15 April 2007 16:00 UTC: - The Final Log has been posted on the website of www.dxped.com - 7P8DX.
The log is also available from this website in PDF format by clicking here: Final log, sorted alphapetically , in PDF format
14 April 2007: Closing Comments
We arrived home safely this morning (Fri 13th). The drive took approximately
17 hours which I drove non stop making only fuel stops and 2 short rest
Yesterday (12th) we made an interesting discovery Mahlasela is not 3250m
high but in fact 3329m. Furthermore our plan was to work some DX and pack up
at 14:00 or when the generator ran out of fuel, which ever came first.
Dianna had been of great assistance when she provided us with some critical
information regarding the management of some technical DXCC issues, ensuring
the success of this DX-Pedtion. We were up on the hill early yesterday
morning to keep a sked with Dianna KB6NAN. This was a great opportunity for
us to repay her for her generosity. I must confess we were not confident
that we would make contact when we rose from our beds at 05:30 on the frosty
Thursday morning. Imagine the disbelief and excitement when I put out the CQ
call and Dianna came back to us with a report. We were gobsmacked and very
excited that we could have made the contact and in some small way return
After that contact I worked a short pile up on 20m for about a hour before
the propagation died on us, I got about 120 contacts during the hour though.
Incredibly, all the bands died after that and we were unable to make any
more contacts. It was as if someone turned the switch off. We were vey
unhappy about this but later became thankful for this unfortunate lack of
The wind started howling, snapping one of the tent poles like a matchstick,
this made breaking up the station really difficult and dangerous. We
completed this task just before nightfall. We then realised that had the
propagation picked up we would not have been able to break down the station
before nightfall and would have been stuck there for another day.
Thanks to all the people who have assisted, made pledges, loaned equipment,
and generally being supportive of us. Thanks also to the DXers who
participated in the pile-ups like true professionals making our job so much
easier. A big Thank-You to Peter who is our webmaster, trouble shooter and
problem solver and finally thanks to the rest of the 7P8DX team.
73 till the DX-Pedition -- Shaun ZS1RA
13 April 2007: - Team finally arrived back home in Cape Town and, alhtough they thoroughly enjoyed playing "radio radio", they enjoyed being home in their own warm beds even more! Congratulations on the DxPedition's success.
12 April 2007 19:30 UTC (21:30 local time): - After a long day with contacts followed by breaking down camp, the team were finally on their way home to Cape Town.
11 April 2007 17:00 UTC (19:00 local time): - Video clips added to the Photo Album.
11 April 2007 14:00 UTC (16:00 local time): - The morning started very quiet with nothing happening except a terrific
wind storm which has been blew unabated for the whole morning.
Anyway we had a small pile up on 15m which yielded about 180 contacts this afternoon. There is still some activity on 15m which will hopefully keep up
for the rest of the day. We need to make some more contacts.
10 April 2007 13:45 UTC (15:45 local time): - Today the bands have been very poor. ZS1RA got there early in the morning and worked a small pile-up on 17m which yielded about 55 contacts but nothing more today. They are hoping that things will improve as the day moves on.
9 April 2007 21:00 UTC (23:00 local time): - Station closing down for the day. We had a very good run on 15m and 17m with over 500 contacts. Tired and cold we are still having fun.
8 April 2007 14:30 UTC (16:30 local time): - We are still freezing up here at 3250m. Barry is doing a lot better today,
he is still somewhat nauseous and has no appetite but otherwise in good spirits.
We had our best run on 15m yesterday (7th) with the pile-up being extremely deep and long. We worked several stations despite the TL922 packing up. We
had to take several breaks due to lightning but got back on the air as soon as it appeared safe. It is remarkable how the fast the weather changes here.
Yesterday when all looked well we started up the 17m radio, within minutes we had severe lightning and had to shut down. No sooner had we disconnected
the antennas when we were pelted with rain and the most ferocious winds yet, we ran for cover in the tents. Barry and Tony held up in the one tent and I
in the other. The wind and rain continued unabated for about 15min during which we were convinced the wind would carry the tents off with us in it. As
the rain died down a heavy hail storm followed, fortunately the stones were small. Once this stopped I crawled out of the tent to see if Tony and Barry
where okay when I was greeted by the most beautiful snowfall, the smallest little flakes came fluttering down littering the mountain top. We where
rattled but also excited by the picture this 30 min storm had painted for us.
After taking the necessary pictures we licked our wounds, repaired the
tents, packed up and headed down the hill in case the offroad track become
unpassable for our passenger road going car.
After the demise of the TL922 we decided that we will no longer use ampliifiers as we are getting good reports running barefoot and it is rather
expensive to fry these amplifiers.
7 April 2007 13:30 UTC (15:30 local time): Following communication sent. (Also see photo galery):
We are freezing up here at 3250m. Upon our arrival on the 5th we were unable
to set up anything due the the driving rain, lightning and cold. However
we set up a 20m dipole at the lodge and surprisingly got out making our
first contact with Dennis ZS1AU. We also made contact with ZS4JAN on 40m
"forcing" dipole to tune there.
Barry was really sick yesterday (6th) being unable to keep his food down. I
think it was a combination of the altitude and cold that caused it. We
worked really hard putting up the station, we only managed to get the yagi
up and one of the stations running which Barry worked for most of the time.
We had quite a hectic time setting up the station which took lots longer
than we expected due to the difficulty in moving around at this altitude. We
should be acclaimatised in a day or 2 in which case I think things will go a
lot faster. Toward the end of yesterday we had to pack up early as both
Barry and Tony were showing signs of hypothermia. Once they got lower down
and dressed warm they recovered okay and were fighting fit this morning.
Will send more info tomorrow: 73 from the 7P8DX team: Shaun ZS1RA
5 April 2007 14:00 UTC (16:00 local time): Team has arrived safely in Lesotho at the Mahlasela Peak amidst severe lightening storm. They are unable to put up antennas and are not operational and unlikely to be so for 5 April.
3 April 2007 07:00 UTC (09:00 local time): Team leaves Cape Town en route to Lesotho.