"5W0AF and 5W0AG went QRT at 01.19Z 6th Nov. The last days we had enormous level of QRN exceeding S9 on upper bands. It was 'by the way' activity filling two time slots required by tentative schedules of PB Matua sailing between 5W and ZK3 (the main target). In any case 7.200 contacts were made from 5W on 10-80m CW and SSB completing those 27.000 made from ZK3.
It is useless to say that we have enjoyed every pile-up during these activities.
Unfortunately propagation from Tokelau appeared to be entirely different (worse) from that one from 5W making the short path from Europe non available most of the time. Therefore 10 and 12m have been extremely difficult for central and eastern Eu stations (only one opening SP and several short lasting LP at 18Z usable only for southern Eu), while Ws enjoyed several hours' openings every day. We have been happy to have several qsos from ZK3 with Eu stations on 80m as well.
We would like to thank all sponsors and donators helping us to cover some expenses. This was 'a suitcase dxpedition' but we tried to be active on every HF band as much as it was possible. Unfortunately the installation of a TopBand antenna was impossible due to limited space available. We have enjoyed very much staying with a Tokelauen family that appeared to be cordial and charming.
We hope that the ham community appreciates our effort and forgives eventual faults.
73 de Jacek SP5EAQ and Marcin SP5ES. "


"Active till Thursday local afternoon from Apia es 5W0AF/5W0AG."

2014-10-29 22:00 UTC

Information from Jacek SP5EAQ:
"Antennas for 40 and 80 m dismounted..."


Information from Jacek SP5EAQ:
"We decided not to mount a 160m vertical. There is no space for its radials at the host's yard, therefore the only option would a be top-loaded 18m vertical with resonant radials of the electrical size reduced by coils to the physical size 2 times 20m. In any case the heavy tropical gale of 9B with rain makes playing with 18m pole dangerous. Several 6m tests done with kind assistance of FK8CP show that a dipole (or a vertical) and limited time does not allow for efficient 6m operation.
Sorry for those feeling disappointed. We are approaching to the end of our ZK3 activity.
We have more than 25k contacts already from Tokelau + some from 5W (to be active again on the return leg). We have to QRT Thursday afternoon local time.
Unfortunately magnetic disturbances made short path toward Eu not accessible most of the time for upper bands. We used to control 10 and 12m regularly but most of Eu signals are coming only long path between 17.30 -18.30Z. The available slot is short and antennae position less favorable.
We cannot use simultaneously 10 and 12m, usually we are starting from 10 then going to 12m. We are asking kindly NA/SA stations to refrain from calling, when we are asking for Eu.
They are coming 40dB over Eu signals. In th next day we will pay more attention to 18m, since 20m appeared to be Eu effective at unusual hours. See you in the pile-up."


Information from Jacek SP5EAQ:
"We are active in WWDX Contest - mostly on 10m (ZK3E) and 15m (ZK3Q), other bands just a bit to provide some multipliers.
Although SP on 10m for Eu in the last ten days was completely closed, some big guns from 16th zone have been worked in the contest."

2014-10-23 20:00 UTC

Information from Jacek SP5EAQ:
"Today we have been active on 80m ssb for the first time (1.5h). ZK3Q got several tens of contacts including Europeans. Since it is impossible to use 80m together with the other bands except 20 due to interferences, we shall limit 80m activity soon. For those blaming us to use self-spotting we would like to comment that those 80m contacts would not have been possible without informing community about our frequency and split. Most stations from Eu is 35 RS here and the propagation peak for some countries lasts less than 10 minutes! "


Information from Jacek SP5EAQ:
"We did not have access to the Internet yesterday and it might happen that logs will be sent irregularly. 80 m is difficult for Eu but we are active at all SS and SR. It may affect activity on 30 and 40m. 80m mast is located in the middle of shore in front of house and this position interferes strongly ability of reception on other bands except 20m. Bands between 17, 15 and 30m require slow antennae adaption (broken SteppIr) and cannot be used simultaneously. The same concern 40 and 80m since the masts are in 15m distance. We are checking 10 and 12m regularly for Eu and so far we have no openings except CT and EA on LP around 18Z. WE have very high score with Ws on those bands. Moreover, 10m Eu has potential collision with SS time at the atoll."


Information from Jacek SP5EAQ:
"80m antenna works good, 11 qso with Eu some hundreds with others, till now CW."


Information from Jacek SP5EAQ:
"Heavy rain and 8B gales prevent 80m antenna erection. 10 and 12 m was nicely opened toward CT and EA LP at 18Z. SP toward Eu on those bands seem to be permanently closed. We control most of the possible openings. "


Information from Jacek SP5EAQ:
"Those who comment that we are disappearing sometimes at the gray-line time at local evening should take into account that we are living with a family that expects us to join them for meals, evening chats etc. Not respecting the local habits might hurt our hosts and we are going to continue our behavior regardless your comments. In any case we are paying special attention to low bands at the gray-line time even on cost of pile-ups on other bands. Concerning your questions on 80m antenna we plan to erect a vertical in the next weekend, however available space for the radials is limited. TopBand, however theoretically possible, will base on the same mast and the problem of space for radials has not been solved yet. We inform hams asking to turn our aerials that we are using only verticals. We are approaching to 11k of contacts aiming to double this score at least. We cannot use 10 and 12m simultaneously because of mutual interferences. The return date from ZK3 is still uncertain but we plan to be active from Nukunonu at least 10 more days. Those asking us to place the ZK3 flag at their QRZ collection should take into account that our access to the Internet is more than limited."


Information from Jacek SP5EAQ:
"We are trying our best, due to mechanical problems with SteppIr (inside its gearbox) switching between bands is slow and not reliable. We have three monoband verticals installed (20, 12 and 40m) besides the SteppIr but limited space within the property seems to be a great problem. Even 80m is not installed yet. Please be patient as far as it concerns low bands and 6m. Logs are uploaded on daily basis. If you are not in log try to work again."


Information from Jacek SP5EAQ:
"We have antennas for 40 to 10m, however due to mechanical failure of SteppIr we are not able to switch between bands in a fast manner. We shall try to install 80m in the next week, but the property has limited space and 160m installation might be very difficult. We are running both stations with special focus on 12m. Be patient since we expect to stay at the atoll three weeks."


Information from Jacek SP5EAQ:
"Today we have packed the stuff and passsed custom clearance. The boat departs early morning, but first sails to another atoll, you may expect us within 2 days if the rough see allows for landing."


Information from Jacek SP5EAQ:
"We activated 5W0AF and 5W0AG calls while awaiting transport to ZK3 that is theoretically scheduled for Wednesday 8th October. We have learned, however, that the trip is not confirmed yet due to unpredicted needs of local community. That makes us unhappy since our booking was confirmed by Tokelau Liaison Office in late March. We keep you informed."


Jacek and Marcin are in Auckland, ZL, with all the baggage (about 110 kg). They are waiting for a fly to Apia (5W) Saturday evening.


Today Jacek and Marcin started the trip to Tokelau. The first step was the fly from Warsaw to London (Heathrow).