Radio Contact with Pitcairn Island

I was very fortunate tonight to be able to make a High Frequency radio contact with with Meralda Warren, who is also a ham radio operator, callsign VP6MW, on Pitcairn Island. I have been listening to her on the 28 Mhz band for a few nights, her having contact with another friend of hers. I was hoping to get to talk to her.
I was finally able to make the radio contact with her tonight, and had a great, awesome chat with her. (Distance: 5300 miles).
Pitcairn Island is an isolated volcanic island in the south-central Pacific Ocean, southeast of Tahiti. It is the only inhabited island of the British overseas territory of Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno Islands, which is commonly referred to as the Pitcairn Islands or as Pitcairn. The main island, with an area of about 2 square miles (5 square km), is a rugged half-crater rising to some 1,100 feet (340 metres) and girded by precipitous coastal cliffs.
Thank you so much, Meralda, for taking time to chat with me, and I hope to talk to you again soon on the air.
Below is a short video “Life on Pitcairn Island”, where Meralda is painting using traditional materials.

HD8M – Galapagos Islands active from March 1 – March 11 2023

Galapagos Island will be activated March 1 – March 11 2023.

Team: WB2REM – Jim, KE2D – Robert and K4LT – John

They will operate 160-6M on SSB, CW and FT8 (Fox Hound)/FT4. QSL via WB2REM. HD8M will also be participating in the ARRL International DX Contest SSB (March 5-6, 2023).

See HD8M website for more details.


Aluma T-75XHD tower install

Aluma T-75XHD tower install:

The tower finally came in, and I didn’t waste any time before starting to dig.

The 6″ hole was dug using a 1 ft bit with two extensions. It got heavy after a while, so used the tractor to lift it up after the bit filled up.

Nice and smooth all the way down.

Again, used the tractor to lift the massive MP2 pole into the hole, and proceeded to level it up.

Nice and level.

A couple of weeks later, and the pole is set completely back-filled and hard-packed all the way up to the surface.Tower carefully strapped underneath the bucket using plenty of wood for support. Yaesu 1000 DXA rotator and mast already installed.




Cabinet in place, containing coax poly-phasers, roter control arrestor, and other equipment.

Fully extended to 70 ft.

This was an easy two person job, with the help from my lovely wife. She was doing the supervising. This install was a long time coming. Now for the next stop, getting the Optibeam OB 12-4 yagi installed on top, using a crane. More to come.

9/16/2022: Finally got the crane in to lift the Optibeam up in the air, and bolted onto the nested tower. What a beautiful sight.

Yours truly bolting the antenna to the mast plate.

Now on to digging a trench for pvc, and pull cables.

Business end

Trenched in a few minutes, about a foot deep. 

Started working in the tower cabinet. Connected up the Poly Phasers and the rotor control lightning arrester. Plenty of space in there to add a 4-position coax switch a little later. I added a 120 V feed into the cabinet to enable the use of a 120 V electric winch. Cranking this thing up using a manual worm gear winch that was supplied by Aluma, gets old pretty fast.

Almost done. Need a RatPak antenna switch in there.

All Done….

Optibeam OB 12-4 HF antenna assembled

Finally got the Optibeam OB 12-4 HF antenna assembled and ready to be installed on a tower. This thing is built like a tank, weighing in at about 140 lbs. 40, 20,15 and 10 meter bands. Can not wait to get this beast installed and up to 75 feet.

25 ft boom, Longest elements are the 40 meter elements at about 50 ft.