On December 4th, 2016 I joined 7 other hams (most of whom I had never met) on Saint Lucia for what I hope will be the first of many opportunities to “be” the DX instead of “chasing” the DX.
This trip was the 8th that the Buddies in the Caribbean have made to Saint Lucia. This trip is hosted by the creator of the Buddipole, Budd Drummond – W3FF, and his son, the owner of Buddipole Antennas, Chris Drummond – W6HFP.
In the picture above from the top row left to right is Jeff – KO7M, Harold – WJ1B, Budd – W3FF, me, Thom – W6LDX. Bottom row left to right isMatt – K0BBC, Chris – W6HFP and Paul – W6PNG.
We arrived on the island on December 4th. The airport is on the south side of the island, but we were staying on the north side. Our driver “Big” loaded up our gear and we headed to the other side of the island. This approximately an hour and a half drive. It was just about dusk when we arrived.
Chateau Devaux is located on the north side of Saint Lucia. It sits about 100 meters above the ocean. On a clear day you can see the island of Martinique. In the picture above, you can just make out Martinique in the distance. This is a view from the Vila overlooking the ocean.
After getting settled and a nice dinner, we set up a couple of antennas and got on the air.
I brought my Elecraft KX3 and KXPA-100 amplifier. This combination worked very well. I logged well over 2600 Q’s with J6/KI8R and another 360 as J68HF during the 10 meter contest.
Above is the 40 meter vertical. It is made using a Buddipole low band coil, a shock cord whip and a top hat. Because of its height and the wind off the ocean, we chose to guy it in 3 directions.
Similar to the 40 meter vertical is the 80 meter vertical which was located on the opposite side of the vila.
Above is a 2 element 15 meter beam made from 2 Buddipole dipoles.
Some of our group also tried operating portable. Above is a 17 meter vertical on the edge of the ocean. Using and Elecraft KX-3 and 10 watts, this setup worked well into Europe.
Chris, W6HFP (J68HF) operating portable on 17 meters.
Mike – KI8R (me) operating during the 10 meter contest. Band conditions were far from good, but I still managed just over 360 Q’s (all CW). Our QSO total was around 550 for the contest.
Sunset on St Lucia.
One more picture before we packed up to go home.
This trip was an awesome experience. Not only did I have the time of my (ham radio) life, but I learned a lot as well.