Fort Brescou 2000

It has been the 4th time that the « CASTRES DX GANG » has gone to the Brescou fort from the 24th until the 28th of May 2000. After having listened to the weather report for a week and got information from the port’s leader of Cap d’Agde, the Radio Club « f5kbq » finally decided on Wednesday to leave. On Thursday morning 3 vehicles left Castres. F5BJW left first, as usual, in order to get the permissions and the keys of the famous jail. F5DBX joined the expedition directly from Toulouse. As we arrived at the Mediterranean it was very sunny. After having transferred 1500 kilogramms of equipment on the « Gulf stream » ship, we arrived at Brescou at half past twelve.

Since last year nothing had changed, each one kept the same place : 3 SSB stations and one CW. As a consequence to the former experiences each station worked with a « LEVY » 2*21 meters aerial, 300 homs drop and chord boxes specially studied and built in a small scale by F5AUB and F5XX. A SSB station worked with a 300 Watts hf amplifier and a 42 meters DELTA LOOP aerial.

F5BJW started up at 7 : 24 pm with RW3XZ (21 mhz). Not long after, Francis F5DBX began on 28 mhz, followed by F5XX with CW on 14 mhz. Alain F5AUB and Guy F5OSN with a 4th radio were on the low tracks. Then we got 3500 QSO.

We noticed we had many contacts with the 5 continents. Francis F4DBX worked hard with his first 28 mhz pile up with our Japanese friends which we congratulate for their strictness. We also contacted many Americans who were waiting for us to confirm the WLH500. This diploma started up successfully in the USA and many of them complained that French expeditions often go QRP.

We congratulate F5BJW and F5OSN not only for the high tech logistic but for the delicious fishes and mussels too that they caught and that we ate. Many thanks to our sponsor « La Société Française de Salaison » of Lacaune for their meals and special thanks to Mrs PASCUAL from the Tourist Information Office of Agde for the permissions.

CWe’ve been surprised by Henri F6FLO’s arrival by " sea hitch-hiking" on Saturday morning. Henri, who was part of the 1997 expedition came without warning and worked a little bit on CW. On Sunday morning we also received 2 Gérard, F5CRD and F6GZC, Pierre F5PGA from Lyon and Philippe F6FBD from Dunkerque. They all had their YL. I thank them all for their coming and their encouragements. I also have a thought for FJBR who helped us to be known worldwide and who finally couldn’t join us. We hope you’ll join us next year, André !

Technically speaking, there’s nothing special to notice : 4 stations at the same time, 2 of them working on the same track without any problem. On Friday night the WX and the spreading were quite bad because of the QRO storm. We did our last QSO on Sunday at 4 : 00 pm. We went back to the continent without any problem at 6 : 00 pm and arrived in the Tarn at 9 : 00 pm. We were all tired but glad, head full of ideas and projects.

Thanks to the 3500 OM’s who contacted us. The QSL manager is still F5XX, directly at home or at the office. Soon you will see the pictures of the expedition by checking the Radio Club service of Castres F5KBQ on the page : Fort Brescou 2000 (reportage photo).

73’s to everybody.
F5XX Bernard