Contesting to the limits – D4C Contest Station, Cape Verde – Africa
D4C Monteverde Contest Team
After many attempts in many different places, in 2001 we finally found our new way to live and feel contest competition by approaching to Cape Verde.
D44TC and D44TD stations belong to the past and they are still very present in our good memories.
In 2006 we decided to get into a new, hard and ambitious, project, started from the scratch of the previously existing D4B station build by 4L5A Alex and the we received the D4C callsign that identifies a team specifically born for contesting: The “Monteverde Contest Team” which started the activity in November 2007 in the CQWW DX CW as M/2.
THE TURTLE – Not only “I FOLLOW D4C” ….
More than 15 years ago, founder members of the D4C Monteverde Contest Team, participated in the CQ WW SSB from Lampedusa Island (Zone 33, IOTA AF-019) which is a nesting site for the Caretta caretta, or Loggerhead (an oceanic turtle distributed throughout the world). By coincidence in Cape Verde there is the third largest nesting population of these turtles the in the world.
The core team is composed at the moment by 8 members (in alphabetical order): HB9DUR Andrea, I4UFH Fabio, I4YSS Vic, IK2NCJ Luca, IZ4DPV Max and SQ9CNN Rafal, SQ9D Pete and YL2KL Girts
The station is located on the Island of Sao Vicente, one of the ten islands that make up the archipelago of Cape Verde with 500’000 inhabitants in total.
Monteverde is the name of the mountain where the station has been established and means Green Mountain.
It is 710m high (2300 ft), without any city building and this give the chance of exploiting a very quiet place with very low “take-off” angles on any direction.
Like all the medals even here there is a flip side, not very pleasant, due to very high daily wind (speed around 35Mph) and high humidity that very often change in terrible fog. All this make a very harsh and stressful environment for both humans and hardware.
The shack is 120 m2 (1200 square feet) inside a property of about 8’000 m2 (86000 square feet) in which there is a house with 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and a large open space where all 6 bands positions can take space together with the kitchen.
Outside 8 towers from 45 to 120 feet high are covering the entire area, which also includes a small garage that protects a 60kVA power generator.
Because everything was erected from scratch from D4B activity (the previous owner), we had the possibility to design a specific hardware according to the location.
First thing we wanted to eliminate all rotators. It is easy to imagine how long they can resist in such an environment.
All antennas are fixed, 4 yagis on each band from 10m to 20m, 2 yagis on 40m and Inv-V dipoles on 80m.
For top-band we use a quarter wave vertical with 60 radials and the HI-Z 4 square+ beverages for RX on low bands.
To control all the hardware we don’t use any commercial device. All the automatic switching system has been designed and realized by ourselves. This includes a 6×4 antenna switch (6 bands antennas shared automatically in 4 positions), band-decoders and antenna switches.
Underground we put about 500 m of ½” coaxial cable and about 100 m of 7/8” coax plus several thousands of feet of electrical cables for services.
About 6 tons of materials have been shipped from Europe from 2007 till now to allow us to turn into reality what was first designed on paper.
THE ANTENNA PARK (all antennas are in fixed directions)
|Tower 1||28 Mhz||4 X 5 el||NA, EU, SA, AF|
|Tower 2||21 MHz||4 el – 4 el||NA – SA|
|Tower 3||21 MHz / 50 MHz||4 el – 4 el / 5 el – 5 el||EU – AF / NA – EU|
|Tower 4||14 MHz / 50 MHz||4 el – 4 el / 5 el||NA – SA / SA|
|Tower 5||14 MHz||4 el – 4 el||EU – AF|
|Tower 6||7 MHz – 3.5 MHz||3 el Wire Yagi + DIPOLE||NA|
|Tower 7||7 MHz – 3.5 MHz||3 el Wire Yagi + DIPOLE||EU|
|Tower 8||1.8 MHz||¼ lambda Vertical with 100 radials||Omnidirectional|
The station has been active in all modes from 160 to 2 meters collecting more than 360’000 QSOs up do date under three callsigns: D4C, D4Z, D41CV.
There are 6m, 2m, 70cm and 23cm CW beacons running 24/7. The one on 6 meters is often spotted as the only signal on band. We are generally active in HF contests in the Multi OP category, from M/S to M/M. Additionally, due to our position, it happens often to be the only signal present on the 10m-band .
|D4C Num. QSO per Band||D4C Num. QSO per Band||D41CV Num. QSO per Band|
|Total consolitated D4c, D4Z, D41CV=364’636 QSO|
We confirm qso via LoTW, E-QSL, via Bureau and via direct with a personalized meter stamp.
Without the help of some people such a project would never have been possible.
We must thank our technical partners and friends:
- Momobeam antennas for scoring the antennas on our project
- To to all of you that constantly call us during any contest.
- To the 35+ guest operators that allow the team to reach top scores.
- IT9GCG Enzolog for being flexible in providing the log and QSLing management
- Here a list of our supporters
Online Store www.shop.d4c.cc
Snail Mail Monteverde Contest Club, 6963 PREGASSONA, SWITZERLAND
You are invited to discover more on www.d4c.cc
Vy 73’s and please call us in every contest!
The Monteverde Contes Team