8Q7ED Dxpedition to Maldives – December 2006

This has been another working visit to Maldives. Even though there was no time to spend on ham radio, there was plenty of time for boat rides, water scooter rides, snorkeling and diving.

Below is a video captured while learning to drive a speed boat. This was fun and a first time experience for me. During the deep sea where we cannot see the islands, the GPS comes in very handy in navigation. It is easier to drive the speed boat in the calm seas. But it is really challenging to drive in the rough seas when the water waves are higher than few feet. Thanks to Dhiraagu Telecom licensed boat driver for the excellent training.

The water scooter is also really good fun to try. It is very much similar to a normal mo-bike. But has the acceleration of a 250cc engine.

Ham Radio from Maldives

Maldives is a known destination for tourism. Many ham operators around the world go to resort islands and enjoy the hobby during their vacations. Mine is a different story. I go to Maldives time to time purely for work related activities. But this time, I was able to get a reciprocal license 8Q7ED during one of my business trips to Male.

Male city is not a place for Dxpeditions. Even the hotel terraces are occupied with many satellite dish antennas and microwave links. It is difficult to put up antennas for decent ham radio communications. But luckily, I was able to get my HF mobile vertical antenna hooked up in my hotel terrace. After getting friendly, the hotel staff has even provided me with some radials HI!.

With this simple setup, I was able to do about 60 QSOs within one day. In between the pileup, I was also answering the business calls. That was on the 6th of December 2006.

I am planning another operation from 19th to 25th December 2006 depending on my work schedule. But this time with a better antenna (Homebrew portable 20m hex beam). CU in the pileup.

If you need 8Q7 you can get it from my home call below;

Kamal Edirisinghe 8Q7ED/4S7AB

82B, Walaliyadda

Ellakkala 11116

Sri Lanka.