From ARRL de WD1CKS@WLARB to QST on Thursday, February 28, 2019 21:42:41
The V84SAA DXpedition February 6 - 18 received a great deal of positive attention in Brunei - a tiny nation surrounded by Malaysia on the South China Sea. The arrival of the DXpedition team not only merited coverage on the local evening newscast, but a front-page newspaper article. According to the article, the DXpedition aimed "to increase cooperation among [Amateur Radio operators] besides instilling the spirit of teamwork and fostering close ties. The expedition also serves to help promote the country's uniqueness and natural heritage through Amateur Radio," the article said. "So yes, this was a pretty big deal over there!" V84SAA team member Jeff Briggs, K1ZM/VY2ZM told ARRL. In a narrative he provided to The Daily DX, Briggs explained how the SSB and CW teams operated from sites about 20 minutes apart.
"The SSB camp was from a rented villa on a small hilltop inland a bit, and the CW camp was in a tent right on the beach - with all our CW antennas right on the beach," Briggs said. "Most of the operators at the SSB villa stayed and ate their meals at that location. Our beach site had very different and Spartan facilities; there we usually lunched on vanilla cookies and water."
Briggs said DXpedition leader Krassy Petkov, K1LZ, handled 80-meter duty next to the 160-meter position, where Briggs and other team members operated. Briggs is the author of DXing on the Edge: The Thrill of 160 Meters.
"Propagation was tough overall without good openings on 15, 12, and 10 meters for the most part, so the bulk of our contact total came from the low bands through 20 meters. The contact total was 58,120 contacts, with 4,081 contacts on 160 (459 with North American stations) and 5,807 contacts on 80 meters (1,014 with North American stations). Briggs acknowledged that the team's most challenging times were on 80 and 160 meters, "where it was really difficult to work into North America - either at sunset or sunrise - but we never missed an opening and were there trying every day." The team made the first-ever 60-meter contact after receiving permission to operate on that band.
"We were a large international team, and we were blessed with fantastic local support from Tamat Lampoh, V85TL, and the local Brunei Darussalem Amateur Radio Association," Briggs said. "They were wonderful hosts and set up an opening and a closing ceremony for us, which was attended by the deputy minister of AITI, which is the FCC equivalent in Brunei."
Briggs said the V84SAA QSL manager is LZ1JZ, and that the entire log would most likely be uploaded to Logbook of The World (LoTW) in early May.