The ham radio station at McMurdo is KC4USV. My delay in McMurdo
has allowed me to spend
quite a bit of time in the station. Unfortunately, the band
conditions are very poor, as a result of the
sun spot cycle currently being at a minimum. I've made a whole
whopping 8 contacts from KC4USV
far! There are at least 6 hams we know of here in McMurdo, but
the only day most get to operate is
Sunday. Everyone works a 6 day week here, except me, until I
finally get to WAIS.
The rig is a Kenwood TS-480. The control head is on the desk
top. The base unit is on the second shelf,
top left, under the speaker. A Tokyo HY Power amp, on the desk at
far left, be hind the water bottle,
allows the station to output about 500 watts. We don't have 220
VAC in the shack, which is required for
the amp to output the full 1.5 KW it can. The 12 Power supply, an
Astron, for the Kenwood is on the
floor in the corner.
Here's the inside entry to the shack.
The snow bank has be shoveled back just enough to squeeze one's
self in the door. It's mostly ice, we're hoping for it to melt
Here's the Hy-Gain TH-7DX beam antenna. It's amazing it works as
well as it does, given the pounding it takes in the winds here during
winter. No rotor, again because of the wind. One arm of the
dipole is visible above the guy wire on the right. The other leg
dipole is going down the side of the tower, and needs to be extended
out if you want to operate 40. The 40 dipole SWR is very high, but
we aren't allowed to climb the tower to repair it.
The Ham Shack is the checker "building in a box." The white
building behind it used to be a green
house, complete with grow lights. When that researcher's
experiments were completed, it was shut down.
With it, a favorite spot of McMurdo residents to see something living
and green died too.
The ham shack location sits above most of McMurdo amongst rows of an
outside storage area. That's
Observation Hill in the background.
The front of the beam is pointed toward the west coast of the US.
There is some terrain immediately to
Here's a view of the tower and station after a bit of snow.
Not a Amateur Radio station, but radio related. Here's Sarah,
listening to many VHF and HF frequencies
simultaneously at McMurdo Operations Center. MAC-OPs for short.
This was taken during a tour
of the McMurdo Operations Center. All travel to and from McMurdo
goes though this communications
center. If travelers are late, and haven't radioed in their
status, search and rescue teams are dispatched within
minutes. Remote camps, such as our camp at WAIS must contact
MAC-OPs at least once a day to
confirm their status through this center.