News From Amsterdam Island – FT5ZM – 0900 UTC Jan. 30, 2014

All of the FT5ZM team are safe and well. The Braveheart crew and food have been exceptional on this trip. We had three rough days at sea; otherwise sea conditions were quite benign. Our landing on Amsterdam went well.

Logistics on the island — moving gear, distances involved, and the terrain are all very difficult and consumed a lot of time and energy. For example, at the Antonellis site the grasses are chest-high and conceal holes and rocks. Terrain varies 30 ft in height in a 30 foot distance. All this makes antenna installation, placing radials, and running feed lines very difficult. The path between Mataf and Antonelli is NOT a straight line and IS a very LONG walk. But, we have completed all our installations without incident or injury.

The French staff on Amsterdam have been wonderful. Their help, encouragement, and interest is amazing.

We are struggling with noise on 12 and 30 meters and occasionally on 15. While we work to resolve this, we ask your patience if we have difficulty hearing you on these bands. After installing our 160 meter antenna, taking it down, and replacing it, first full night on 160 meters netted 500 QSO’s We are very happy about that.

Thank you for your good wishes and greetings on the air.

73, Ralph – K0IR

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The FT5ZM team continues to remain focused on making as many contacts on as many bands as possible. Stations are on the air from both locations. Antenna erection at Mataf, the lower site is complete, but antenna work continues at Antonelli, the upper site. Erecting antennas at Antonelli is very difficult and taking much more time than anticipated due to the challenging terrain and high foliage. The hike from Mataf to Antonelli is an exhausting uphill climb, and takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. The team is tired and in good spirits!

To date there has been no internet connectivity. The primary focus of the entire team is on completing the antenna work and making as many contacts as possible. Logs will be uploaded to ClubLog as soon as possible. We will announce when the first upload to ClubLog is complete. Thank you for your patience.

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Thanks to the TAAF staff at Amsterdam Island we publish very first images from the FT5ZM Team.

Credit: TAAF –  http://www.taaf.fr/Le-navire-Neo-Zelandais-BRAVEHEART-a-Amsterdam-pour-une-mission-radio-amateurs

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The FT5ZM DXpedition hits the air and is well audible across the bands with good signals around the globe. Meanwhile, and no wonder, the off-island team members start to receive a real avalanche of emails they cannot reply to. Most of them regard busted, incorrectly logged calls. Other emails regard split suggestions or “I worked you! TNX!” sent to… our webmaster Stan SQ8X. This is why we must repeat once again a very clear message – thanks for understanding and your kind cooperation with on-island team members!

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IMPORTANT NOTICE! The FT5ZM Team will not be able to receive your emails during the DXpedition. The only channel to pass your remarks and suggestions to the Team is to contact one of our Pilot Operators assigned to your area. Reports of incorrect or missing calls in the log will be ignored during the DXpedition.
Please DO NOT contact the Pilot Station about a busted call or if your call is missing from the online log. Keep a record of your QSO details and contact the QSL manager after the DXpedition. Alternately, work FT5ZM again.

Find all contacts to our Pilots assigned to your area at http://www.amsterdamdx.org/contact/

Good luck with working FT5ZM!

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UPDATE from team member, Jerry WB9Z @ 16:25z or 21:25 pm FT5ZM local time.

Still a long way from getting on air. The terrain is very rough for walking and putting up antennas. We’re talking up to 2 feet of dead grass on top of lava rock. This is one of the (if not the) roughest Dxpeditions ever been on. The entire team is exhausted after a very long day. All generators are in place, but there is still so much to be done

They anticipate not being on the air until at least 0700z tomorrow January 26th.

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It only took 50 trips to the island, but pretty much everything is ashore. The 1st tower is up with a 12 meter yagi. So they will probably make their first QSO on 12. The team is currently enjoying a well earned dinner right now at 14:30z.

The rumors that someone died are obviously FALSE. Any official announcements to the cluster will be with a valid call sign.

Valerie, NV9L

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