Operation Cabo Frio - January 2009

By Flávio PY2ZX and Fábio PY1ZV.

Updated: 09-Jan-2009.


In the second half of 2008 some US and South Africa Hams started planning the Namibia 2009 V5/KT6Q DXPedition. The main objective had been EME, but also gearing activities to study and research the Transoceanic through Tropospheric Propagation between Africa and America, especially with Brazil.

Since Japy DX Group was in contact with the expedition group, we were motivated to join to that effort, fulfilling and enabling stations that could be useful on monitoring and studying.

So we set up a first station on the northern coast of Bahia ZY6Y during the same period of the Namibia DXPedition.

That is one of the best set point in Brazilian coast for the Brazil-Africa link through VUHF, as per Mr. Willian Hepburn Tropospheric Ducting forecasts.

In late December the group set up a second operation in partnership with friends from Rio DX Group, to be set on the coast of Rio de Janeiro, also in the same period of Namibia DXpedition.

The site, which has been watched by us for many years, is the region of Cabo Frio - Arraial do Cabo.

This area is a continental projection into the ocean, allowing stations to be located in a favorable position into fully clear and unblocked paths, throughout azimuth and routes exclusively over the sea reaching most part of São Paulo coast, the southern coast and even portions of Uruguay and Argentina. Also offers ocean path towards Africa, allows operations in grids not usually activated and is likely to Transatlantic Ducts.

In the workshop about DX Operations in the UHF Forum at FENARCOM 2007, promoted in partnership with the Araucaria DX Group, it was realized that the coasts of Santa Catarina, Paraná, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro had a similar geographic format to the Australian Bight or Australian Grand Bay, where Tropospheric Ducts often occurs, and Cabo Frio / Arraial do Cabo, in this case, are just in the northeast extreme.

So, a station in this region would make our main goal stronger: V5/KT6Q; as well would allow exploring other azimuth, useful to better understand the possibilities of the site and guide us for future operations.

Initially we tried an operation in known elevations of Arraial do Cabo, however we got a small facility very close to sea in the city of Cabo Frio, Rio de Janeiro state, in GG87xc for January 12th to 17th - 2009. The special call is PT1A (Papa Tango One Alfa).

Despite the probable existence of noise in lower QRGs, we chose the electric power infrastructure in Cabo Frio instead a camping with power generators and batteries. This would enable us to power up the linear amplifiers which, although having modest power, can help us to achieve the most difficult QSOs.

A special callsign was required and as soon as we get the answer from our telecommunications authorities, it will be spread out.

The operational conditions in Cabo Frio will be as follow:

  • Bands: 50 MHz, 144 MHz, 432 MHz;
  • Transceivers: Yaesu FT-897D, Kenwood TS-600;
  • Amplifier: Signal Scope 144 MHz 100 Watts; Mirage 50 MHz 150 Watts;
  • Antenna 50 MHz: 6 elements K1FO by PY2NI, horizontal polarization;
  • Antenna 144 MHz: 12 elements K1FO by PY2NI, horizontal polarization;
  • Antenna 432 MHz: 15 elements K1FO by PY2NI, horizontal polarization;
  • Power Supply: Alinco DM-330 MV; 2 x PS-30; 30A by PY1ZV;
  • Computing: Notebook HP; WSJT;
  • Internet: GSM Modem (Service provider: Tim). Specific email/msn/Skype accounts.

Confirmed operators (in alpha-betical order of appearance):

  • Fábio Hoelz, PY1ZV;
  • Luiz Tresso, PY2OC;
  • Marcelo Rabelo, PY1RY;
  • Martins de Oliveria Neto, PY2HN.

Behind the scenes support to DXPedition: Enos PY2ENO, Felipe PY1NB, Felipe PY1TR, Flávio PY2ZX, Horta PY2NI, Pereira PU2WDV.

We strongly suggest and encourage other stations throughout South America to be part of this effort to try to listen and to contact Namibia DXPedition. May we can provide a very productive week in terms of DX activity!

Our thanks to the groups Rio DX and Japy DX for contributions offered and incentive for the development of this operation. We hope this is just a joint effort between many others in the near future.

We will be continually updating the website about all Operations (Cabo Frio, Bahia and Namibia), and sending informative emails through VHF-DX. Good luck!

Our e-mail for sckeds:

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Japy DX Group: Updated: 09-Jan-2009