12th October 2015
Between August 30th and September 1st Hurricane Fred hit D4C QTH causing damages to towers and antennas. No injuries to people is to be reported.
Hurricane Fred was the first hurricane to move through the Cape Verde Islands since 1832 ! More info on the wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Fred_(2015)
The D4C Contest Team onsite support’s guy, prompted reacted by an immediate site survey.
Though being accustomed to high winds on top of the Monteverde mountain, the local maintenance man could not believe to his eyes. It was very cloudy weather and he could not find the 15m tower with NA and SA Antennas anymore, as it was lying on the ground. Both antennas were mechanically still connected to the mast. Additionally, 10m tower was bent and one section slipped downwards but being still hold by an antenna boom !
The whole antenna Park (14 pcs. Momobeam Heavy Duty yagis, including 2 x 5 el yagi for 6m band) was just rebuild last March 2015 before CQ WPX SSB.
With lots of sadness, we were forced to announce to all operators already engaged for the forthcoming contest season, to look for other opportunities as the damages at D4C station could have been serious, so cancelling all planned CQWW 2015 entry. However, the team reacted immediately by organizing a detailed site survey form Europe.
Massimo IZ4DPV left on September 24th and the following findings are the results of the Hurricane:
-10m: Tower with 4 antennas bent. Repaired and 1 coax cable to be replaced. However 4 antennas are OK
-15m: NA and SA Tower completely destroyed and 2 antennas survived but unusable.
AF and EU tower bent but not damaged. Antennas OK
-20m: 2 Towers in sound conditions / NA antenna was off direction. Readjusted.
-40m wire yagis: NA lost dipole and reflector. Already rebuilt / EU lost dipole and director. Already rebuilt
-80m dipoles : NA lost one leg of the dipole / EU ok
-160m vertical: Ok
Remark: All other 12 Momobeam antennas are in perfect conditions and we suggested to rebrand the Momobeam HD line yagi as HURRICANE DESTROYER!
- D4C/B Transatlantic beacons: The 6m vertical antenna was blown away. As temporary solution we will use a 5el yagi beaming EU as beacon antenna on 50.436 MHz.
Rebuilding – In spite of this heavy and definitely unexpected damage, the team reacted immediately, firstly contacting our antenna supplier Momobeam that without thinking more than a second, started the production of two new identical Heavy Duty antennas to be shipped with the first available container. Secondly, we purchased an adequate length of new replacement coaxial cable and connectors to be dispatched as well.
As a sign of strength and willingness to overcome this event, a Single Operator entry was performed during the CQWW RTTY contest on 20m.
We would like to recover ASAP from this unique bad experience and are now thinking how to solve the issue of the missing tower as a new one is required to guarantee a perfect station operation without interferences among the bands. As one can imagine, high unplanned costs have to been considered.
Anyone wishing to help and financially support D4C contest station to be back fully operational and with the usual station capability, is more than welcome and can use the following money transfer method:
Bank: IBAN: CH82 0483 5130 3012 4200 0 0
EUR Account BIC / SWIFT: CRESCHZZ68B
Beneficiary: Monteverde Contest Club, CH-Pregassona
Thank you on behalf of the Monteverde Contest Club and we hope to work you in the next future from D4C !