DX Pedition to Koh Chang Island - Gulf of Thailand North East Group

For the first time IOTA will be operating from the Gulf of Thailand North East Group.

WHEN: A first time operation is planned for the period 12 - 15th December 1996. Activity should start around 0500z on the 12th December 1996.

WHERE: Koh Chang is Thailand’s second biggest Island, located at 102 deg 22’ East, 12 deg 00’ North. It is 5km from the coast of Thailand at its nearest point. It is 300km South East of Bangkok, 45km South West of the city of Trat in South East Thailand, and 45km West of the Cambodian border. The DX Pedition will be located on the West side of the Island. It is approximately 2 hours by boat from the mainland. The island is 70% covered by virgin forest and mountains reaching 744 metres high. The population is approximately 5000 people.

WHO: The DX Pedition is being organised by Chamlong HS1AAM on behalf of the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand (RAST) to celebrate the 50th year of reign of King Bumipol of Thailand. The special call sign HS50A will be used. Chamlong can be reached on +66 2 275 7288, and Fax +66 2 278 5664.

The operators will be: HS1AAM, HS1CDX, HS2NS, HS2FDX, HS7ECI and HS0/SM3DYU, plus others.

International Liaison - Ray 9M2/G3NOM Internet: tayno@ibm.net. Tel/Fax +60 3 406 7240.

FREQUENCIES: The usual IOTA frequencies on all bands 1.8 MHz to 30 MHz excluding WARC bands (these are not normally permitted in Thailand). Modes to be used: CW, SSB, RTTY, Packet, and possibly Satellite.

QSLs Cards can be sent to the Thailand Bureau - PO Box 2008, Bangkok, 10501, Thailand, or to the QSL manager/s who will be announced soon.

The new HS50A QSL card by IK1PML. EXCLUSIVE scanning !

The original HS50A QSL card for mainland operation, explaining the celebration of the King's accession to the thrown. However, a new QSL is being made by IK1PML for this expedition.

Pics from the expedition. Click to see better resolution. Thanks Ray Gerrard
E21EJC poses by the tower and beam on Koh Chang
HS6CMT takes care of the TS950SD
on the sea journey to Koh Chang
The HS50A Banner flying in the sunset on Koh Chang
The HS50A shack with beam in the background
Another view of the A4S beam
Part of the team on the boat:
l-r: HS1AAM (leader), ?,?,?, E21EJC, HS3DF,?,HS6CMT
Met, HS3DF receives the AS125 number !
An operating position at HS50A (TS950SD + TL922 linear)
The HF and LF stations side by side
E21EJC poses in front of the Kongplow Resort
E21EJC prepares the coaxial feeder
HS6CMT puts the A4S in position
Sunset at Koh Chang
E21EJC operates the LF station 40m CW
Part of the team. Back row l-r:
HS1AAM (Expedition leader), HS1EUD, RAST Member
Front row l-r
Visiting YL, HS2FDX (Deputy leader), XYL of E21CJN
RAST member, E21CJN
A copy of the special licence obtained
for the expedition granting use of digimodes, 1.8, 3.5 and 435 MHz
which is not normally permitted in Thailand
A local map of the Island showing the location of
Kongplao resort from where they operated

Second IOTA DX Pedition - Koh Chang - AS125 - (Long. 102.22E Lat. 12.00N ) - HS50A - ( MAY 8-11, 1997)
The "first time" IOTA operation from Koh Chang (Elephant Island) took place in December 1996. Almost 2000 QSOs were achieved, (mainly with Europe and Japan), despite equipment problems, and poor propagation conditions. It was obvious that demand had not been completely satisfied, and the team felt that a second operation was needed.
With encouragement, and sponsorship from the RSGB, and Thai companies and individuals, a second operation took place in May this year.
The main party consisted of HS1AAM (Leader) , HS1CDX, HS1RU, HS2NS, HS2FDX (Organiser), HS2JFW, HS3DF, HS6CMT, HS7CMJ, HS7ECI, E21EJC, E21CJN, HS0/DL2VK, JR3XMG
The team travelled overnight together by hired bus from Bangkok to Trat Province in South East Thailand. Here, HS2FDX had made arrangements with local amateurs to transport the tower, equipment, and operators by a hired boat to the Island. The journey took about three hours, in calm seas. Due to steep mountainous slopes, only the south side of the Island is accessible by sea.
From the landing point, a local bus/truck took the party and equipment to the Klong Plow Resort. The antennas were assembled on the beach, and mounted on the tower by Sanoh HS6CMT. He has become famous in Thailand for his skills in climbing towers. In fact Sanoh has become know as the "Rotator", because so often he has had to rotate the beam manually.
Four separate stations were set up in different bungalows: 1. Main Station HF. 2. Second HF station. 3. VHF. Station. 4. 160/80m station. A DX Pedition of this nature is of great interest to the Thai VHF DX Fraternity, and many hundreds of QSOs were made in this mode. The HF scores achieved were as follows:

 160    25     -      25 
  80    41     -      41 
  40   382    75     457 
  20   644   522    1166 
  15   255   401     656
  10    80    63     143 
TOTAL 1427  1061    2488
Only 29 North American stations were worked (15m = 2, 20m = 20, 40m = 7) On 160m all stations in Japan except YB5QZ. 80m all stations in Japan except HA3OD. The rest were mainly JA and EU.
The results to North America were disappointing. The season, and the sunspot minimum did not help. However, it was hoped that over the two operations most of the "Big Gun" IOTA North American hunters achieved their goal. The mountainous terrain to the North was probably blocking the signals also.
It was disappointing that Europe could not be reached on 160 and 80m. Here again the late season was a factor, and the linear amplifier refused to operate properly. Inverted vee dipoles were used for these bands.
During daylight hours, it was difficult to raise any stations. HS1CDX estimated that 10 hours of each day were non-productive due to dead bands.
Taking all this into account, the achievement is thought to be reasonable, and there were a lot of good comments, and happy IOTA hunters. The operating standards from Europe were very good.
The QSL is rather special, in that it carries a picture of H.M. The King of Thailand and a tribute to his 50 years of reign. The call-sign HS50A, and the two IOTA DX Peditions were in celebration of the King's special anniversary. QSLs were designed and produced by IK1PML and donated by Ray G3NOM.
QSL information for both DX Peditions: I1JQJ - JA9IFF (For Japan only)
HS50A Home Page - (EU) inlcuding photos, and map - courtesy Maury (I121171)
HS50A Home Page (Japan) courtesy JA9IFF
The team would like to thank all those who encouraged and supported the DX Peditions particularly the RSGB IOTA Committee. Also to the 425DX Web Site Team (I1JQJ, I121171, IK0ZSN etc.) for their high tech Internet support and use of the 425DX Reflector. JA9IFF also for his publicity and home-page in Japan.
de G3NOM/9M2OM