Tiwai July 2010

Monday 12 th of July saw me pack up the 4WD with all the necessary bits and pieces for a four day DXpedtion at Tiwai. I was to be the advance guard with Paul and Frank arriving on the Tuesday.

On the way into Tiwai from the main road I passed two crews working on repairing the pole line that got burnt in the big fire. Upon arrival at the house it was straight into lighting up the coal range and the fire in the lounge. I then unpacked the vehicle and soon after that I discovered there was no water, the outside water tank was empty. I then discovered that the pipe from the tank to the house had come apart. That repair was left to the following day when Paul arrived.

After tea the radio was set up in the lounge in front of the fire but not much to report so it was off to bed. In the morning the BBC was heard on 3255 and the Voice of Russia 4795.

Tuesday afternoon I was starting to wonder where Paul was when my phone rang, it was Paul saying “I am at the second gate and the lock has broken in my hand” He had to wait for Security to arrive and cut the lock. He finally arrived half an hour later. After telling him about the water problem and the door problem it was off out to the gate to let Frank in.

After Frank arrived we raised the flag to show we were all in residence. Frank upon setting his radio (Drake SPR-4) found that it would not work on batteries so Paul set up his Kenwood R-5000 for Frank to use.

Radio conditions were fair to good for the first two nights with Americans starting to come in at about 0400 hours with the odd Latin before that time. Late Thursday afternoon saw a number of Latin signals coming in at a very good strength.

Back to the water problem, Paul fixed the pipe on Tuesday and then we waited for the rain, we waited and waited but it did not rain for the whole time we were at Tiwai. Therefore on Thursday we went into Paul’s place for a shower and then Paul and Frank went to the Irish Pub for lunch and I headed to Wairo to look at railway vehicles.

While out at Tiwai Paul erected his Squid pole for his transmitter and several contacts were made with Ray Crawford in Australia.

Friday saw us depart Tiwai before eight o’clock which must be an all time record  for departing Tiwai after nearly a week. It was certainly another great time at Tiwai and Frank and I would like to thank Paul for having us again at that great DX location.