QSL Cards Delayed

It appears our first batch of QSL cards from Gena UX5UO have been lost in the mail. Other cards sent to ZL around the same time have arrived. Gena has very kindly offered to re-print the cards and ship them free of charge. Now that’s great service for you.

We recommend Gena UX5UO for all your QSL card needs.

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Norfolk – Tricks & Tips

Norfolk Islanders are very friendly. We needed some steel pipes to support the hex beams so contacted Norfolk Island Building Supplies in Burnt Pine (the only shopping centre). Steve Matthews was very happy to help out and even arranged for the pipes to be delivered and picked up, all for a 24-pack of beer.

We stayed at the Anson Bay Lodge. Wayne Bedford is the property owner and was happy to answer the barrage of e-mails we sent.

Wayne had hosted DXpeds before so had already arranged two vehicles to pick us up from the airport, one a flat-deck truck as he knew we would have a heap of gear to move. The lodge had plenty of room for antennas and buildings to set up stations in. We used the two, 2-bedroom cottages at the front of the property plus a 1-bedroom unit immediately behind it. There was also a 3-bedroom house and another 1-bedroom unit. We’d recommend booking out the entire property to prevent QRN issues or make sure all the LED lamps in the other units have been changed (see below).

We had been warned about noise from the power-lines at the property, however this was not evident at all during the two weeks. The only noise we encountered was from the GU10 240V LED lamps used in most of the lodge buildings. We suggest you take some GU10 halogen or LED lamps known not to cause RFI. Once the LEDs were replaced with halogens¬† the noise around the property was very low and we were able to work stations that didn’t even move the S-meter!

There are some huge stands of bamboo on the island. Some well over 15m so a great source or antenna masts. There was a good stand at the place next door and a pile of stuff that had already been cut and dried. The property owner was happy for us to take some and didn’t want it back! A 6m bamboo was used one of these to hold up the hex beam (we only found the bamboo after we’d already raised one hex on one of the waterpipes). If planning to use bamboo for a beam, you’ll need some hose clips to stop the cane splitting at the top.

Wireless internet is available across the island. Principal provider is Norfolk Telecom on New Cascade Rd in Burnt Pine. They can provide wireless data coupons as well as SIM cards for mobile phones. Top-up vouchers are sold at the supermarket and many other stores.

Electricity is 240V 50Hz and supplied by a generator. Major undergrounding has taken place around the island which solves powerline noise issues in those areas. At Anson Bay Lodge power was overhead along the road about 40m from the property.

Almost all food is imported so by comparison with NZ, prices were very expensive. Locally-grown fruit and vegetables abound are are available at the Saturday & Sunday markets in Burnt Pine or from many of the road-side stalls dotted around the island.

We knew of two hams on the island, VK9JA John Anderson and VK9 Kirstie (the late Jim VK9NS’s partner). Neither were very active although a group of VKs who stayed on the island in May have shipped a ham rig, power supply etc to John recently. We stumbled across Peter VK9PH who lived just around the corner from the Lodge where he runs a radio museum. He has only recently moved to the island. We are arranging for an unun to be sent to Peter, to be attached to the 30m+ vertical wire running up a Norfolk Pine on his property. This wire had installed by the previous owner, who was as radio enthusiast.

There are 30m+ Norfolk Pines all over the island so it may be a good idea to take some means of launching a line up a tree for 80/160m antennas. Weather permitting, a drone and nylon line would be an easy way do this.

Norfolk 2016