.

After the exploration via different sources of material from online and offline stuff it was clear how the antenna system must arranged. You can’t imagine how many things can go wrong if you don’t discover all details.

But one fact is really clear. It will be difficult to find a replacement or remedy for missing parts. Now Mathias was completely in his element. He put up different Excel files showing the equipment and also information material for the potential participants of the ILLW. He applied for the call sign DA2017LH and organized the S-DOK ILLW17. Mathias rattled also with various radio friends since it was really clear that he won’t have all the equipment in stock which was needed for the event.

After a while and some search activities for operators the ILLW2017 team was fixed. The team consisted of DL3DXX Dietmar, DH3WO Wolfgang, DJ2BQ Ewald and DJ2HD Mathias. Members of our contest group DR2W loaned us as much equipment as needed. Winfried DK9IP lent us an Elecraft K3 and a KPA500. Mathias had his K3 and KPA500 and a lot more. Dietmar brought the ACOM1500. So we were really well equipped. We also had a replacement TRX, which – thanks God – not had to be used.

The next step was to pack the entire equipment in boxes and finally in the trailer. Here, Mathias had already made a good advance and created the entire packing plan. It was packed and even split up in stations and antennas. So all this had its correct place and so there was no need to carry things around. This was very handy and saved us a lot of time by less walking around and searching for the right part.

The plan of our departure was already fixed. We started on Wednesday the 16.08.2017 at 20 UTC. The distance to Fehmarn was 864km. Here we had calculated a driving time of 11.5h which we did not need because Ewald did not make a driver change after two hours as planned. He drove more than four hours at a stretch.

After a short stop for food and drink Mathias went on driving. Ewald and Mathias changed regularly. This was a good safety precaution in driving with Ewald’s car and the trailer.

With the approach of the Fehmarnsund Bridge, Fehmarn Island came closer and welcomed us with great sunshine. We were glad to have finally left the night behind us. Firstly we wanted to have a 30 minutes break for the recovery after our arrival. However, everything changed again. Suddenly we were no longer tired and also no longer exhausted and so we went straight to the antenna construction. We had to build four antennas. Two of them are very light and can built up accordingly fast. But our 80m GP with over 800m ground radials and 18m height was an absolute challenge with the gusty wind. In the early evening we had already set up three of the four antennas. We intended to shift the setup of the cage antenna (Reusenantenne) to the next day, but nevertheless prepared everything as far as possible before it began to rain.

Afterwards we went for shopping. We had to prepare ourselves with various food for the upcoming days. After that we continued with the installation of the radio station inside the building. One already available dining room table quickly served as the first shack table. The second table from outside which was actually meant as a dinning table in the garden was converted into a shack table. The cables still had to be laid to the antennas. We had already measured everything and so we had no trouble with the cable management and the resulting cable lengths. Wolfgang had to cut down many thorn bushes and struggle through weed to get all cables to the antennas. Thanks for that.

Now it was time to unpacking the station. As expected, this was not a big act because everything was logically and documented. Ewald immediately took care of the IT structure as all laptops in the box number 4 had to be networked and should also log the data’s from all stations and even his one should share the DX-Cluster news to the other network clients. After some minutes it worked excellent. However the only possible internet access via GSM-USB-Stick was annoying and really slow, something which we didn’t expect. The DX-Cluster was not a topic but the upload of news or QSOs into Clublog needed huge patience and forced Ewald at every upload.

On the late Thursday evening we were QRV on 40m. Here we made a few QSOs but then we had to rest. On Friday morning it was really going on. The cage antenna was finally built up and from that point on it ran even on the high bands. On Friday morning it was quite slow and in the late afternoon it turned over into a good sounding pile up. In the late evening Dietmar DL3DXX completed the team.

Thus, the second KPA500 which was planned as a spare could be removed and was replaced by his the ACOM1500. The radio conditions were very modest and presented themselves exactly as we could already see in our prediction http://dr2w.de/dx-propagation. Theoretically we could operate on all shortwave bands except 160m and 60m but as seen the conditions didn’t allow such flexibility. The conditions allowed the best pileups only on 40m and 20m.

The barbecue can’t be missed during such an event the OM who was not operating at the station had to go to sleep or was responsible for the BBQ.

Despite the bad conditions, we were able to work all continents and 88 DXCC. We made 5360 QSO’s in only 45h. These all are uploaded into CLUBLOG.

At our event there were no failures or other issues. Everything worked to our full satisfaction and we can already say today that you will surely hear us again in 2018 under DA2018LH with a special DOK ILLW18 from the lighthouse Fluegge on the Island of Fehmarn.

May we could motivate you to be a part on the next ILLW event to run your own lighthouse or to join a group activity.


We wish you all the best, GD DX and thanks for calling us.

SEE you again de DR2W Crew _._