Tromelin, Andamans and SOTA

It's been a while since I've sit down to write down a few thoughts. I've intended on several occasions to sit down and write down my thoughts, but it seems some other priority asserts itself and I can't get the time to write. But not today.

So what's happened since I last blogged.

Tromelin Expedition FT4TA: The expedition team did a great job, making nearly all bands available with good signals, at least in South Texas. I enjoyed both working the expedition, to fill some band slots, but also the event. The daily news, conditions, the complaining, etc.... I worked them on 10m, 15m, 20m, 30m and 80m. All new bands except 20m. My practice, as I have written about here, is to try to work the expeditions, during the last days, QRP. I was not able to do that on this expedition. The pile-ups never really slacked off, which brings me to my point.

Now that many expeditions use Club Log and other online tools to post how many QSO's each caller has logged, the information is leading to much debate. I am on a particular reflector where an individual copied and posted the band scorecard for multiple individuals and berated them for making multiple band/mode contacts when so many needed Tromelin for an all time new one.

My thoughts on this one: As long as an individual doesn't dupe band/mode slots, working the expedition is fair game. If a DXer builds a station that is capable and puts in the time operating to work Tromelin on 20 band slots, why not. Telling him not to is like telling a guy with a Ferrari that he can only drive the speed limit.  If, for whatever reason, a dipole is all you have, you know that working rare DX is a tough proposition. Why should the capable stations be made to wait on those not so capable. In my early days of DXing, not working an expedition motivated me to improve my station, improve my operating skills, improve my understanding of propagation, etc... Failure is often life's greatest teacher.

DX-peditions can control this somewhat by limiting the number of bands they operate on, but those guys paid their money, why shouldn't they have all the fun they can.

Andamans VU4CB and VU4KV:  This team also did a nice job activating a pretty rare place, that from my part of the world, is difficult to work.  I was able to get QSO's on a few bands and was impressed with the operation. I was not able to work these guys on QRP either. VU4VB operated from a rare IOTA which I also chased. So, please all around on this one.

SOTA Activations: I did find time to get in four SOTA activations near my Santa Fe, NM QTH during November. I activated three peaks, along with Fred KT5X and John K1JD, southeast of Albuquerque, NM.

Summit 8455 W5N/EL-002

This was a full day of activating. The first peak was a 100 mile drive, but well worth it. All of the three peaks were in excess of 8,000 feet. The picture above is of the first summit we activated, about a mile hike to the top. You can see from the pictures that a wildfire some years ago delineates our path to the top.

View from 8455

The reward, besides activator points, from being involved in SOTA, are the views.

More Views

The additional points achieved from these activations moved me to a total of 719 points in my quest to get to a 1,000 and earn the esteemed title of "SOTA Goat"

I love this radio stuff.....Until next time...73
Mike Crownover, AD5A, is a regular contributor to and writes from Texas, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

5 Responses to “Tromelin, Andamans and SOTA”

  • Logan Zintsmaster, KZ6O:

    The arrogance and elitism in the comment “Why should the capable stations be made to wait on those not so capable.(?)” is astounding. If what you’re saying is that DXpeditions are only for the rich, who live on acreage, with lots of kw amps, and have multiple towers and antennas, then I guess I’ve supported my last DXpedition because I don’t meet those criteria. Some of us face physical, geographical, and monetary limits on our stations that we can’t get around, no matter how much improvement and learning we do. I’m not an “everybody gets a trophy” guy but I would like a reasonable chance to be successful.

    And contrary to your implied point, we DO tell Ferrari drivers they have to drive the speed limit! The airwaves, like the roadways, are not the property of just the rich and famous. Like we should have learned in kindergarten – we need to share.

  • Joe KB3PHL:

    KZ6O I agree, It’s like the arrogant attitude of the guy’s you find on 75 meters who ignore anyone who doesn’t have an amp. Probably the majority of Hams aren’t fortunate enough to have multiple acres for antenna’s &/or can afford to have shacks decked out with the most expensive equipment.

  • Charles N1CAI:

    Bravo Logan I couldn’t agree with you more that struck me of elitism to the extreme and incredible ignorance. It’s attitudes like that that remind me of those who cry foul about no code test brining the unwashed masses to our hobby. I think those who don’t learn code because they were forced to fail to see the forest through the trees. I am a no code tester and learned it because I had the passion and drive to do so. Just because you only have a dipole antenna and a bare foot rig doesn’t make you any less an operator than the big guns. Sounds to me like a bit better operating skills or patience as a QRP op might help unfortunately humility can’t be taught. One last point as a LEO the guy in the Ferrari 9 times out of 10 gets the ticket again attitude.

  • Frank ON6UU:

    KZ6O…well said !!

    those with 3.5KW or more amplifiers, they shout one time to a dxpedition and work them. But do they have fun ???? My geuss…no ! My thinking then…at least they are already gone…but…they come with more and more, it does not stop anymore. Opening the bands to people who only learned the law of Ohm wasn’t the best of idea’s either…. ..

    If you want to work the world…learn code… I’ve done it too, I work everything with 100W now 🙂 🙂

    ohhh…don’t be jealous of the Ferrari driver…his machine is more in the garage then you would think…same with many amplifiers of people who don’t know how to operate them. 🙂

    have a nice day !!
    –… …–

  • Ernest AA1IK:

    FB on the SOTA activation. I had a nice QSO with K1JD this afternoon. He could hear me just fine with his stepR and I could hear him just fine with his amp. My Kx3 runs 10 watts tops! I use an End Fed antenna, which is all I can put up here at my condo, so I’m grateful for Amps and StepRs and big Yagi’s!

    As for the crybabies; there will always be gripers, complaining about what others have, jealous, because they don’t. Life is what it is, grow up!

    Mike, AD5A is right!

Leave a Comment

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter
News, Opinion, Giveaways & More!

Join over 7,000 subscribers!
We never share your e-mail address.

Also available via RSS feed, Twitter, and Facebook.

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

We never share your e-mail address.

Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!

  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor

Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: