Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Korean Expeditioners Visit Patriot Hills

South Korean amateur radio operators Hankyoo Yoo HL1TJF (left) and Jongwoo Park HL1TR (right) visited me at Patriot Hills as members of KoreaMet, the 2006/2007 Korea Expedition for Antarctic Meteorites. While visiting, they briefly operated the Patriot Hills station as KC4/HL1TR and KC4/HL1TJF in communication with my friend and their colleague, Kim, HL8KSJ (DT8A,DS4NMJ), the radio operator at King Sejong Base on King George Island. I have set Jong and Yoo up with an HF rig and dipole and they hope to get on the air with 40 and 20 meter SSB from their expedition campsites in the Pirrit and Martin Hills, Antarctica, during the month of January, although their time will be extremely limited. QSL via Adam, K2ARB.

I have also received visits this season from Bill NA5P, and Kurt KE6WWB, both came to Antarctica to climb Mt. Vinson, the tallest peak in Antarctica.

The other night around 3AM, I found myself handling a flight of Russian helicopters down the Antarctic peninsula toward Patriot Hills. I was working a handoff with the British base at Rothera when I found myself conversing with radio operators from two other Antarctic bases with an interest in the flight. It took a couple of seconds to realize that they were my ham radio pals Oleg R1ANF, at the Russian base at Bellinghausen, and Mike VP8DJB, at the British Base at Fossil Bluff. Only in Antarctica!

As for my own ham radio activities, which are limited to late at night to avoid conflicts with work, the propagation to North America has improved dramatically during the last two weeks although it remains weak to Europe. As the workload decreases toward the end of the season, I hope to be able to be on the air more frequently during times when European openings are likely.

73 and HNY to all!

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