Re: Upcoming Trip to Big Island of Hawaii - Any DX Tips?

Guy Atkins

When I spent a week on the island of Rarotonga in 1993, SW & MW reception was sadly very poor the entire time. I had hoped to snag Niue which is about 650 mi. distant, but not even a peep out of it. I would hear the stronger Sydney and Melbourne MW outlets for a few hours each night but at a mediocre level, and I occasionally caught 738 Tahiti but also at a poor to fair level. I tried various random wires 100-150 feet in length, with the Grundig Satellit 500 and smaller portables I had along for the trip, but results were the same with every combination.

I found it hard to blame the results on poor propagation for an entire week. In correspondence with Patrick Martin in Oregon after the trip, he speculated that the highly volcanic soil affected reception, as he'd heard of someone else encountering the same thing from "Raro". However, I've read about others who had much better luck. This compilation article by Paul Ormandy highlights visits made by various DXers to Rarotonga:   (includes my own investigation on the disappearance of R. Cook Islands from the SW bands).

So, maybe it was just lousy conditions all of that week in "paradise", rather than a QTH on an island of lava rock?  Hmm... I think I need to make a return trip to investigate further  :^)

Guy Atkins
Puyallup, WA USA

--- In ultralightdx@..., "kugellagers" wrote:
> There is an overlook 150 yards to the WSW of the house that sits atop a 350 ft or so cliff that overlooks the caldera and lava lake. Which makes me wonder what affect, if any, a lake of molten rock would have on RF propagation/noise? I did a little research on volcanic soils and found that when wet (this area gets rain nearly every day) they are nearly as conductive as clayey soils. But that doesn't tell me what affects solid lava rock and molten lava would have on propagation. I imagine it would be small since the actual lake is about 3km SW of the cliff (near the smoke in the Google image). I think 350 ft height the cliff itself might help more with reception that anything else...Talk about cliffside DX Gary!

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