Mariana Islands DX Association - PO Box 445 - Agana Guam 96932
Volume 1 Number 1 - January 1998
Edited by KH2D
Published Quarterly by MIDXA
Welcome ! to the first
edition of the Mariana Islands DX Association's newsletter, Pacific
Radio Waves. Don't get too use to the pretty colors, I thought I
would print this one in color since the club is still small and this
is our first edition. Haven't seen any color Jerox machines in Guam
yet, but you never know, we might run across one. I've done newsletters
for a few other clubs, and my biggest problem seems to be that I always
suffer from lack of input. Let's hope we don't run into that problem
with this newsletter. Any and all input is welcome and needed - if you
have email, please send info or articles to firstname.lastname@example.org and
if not, please get it here any way you can.
Club News I guess the best news about the club is that we are off and running. The bylaws were completed by the officers and we are working on the Articles of Incorporation now, perhaps by the time this newsletter goes out they will be finished. There seems to be a great deal of interest in the local ham communities on the different islands in combining our resources and turning our groups into one larger one with a common goal. The MIDXA web pages now have their own home at http://www.guam.net/pub/midxa and is no longer just an extension of KH2D's home page, but there is still a link to the club page on KH2D's home page. Kuentos Communications, Inc, Guam's number one ISP was very generous in providing web space for the club at no charge.
Back & Forth WH0AAV and his wife visited Guam in November . Jun attended the board of directors meeting at which the club bylaws were written. Unfortunately, it was a quick trip down and back home so not much time for visiting. KH2JU and KH2D visited Saipan on the weekend of December 13 and 14. Both had a great time meeting some of the guys in KH0 land whom they had not met before, including KH0AC, KH0FO, KH0CE, AH0D, and others. KH2JU operated in the ARRL 10 Meter DX contest on SSB from WH0AAV's QTH and KH2D operated in the same contest on CW and also on 15 and 40 meter CW. On Saturday the visiting Guam hams went to Tony, AH0D's QTH and almost installed some SSTV software. Saturday nite was spent sharing a few beers and some good stories on Uncle Len's balcony - if you visit Saipan, this is one place you don't want to miss. Lousy propagation on the weekend curtailed the DX'ing, but the visit was a real pleasure even without the DX. Many thanks to Jun for the tour guide service and the rental shack, and to Fe for all the good cooking.
Where & When The EMERGENCY FREQUENCY for communications during typhoons, etc. is 7.085 mhz. ALL MIDXA members in the Marianas should have a 40 meter dipole or other 40 meter antenna, and a source of emergency power to operate an HF radio in the event we are needed for emergency communications. Forty meters works great during the daytime for all four islands. Bit noisy in the evenings, but still usable. We will be running a few weekend tests now and then to see who can hear who, so if you don't have your battery charged, now's the time to do it. The nightly BS FREQUENCY is 3.850, or maybe we should say the calling frequency is 3.850 and the BS gets pushed up and down the band according to the available QRM. Check 3.820 to 3.870 and see if you find anybody, if not go to 3.850 and make noise. The band lasts between Guam and Saipan until about 1 AM and then signals fade rapidly. The DX CLUSTER is alive an well, and a few of our off island supporting members are telneting in now and then. VHF from Guam to Saipan works fine with big antennas and big power, but we are still looking for the right sites for a link. MIDXA members in GUAM got together for the first time on Sunday December 6, 1997 at Shirleys in Harmon at 10 AM. This will be a weekly social get together and we may change it to Saturday to make it more convenient for some of the club members in Guam.
We Need High ground with secure locations for packet/voice links between the islands. We want to expand the current packet network from Guam all the way up to Saipan. Hill top towers and bunkers for equipment are not easy to find and when we do find them, it's not easy to gain access. The old who-u-know key unlocks a lot of doors out here, so club members should always be thinking about what a great place that would be for a repeater link or packet node. I've not been to Rota, but I have heard about a BIG tower on top of the island. These are the kind of places we need for links. In your travels, if you bump into Senator so and so or the guy who works for the cell phone company, ask around about tower and bunker space. If you have an Auntie who lives WAY UP on the top of a mountain, maybe we should go take her some BBQ some weekend...... We need supporting members. If you remember a ham who use to be on one of the islands, tell him or her about the club, tell them about the web page, and ask them to consider becoming a supporting member of MIDXA.
In the Pileup we've been working everybody. Well, almost everybody. HF conditions seem to be getting better every week. KH2D - I have been active on 75 meter SSB. Late November and early December produced some great openings to the U.S. by following the gray line across North America. Ken, N4UK, has a pair of wire verticals in SC, a booming signal here on 75, and has been helping to calm the confusion so some guys on the east coast can get a 'new one'. Logged a few Scandinavian stations (SM, OH) during the weekend pileups from the states (near their sunset, I think). Our sunrise is the time to work Europe, and even I crawled out of bed a few mornings at 5:30 AM and tuned things up on 75 to work a few guys in Europe amongst the usual confusion. 10 meters pops open now and then, and during CQWW CW weekend I worked a bunch of stateside stations on 10, but they were all weak, weak, weak..... CQWW SSB snagged 31 new countries on 15 meters.
Contests WH0AAV CQWW CW - single band 15 - 378 Q's, 26 zones, 41 countries 72,427 points. WH0AAV CQWW SSB - 15 single band - 2301 Q's, 37 zones, 101 countries, 907,024 points. KH2D CQWW SSB - 15 single band - 1956 Q's, 36 zones, 101 countries, 772,543 points. KH2JU CQWW SSB - all band - 759 Q's, 54 zones, 87 countries, 304,983 points. KH2D JIDX SSB - all band - 1271 Q's, 212 mults, 372,696 points. KH2JU JIDX SSB - 15 single band - 609 Q's, 48 mults, 29,232 points.
Packet Cluster On December 13th, WH0AAV and KH2D/KH0 made what is believed to be the first ever packet connection between Guam and Saipan on VHF. Using WH0AAV's yagis (and a brick) they were able to connect to the DX cluster node at KH2D's QTH in Guam. We are one step closer to a full time packet connection between the two islands. Currently we are looking at some sites for a node in Saipan and also we talked to some hams from Tinian who said they would be willing to let us try a node on their island too. The only thing holding us up on the Tinian node is the equipment - we need a 50 watt VHF radio, a power supply (10 amps), a TNC and an antenna. The MIDXA cluster node in Guam is alive and well (although the antennas are down at this time compliments of Super Typhoon Paka), and we finally got the cross band packet node on the north end of Guam up and running. N4UK is shaking the bushes on the east coast looking for old computers and packet gear that people are willing to donate to the effort here.
Famous Quotes AH0D - "Well, it said ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DELETE THIS FILE and I said, what the hell......". KH2JU - "I wonder if the Christmas lights I put on my antenna are making all this QRN ?" KH2D - "We'll see Rota if we sit on this side of the plane...."
Typhoons Typhoon season packed plenty of excitement into a few months at the end of 1997. The rundown of 1997 included Isa (April 16, 125 mph wind), Nestor (June 11, 150 mph wind), Winnie (August 12, 160 mph wind), Oliwa (September 11, 160 mph wind), Joan (October 17th, 155 mph wind), Keith (November 2, 185 mph wind) and last but nowhere near least, Paka on December 16th. Super typhoon Keith spared Guam, but did some very serious damage in Rota, Tinian, and Saipan, where it destroyed over 700 houses.
And then along came Paka and blew away our Christmas in Guam. The eye of super typhoon Paka passed directly over northern Guam on December 16th from approximately 8pm to 10pm local time. Winds were recorded at 236 mph, the fastest wind speed ever recorded anywhere on the face of the earth. We were ready, or so we thought. Antennas were down, typhoon shutters were up. The JTWC's prediction of Paka's path was the most accurate one I have seen in the 13 years I have been in Guam - seven days before the storms arrival they were predicting it to track across the center of the island of Guam, which is exactly what it did.
Hotels in Guam sustained major damage from Paka, lobby windows and guest room windows were blown out in several large hotels, and several people were injured by flying glass. Many homes were damaged, wood and tin structures were destroyed, and a lot of concrete houses lost windows and doors.
Guams power system was very hard hit. With reports of approximately 260 downed power poles, the entire island was without commercial power after the typhoon, and estimates of two to three months to restore power to the entire island were heard. On the days following typhoon Paka, it was dangerous to drive around Guam because of the wires, poles, street lights, and debris in the roads. Power companies from Saipan, Hawaii, and crews from the U.S. Air Force arrived in Guam after the storm to help with the power system recovery.
During the approach of the storm, and during the eye passage, MIDXA members had a net going on 7.085, MIDXA's 'typhoon frequency'. Participating club members were WH0AAV, KH0CE, K9AW/KH2, KH2JU, N4UQM/KH2, and KH2D. The frequency was used to pass weather information that was being collected in real time from several sources, including the internet and the Doppler weather radar in Guam. While MIDXA has no formal affiliation with any emergency organizations (RACES, ARES, etc.) all MIDXA members in the Marianas are encouraged to have emergency power sources and a forty meter antenna available before and during typhoons. A lesson learned from super typhoon Paka was that the internet is a valuable communications tool also, as the telephone system was working during the storm. Kuentos Communications, Guam's number ONE ISP stayed up and functioned flawlessly during the entire typhoon and the days following. Unfortunately, other Guam ISP's didn't do so well. We received valuable weather information from JTWC and NOAA web sites, and we were able to pass information about storm damage to ARES and the Red Cross in Virginia via email. So along with our car batteries and forty meter dipoles, we are now packing notebook computers and modems in the typhoon kit.
MIDXA members in Guam were not spared by super typhoon Paka. Several of our club members sustained major damage to their homes. Dave, W1YRM, lost his balcony door during the eye passage, which in turn caused the front door to his apartment to be blown off, followed by major wind and water damage. John, WH2U, lost a window in the radio shack, followed by major flooding in his condo. Danny, KH2JU had flooding in the radio shack, and some equipment damage. As of January 1, sixteen days after the storm, WH2U and W1YRM still have no commercial power.
For those of you with internet access, there are typhoon
pictures on the club web page at http://www.guam.net/pub/midxa, info
from ARRL at http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/97/971219/,
and on the ARES pages at http://www.aresva.org/huricane/Paka/paka.html.
New Members Welcome to Kenny, AH0K who joined MIDXA as a supporting member. Kenny's call in Japan is JR2GMC. Kenny is active in the CQWW DX contest every year.
It's Time January is dues month for 1998 dues. Guam MIDXA members please see WH2U, KH2D, or KH2JU to pay dues. Saipan and Tinian members please see WH0AAV. Off island supporting members please mail your dues to MIDXA, P.O. Box 25666, GMF Guam 96921. Checks should be made payable to MIDXA/John van der Pyl.
DXCC ? 200 countries confirmed? MIDXA now offers the TCC - Typhoon Century Club Award to all members who ride out a storm with winds in excess of 100 mph. New TCC members included W1YRM, WH2U, K9AW, NH2A, KH2A, KH2G, KH2JU, N4UQM, and KH2D, all with 236 MPH Confirmed. Certificates will be replaced for endorsements for higher wind speeds than those shown on the current TCC certificate, but these guys won't be getting a new one any time soon.......
Pacific Radio Waves is published quarterly by
the Mariana Islands DX Association.
For more information about MIDXA, visit our web page at http://www.guam.net/pub/midxa
or send EMAIL to MIDXA.
ALL GRAPHICS AND PAGE CONTENT © 1997, 1998 KH2D and MIDXA
Web pages designed and maintained by Jim Kehler, KH2D
May not be reprinted without express permission of MIDXA.