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ByGus M Browning, W4BPD, Orangeburg, South Carolina, (QST-1964-02) Ex AC5A, AC7A, YA1A, VQ9A, 6O1AA, LH4C, FL5A etc. Gus in Bhutan Some random thoughts of a DXer on the roof of the world When the bands are open here it’s always at mealtime. During breakfast, It’s long path to W6-land, during dinner, long path to the East coast. There have been no openings as of now to W5,7,8,9 or 0. Just about dinnertime I will be on CW just getting along fine and someone will say “Gus, how about some SSB?. So I will say okay and will start a QSO on sideband and someone else will call and before you know it will be going full blast on SSB Just about hen they will bring my meal in to me and there I am with a good hot meal in front of me and trying to talk at the same time. With no heat in these houses, you don’t let your meal sit there, because i twill get cold –and I mean cold – fast. So just try to eat and talk and write in the log at the same time. This happens seems like every day without fail. So you ask, “Why not pull the switch and jus teat?”. Well the openings only last 30 to 45 minutes and by the time finish eating, the band is dead. I tried telling the cook I wanted to eat earlier, but when can’t talk Bhutanese, Nepalese, Tibetan, or Hindi (the cook uses all these) you just can’t get through. They seem to think I want to eat while I am operating. I have been trying to use forty meters here, but you can’t imagine the big mess of QRM that band is over here!. And I mean it is all over the band, too RTTY,BC stations with 200% modulation, point to point SSB, badly tuned AM and T6 CW; and then a lot of just plain crud that doesn’t seem to be anything but a new kind of QRM. By careful hunting, I can find just a small hole in all this QRM and I jump in. So fellows, when (and if) you hear me on 7 Mc, I suggest you exactly zero me to call. It’s a safe bet to assume that my transmitting frequency is a clear spot for me. It is always interesting to hear stations coming in S9 here that are real DX from the States; such prefixes are UI8, UJ8, IM8, UH8, BY, JT, HS, 9M2, VS1, VU2, AP and others. These are the QRM here, and with some of the notes T9X it’s rough on me! I love this friendly, unspoiled and beautiful country! When you come up from India, the lay of the land is flat until you suddenly see the Himalayans in the distance. Where they start, Bhutan starts. The whole country is mountains. They are all covered with virgin forests at least to about 14.000 feet. Many of the valleys have never been visited or seen by anyone. The snow line is about 16.500 feet. This is a sight that is hard to describe for, especially at sunrise and sunset, you can see the clear blue skyline and the mountains in all their majesty! They look a little lonesome, and they are. There is only one motorable road, the jeep road from Phontscholing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phuntsholing) to Thimphu. It is only 127 miles long, but it takes two days to travel. When you go to Thimphu, is is always up and up and around and around. I never saw a stretch of even 200 feet that was straight! There are daily landslides that block the road for hours, even days. Between 5000 and 12.000 workers, mostly women, work the year around to keep the road possible. The people are the most friendly I have met anywhere in the world. There seems to be nothing they do not immediately give me. They keep the palace power plant operating several hours more than usual each day for me. They even got a few crates of Cokes by air from Calcutta, and cigarettes and fresh fruit and vegetables, also by air. I love the country and the people, and have no complaints at all. For my stay here I want to extend my thanks to His majesty the King of Bhutan: Chhawna, AC5PN: Saja, AC5SQ; His Excellency the Prime Minister; and for many favors given me, the Bhutan Trade Advisor in Calcutta. For the entire DX-pedition I sincerely thank my XYL Peggy, Ack, W4ECI; K8TRW, Ed; Chuck Carney of Collins Radio (W0GDJ), and many others who have made it possible. As for the equipment – do you think yours would still be working i fit has been submerged in Indian Ocean salt water for ten days? If It took a ten-day trip on top of an African bus where almost every tube was shaken from its socket? I fit was fed line voltages ranging from 160 to 265 Volt? Well mine is still working almost like the day I got it! There is much more I’d like to write about Bhutan, but it would take a book to do a good job, so I will save it for my book, later, which will cover the entire trip – all fifty countries, every country a story within itself. I’ll be writing more later. Gus, W4BPD The second DXpedition of Gus-W4BPD (part 3) In June 1963 15 months were gone since Gus left his home to go on his second DXpedition. But the adventure was not over yet. Asia was on the program. Gus wanted desperately to activate the small DXCC countries in the Himalaya. According to many hams this was not possible. But impossible does not count for Gus. From July 1963 until February the next year Gus was QRV from Bhutan, Tibet, Sikkim, Nepal and more dream locations. In November 1963, Gus made a side trip back to Aden to take part of the DXpedition to Kuria Muria Islands, a new DXCC-Country. An own call for that new one was not possible, so Gus did use the call VS9HAA (owned by John, G3NAC ). Gus was the CW operator of VS9HAA, John did the Phone part. Because of transport problems, Gus arrived too late in Aden to join the DXpedition-group to Kuria Muria. Four days later the next boat to Masirah left Aden, and sailed 1000 Miles to bring Gus to Kuria Muria just four days before the DXpedition was over. While waiting for this next boat, Gus was active as VS9AAA from Aden. After Kuria Muria, Gus went back to Bhutan, the country Gus loved most of all. Eventually Gus went back home to South Carolina in February 1964, after an DXpedition trip of 22 Months. Gus Browning, The CokeMan

Gus in Bhutan

Gus Browning Ad
Hams - W4BPD - Gus Browning
AC5A Bhutan AC5A/AC4 Tibet AC7A, back in Bhutan AC3PT, Sikkim (1963) YA1A, Afghanistan (1963) On the back of the VS9H QSL you could read who the operator was VS9H, Kuria Muria,   Gus was here QRV as VS9HAA 9N1MM, Kathmandu Nepal VS9AAA, Aden, too late for joining the Kuria Muria group YA5A, the stamp call is the real one. AP5GB, Pakistan 1963 AC7A, back to Bhutan after the  VS9H operation XW8AW/BY Last activity from Gus before ending the trip HS1AA 1964 XW8AW, Laos 1964, hard to catch from the States Bhutan Highways