After ceasing regular broadcast transmissions (RNW) last month the Dutch KPN Broadcast Services shortwave station located at Flevoland gave us the opportunity to go there and play the big antennas on 14 December 2007.
My good friend Peter/PA8A and myself(PA3GVI) had been there about two years ago but that was just a short trip as we had to adjust to the transmitting schedule of the station.
This time we planned to stay there a full day and mainly focus the 40 meter band.
We would try to work into the US in the morning hours and turn towards Asia in the early afternoon.
We made the appointment and around 0745z we were on our way to the station which is located in the Flevoland province, about 1 hour drive from were we live.
The car packed with equipment and ofcourse food and soft drinks to make it through the day.
Earlier we disconnected the FTDX-9000 from Peterís shack and set it carefully into the car, covered with blankets to prevent it from scratches and such.
We arrived at the carpark exactly on time together with Frans the technician who would help us at the station.
First, he made uss some nice coffee and showed uss the attachingpoint for the big arrays.
At that time two more operators arrived and so we would have two stations active.
They focussed 20 meter most of the day.
After we set the station and enjoyed Frans his fine coffee we were ready to go and gave our first CQ towards the US on 7150 and later on 7125.
A couple responded but as it was way past our sunrise, 1030z, I gues not many US stations expected Europeans to call here.
The curtain antenna that we used consists of 8 stacked dipoles with a huge curtain as reflector.
This big array has an elevation angle of approximately 7 degrees and an impressive 20 dB gain!
The main lob is towards South-America but it can be slewed towards the southern area of the US aswell(long path VK/ZL), letís say at about 290 degrees.
Just after noon we had a closer look at the possibilities with the antennaís and found out that it wasnít possible to use 40 towards Asia, they simple did not have any antenna for that direction.
The lowest grid was about 113 degrees, this is over the middle east and Indian ocean.
So this isnít really good for Asia then and I decided to have a go on 17 meter towards the states.
This worked perfect and one after another came into the log.
This was also the case with the other team, working well in to that part of the world on 20 meter.
Massive signals from 59 to 59+20 but still, this can be done at home too.
After some time we took a break and took a walk outside to have a look at the antennaís and shoot some pictures.
I was amazed and impressed by the hugh towers and many curtain antennaís.
The weather was very nice as well, chilly, clear bleu sky and no wind.
In the late afternoon one of the other operators sat behind our FTDX-9000 and worked a couple west coast/US over the long path on 40 meter/CW.
This worked very well but the opening didnít actually take that long.
Then finally the greyline turned towards the US again and we could work the first US again, well before their sunset.
I only worked CW as there are still many broadcast stations in the 7100-7200 section of the band during the day, letís say untill roughly 0000z.
Later in the evening I heard CX7CO on 7012 having a hugh signal when I turned the antenna to him and I made the contact with 59+20 both ways.
This was about the last fact as Frans had come back again to lead uss out again but not before we enjoyed a last cup of coffee.
Around 2200z we made the drive home again and arrived one hour later.
It was a very nice experience again exept the fact that we were dissapointed about not having an antenna towards Asia, which makes the daytime not really usefull to uss.
Working stateside from there goes very well on the higher bands but this can be done from anywhere with a yagi, so thatís not really special in this case.
Maybe we can go back there again and spend a full night at the station.
We could then use the night path to the US, SA and long path VK/ZL in the morning.