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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