What's it all about?

This site is all about Amateur Radio (ham radio). More specifically it is about my ham radio activities whilst living and working in Solomon Islands 1978 - 1985 and during my recent brief return to Honiara in March / April 2000. 

I have held the UK callsign G8BCG since 1967. My main interest has always been VHF and UHF long distance (DX) propagation. 

Living and working in the Solomon Islands from 1978 until 1985, using the callsign H44PT, I was hooked on 6m. 50MHz is still my favourite band and pretty much the sole focus of this site.

In my 30+ years in the telecommunications industry I have been fortunate to work throughout the world, including extended periods in Thailand, Australia, Solomon Islands, California and Korea. Great for Ham Radio! More recently I have been using my project management and technical skills planning and installing VSAT systems for a major bank across Africa from Botswana to Uganda and from Ghana to Seychelles and Mauritius. But not much time for ham radio - Ah well.

Why Solomon Islands?

In the beginning...

7 years living and working in Solomon Islands in the early 80s made a lasting impression on me. Professionally it was my first overseas assignment - a two year secondment that grew to 7 years. An assignment that started with establishing a Telecommunications Training Centre and ended with modernisation of the national telecommunications network.

The capital, Honiara, on the island of Guadalcanal, was a great place for my kids to grow up - they made many friends - both Solomon Islanders and other expats. So did we!

I was fortunate to be able to return to Honiara on business several times in the late 80s and was also able to keep in touch via bush telegraph (now using TCP/IP!!!).

For Ham Radio it was just fantastic. Although involved in HF comms professionally, I have no interest in the HF bands for ham radio. On 432MHz and 144MHz Oscar 10 and other AMSAT satellites proved to be great fun. I was certainly in demand as "DX" but was also able to use AO-10 for regular skeds to the UK.

My shack in Honiara circa 1982 H44PT VHF antennas for 6m and Oscar 10
As we were at the peak of Solar Cycle #21

The Magic Band Bug Bites!

Within 6 weeks of setting up home in Honiara I was on 6m. 6 watts from a Kenwood TV506 to a quad loop slung in a tree. This was VHF like I had never heard. A good solar cycle, an excellent tropical location and a sea path to Japan combined to entrap me for life! 50,000 JA QSOs later and I was still looking for more. 

My Millennium Project

Seems I'm a "when we" - always talking about "when we were in Honiara.....". Towards the end of 1998, my XYL Jackie suggested that I plan to go back to Solomon Islands as a "millennium project" to meet old friends and play radio for a while. Having just escaped from full time employment in global telecommunications I was unable to refuse! Year 2000 seemed so far off that it didn't seem real anyway. I blinked and it was March 2000 and I was on my way.

Take a look around

So, this site has historical sounds and pictures from my times in H44 in cycle 21, plus all the latest from my April 2000 DXpedition and finally, a 50MHz H44 Firsts List (updates and corrections welcome).

Take a look around, listen to the DX both here and on my other site. Please  e-mail me if you have any recordings, comments, suggestions etc.

I hope to work you soon on 6.

73 Peter

So where is Solomon Islands anyway?

 In the SW Pacific, East of Papua New Guinea and NE of Queensland Australia. 

Click here for a map of Solomon Islands and here to zoom in to Honiara on the island of Guadalcanal.

Year 2000 DXpedition Cycle 21 Activity H44 50MHz Firsts 1983 World Communications Year First Day Covers 50MHz QSL Gallery H44PT 50MHz DXCC Sound Archive AMSAT OSCAR-10 H44PTs Guestbook Archive Table of Contents


Click to G8BCG - my other site incl 50MHz Sound archives


G8BCG UKSMG Member # 1570

G8BCG / H44PT SMIRK Member # 4780

G8BCG UKSMG Member # 1570

 H44PT / G8BCG contact details: E-mail: Peter@h44pt.org.uk