DXpedition diary #3 - First 4 days of DX-Pedition
On Monday March 13th, early in the morning we land in Dhaka airport. Nobody waits for us there and we cannot get visas because we don't have hotel reservations. After 4 hours of waiting Syed (S21ED) arrives straight from Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) with a letter and we can receive our visas. Further formalities go down smooth without any setbacks
Further we head to Syed's brothers' apartment where we wait for bus to Kuakata, that is being scheduled for 18:30, however, city was in peak hour and we arrived at bus station with more than 1 hour delay, but everything is ok, we contacted transportation company and they waited for us. In a very comfortable ride we drove all night and during our trip we had to take 2 ferry rafts to cross water. All team had a good night sleep during the night trip and we didn't see much around. On March 14th around 09:00 we arrived in Kuakata.
In Kuakata's bus station we are warmly welcomed by my friends and acquaintances I met in Bangladesh during my previous visit in January. Also we are awaited by 7 bicycle carts, we load our bags and board them to head for QTH - Cinderella resort. After 6km drive we arrive at resort and we are welcomed there with nice breakfast. After meal and morning coffee we start to set up antennas and carry out first radio check.
First installed antenna is Spiderbeam and next antennas are 4SQ on 40m and 30m. First 3 QSOs are made on 40m by Dmitry with UX1UF, UY1UF and OK2PAY on March 15 00:00 local time and we officially start to operate. During the rest of the day we build 160/80m antenna in the field. The field was soaking wet after rainfalls and we had to do it in puddles of mud. We also made a mistake that we set up the 160/80m antenna further in field behind 4SQ 40m in a place where a local rancher pastures his cows and goats and they like to walk over the radials.
We were planning to set up the 2nd station during the night, however, our plans had to change, because the owner of 2nd stations location flew to Canada and didn't leave any orders to those who stayed.
Next morning (March 16th) we started with common breakfast and after that I and Syed S21ED went to look for another place for 2nd position. We visited multiple hotels and houses but most of them had problems with fields for antennas and power. After finding suitable place I, Ingus YL2TW and Sasha UT7UV took all equipment and went to build 2nd position. In the evening we had set up Spiderbeam and RA6LBS vertical 160-30m. First communications are made on SSB and RTTY. Locals show a lot of interest about our actions and hotel owner puts perimeter around our antennas, let's hope this will help.
Later that evening we receive bad news, one of our antennas - 160/80 has disappeared. It turns out that one of the rancher's cows had run into cable and teared down the antenna. It was already dark and we decided to repair and place it closer to our hotel in the morning. During the night we operate without 160/80m.
First thing next day (March 17th) we carry out our plans regarding 160/80 vertical and to limit local movement around the antennas we put up a rope perimeter. Antennas in main position work good. 2nd position operates in SSB and RTTY mode, we tuned 160 and 30m there, but we are having problems with commutations box.
We uploaded all QSOs to ClubLog and we plan to do it once every day from now.
Propagation to NA has a very limited time but we are taking all the opportunities and we are doing everything we can.
During these days its sunny and hot, reaching temperatures +33C.
73, Yuris /YL2GM/