The Kiribati Connection
  T 3 0 E S



   Mauri!  Greetings! 


Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas) is made of 33 low lying coral atolls. It is sub-divided into three main groups known as the Gilbert Islands, the Phoenix and the Line Islands. Kiribati is located in the Central Pacific between 173 and 177 East Longitude and 4 North and 3 South Latitude. From North to South, a distance of only 800 km. However, the distance east to west is more than 3218 km.  Kiribati is 12 hours a head of G.M.T. that is 2 hours a head of Tokyo and 22 hours ahead of Honolulu, on the other side of the international dateline. Temperature varies between 25 degrees and 33 degrees Centigrade and 50 to 63 percent of the annual possible sunshine of 4135 hours. The wet season extends from December to May and rainfall variation is high in most of the islands. A gentle breeze from the easterly quarter is predominant. The modern history of Kiribati begins with the arrival of Micronesians from the South Pacific, which took place from 200 to 500 AD. Internal self-government was attained in two stages and it finally became the fully independent Republic of Kiribati on 12 July, 1979. The Peace Corps has been active on Kiribati for over 25 years. Maps and Facts on Kiribati.   Recently PBS spent 3 months in Kiribati, with the Voyage of the Odyssey. Be sure to take a look at their logs and adventures. Current weather on KiribatiIota OC-017, CQ-31,  ITU-65.  Pictures of the T30ES operation.


The Bethel Educational Amateur Radio Society, the BEARS, has started over 675 hams on their radio path.  Some students become active, in others, the radio seed lies dormant until conditions come together later in life.  Eric Griffin, N1JSY was one of those students.  After graduating from Penn State, he decided to spend two years with the Peace Corps, before entering Medical School.  During the summer of 2000, he upgraded to become a General class operator, hoping that when he received his assignment, amateur radio could be a link to the outside world.


CARA is the The Candlewood Amateur Radio Association.  In support of CARA’s mission, as a general service club, a group formed to provide amateur radio support for the little activated island of Butaritari. This project would not only benefit a local ham, in one of the poorest countries on earth, but the amateur community worldwide.  Many CARA members immediately volunteered elements of a station.  Jim Ritterbusch-KD1YV an antenna, John Ahle-W1JMA an antenna and log books, Barry Connolly-KA1JDD an antenna tuner, Frank Etzler-N8WXQ & Rosty Slabicky-N2FEX QSL cards and Pete Kemp-KZ1Z a TS-430 transceiver and a box of ham things, such as plugs, patch cords, radio books and hand tools.  Eric made contact with the local authorities and was assigned T30ES for a callsign.  Power is limited.  Eric has a car battery in his hut, that he can charge during the day via solar collectors.  Being new to HF and DXing, CARA members will help by providing Net Control assistance in the beginning and act as a QSL manager for this operation.


Butaritari is an island in the northern part of the Kiribati Group. It has an area of 13.6 square kilometers and an estimated population of 3.164. Butaritari is well known as the island where Robert Louis Stevenson lived in the late nineteenth century. Besides Tarawa and Abemama Atolls, Butaritari can boast to have one of the best harbors in the Gilbert Group.
Butaritari is one of the larger atolls in the Gilberts chain of Kiribati, located just south of Little Makin at 3° north of the equator. The atoll is roughly 4-sided and nearly 30 km across in the east west direction, and averages about 15 km north to south. The reef is more submerged and broken into several broad channels along the west side. Small islets are found on reef sections between these channels. The atoll reef is continuous but almost without islets along the north side. In the northeast corner, the reef is some 1.75 km across and with only scattered small islet development. Thus, the lagoon of Butaritari is very open to exchange with the ocean. The lagoon is deep and can accommodate large ships, though the entrance passages are relatively narrow.
The south and southeast portion of the atoll comprises a nearly continuous islet, broken only by a single, broad section of interislet reef. These islets are mostly between 0.2 and 0.5 km across, but widen in the areas where the reef changes directions. Mangrove swamps appear well developed in these latter areas as well as all along the southern lagoon shore. Narrow islets are somewhat characteristic of Kiribati atolls running E-W.

Bikati and Bikatieta islets occupy a corner of the reef at the extreme northwest tip of the atoll, bordering what may be a second small lagoon to the north of the main lagoon. Larger Bikati (2 by 0.5 km) harbors a village. The main village is Butaritari, population now probably about 1800 to 2000. This is the largest village outside of Tarawa. 



All T30ES operations are conducted during non-work hours.  Eric is kept busy during the day with a variety of local projects, developing the country's infrastructure, providing assistance to the people in a number of areas, such as rain water collection, women's medical issues and being an advisor to the school's gardening club.  He will be using two G5RV antennas, positioned separately, on HF 10 through 80 meters, with a maximum of 100 watts.  He will operate a few hours a day, due to limited power resources.  See the Breaking Information section below for the latest news.


Our T30ES adventure began the first week in September 2001.  Logbook  information is sent by mail, once every six to eight weeks, or so, from Tarawa.  Please be patient with your QSL card requests. QSL directly to CARA only.  All cards with an S.A.S.E. will be answered. Please note that Kiribati (T30) does not have a QSL bureau.   Please check this page often for the latest updates

QSL to:               C. A. R. A.

                            Post Office Box 3441

                            Danbury, CT  06813  U.S.A.


Breaking Information: 

Eric has moved from Butaritari to Tarawa fulltime and has extended his stay in country for an additional year.  He will be there until approximately January 2004A  replacement rig has been purchased, arrangements for shipping are currently being made.  He hopes to  get back on the air soon.  Announcements will be posted here and with the various DX Bulletins to keep you up to date on Eric's return.

A new web page has been added with pictures of Eric and his radio operations.  Photographs

Eric is currently off the air.  His transceiver is being repaired in Tarawa.  So far no luck :(    The high humidity and salt air has taken its toll.  

Eric's license was issued by Mr. Mote Terukaio of the Ministry of Information and Communication We thank him for his assistance in the licensing process. 

As a general rule, received QSL cards are batch processed once a month


C.A.R.A.'s e-mail address for general questions is via John, W1JMA

Do not request specific schedules or QSL card status.

The Team Leader for the T30ES Project is Pete, KZ1Z