VK0EK – Heard Island

    QRT

    untitled (3) April 6 – Good morning from Heard Island. Propagation conditions continue to improve, and the low bands were especially productive last night with many ATNOs on 40 m and new bands for 80 and 160 m DXers. We have all stations operating this morning from 40 to 15 m. The 20 CW station is currently beaming NA, 20 SSB to EU (this was also a good LP NA opening earlier in the expedition, but with the current propagation that path is marginal today – still, we are logging some western and central NA on that station).

     

    April 5 – After a very windy night, we have a calm morning on Heard Island. 80 and 40 were very good into NA this morning. 30 is still working NA. The 20 SSB station is working EU. A 17 SSB station is calling, looking for the band to wake up to EU, and 17 CW is looking for NA. April 3 – Message from Radio Team Leader Dave, K3EL:

    “Prop is not good from here to anywhere, and hasn’t been all day. We are making occasional Qs on 20, but no real runs. Alan’s (VK6CQ) experience is that this sort of event shuts prop completely down here, but that it should recover relatively quickly. However, looking at Spaceweather, it might be a lengthy event.”

    img_4525_10241

    April 2 — From early in the conception of this project we planned to activate two sites, a main location with all bands at Atlas Cove, and a limited operation for a short period from Spit Bay on the other side of Heard Island. The Spit Bay operation was designed to improve our ability to make contacts to western and central North America, which from Atlas Cove is the other side of Big Ben, the 9000-foot volcano in the center of Heard Island. However, now that the operation from Atlas Cove is well underway, we are finding good openings to the west coast on many bands. We are VERY aware of the areas that still have a huge need – and will work hard to work you in these areas. [read more..] 12494769_10154111029304577_5611304944300778080_n

    March 31, 22:56Z – 160, 80, 40 and 30 are on the air (2230 UTC). Note – DXA only lights up when QSOs are being made, so even though 160 and 80 show inactive right now, we are CQing – check these bands, conditions seem good tonight. Yesterday after heavy rain the Nullabor flooded – this is the flat plain that is just above sea level to the south of our camp. We have verticals for 160 and 80 there, 4-sq for 40 and 30, and rotary VDAs for 17 and 15. These antennas are enjoying an even better ground plane after the flooding. March 30 @ 09:30Z – Winds today have abated from last night, when 60 kt winds were recorded aboard the Braveheart. This afternoon our team put up a 40m delta loop and a 17m vertical dipole array. These antennas are still undergoing evaluation and tuning, but we hope they will be on the air soon. We have been having fun and keeping 5 stations on the air for the upper bands through the daytime hours. Our 40 m delta loop should allow us to have more stations on at night, helping to fulfill demand for SSB and RTTY.

    March 28 @ 09:51Z – This afternoon we have a full complement of stations on the air, and have put up beverage antennas and a vertical dipole array for 15m pointed towards the central US. It’s very windy today, and walking into the wind can be very difficult. There are occasional squalls with graupel, and other gusts blow volcanic dust everywhere. The temperature is around 3 C (38 F).

    March 27 – New pics from Heard Island (more can be found here). Meanwhile, earlier today, the team say the on-island network issues are resolved.  Tonight they’ll be working on 160, 80, 40, and 30 meters. Presently they are all CW, with TX frequencies: 1818.5, 3516, 7016, and 10116.

    untitled (10) untitled (9) untitled (8)

    March 27, 0200z: Our antennas have made it through some wind last night, and the low band results were good. This morning we are moving up the bands, and will try to get SSB in on the WARC bands. We plan to do little or no SSB on contest bands during the CQ WPX SSB contest. Weather this morning is raining. Temperature is 4 C (39 F), strong and gusty NW winds, pressure is 996mb. New link for DXA3 – http://dxa.vk0ek.org/

    Regular blog updates and images from Heard Island often appear here

    March 25 – Plan A for today was to have antenna work parties on Yagi, 160 m and 80 m 4-sq, and one or two stations on most of the time on the higher bands (we have one 12/17 m and one 10/15/20 Yagi up). However, at the moment the WX is not good, strong wind and rain/sleet, so we might not be able to work on the low bands antennas until the wind abates. At the moment it seems to be getting worse rather than better, but things can change quickly. We may try just putting up a single vertical for 80 to begin with if the WX remains too bad to work on getting all of the 4-sq together. [K3EL]

    March 24 @ 17:14: The day of landing, the team was able to get the 30 and 40 m 4-squares erected, and partially completed a triband yagi. We opened with two stations on 30 and 40 meters. This morning there was still a lot of work to be done on additional antennas, stations, and camp facilities. With no propagation on 30 and 40, radio operations went on hold and all hands went toward further setup. Around 1300 UTC the 30 m station was activated again. A few kinks with the IT system were worked out, and we now have more antennas and positions up. Only 40 and 30 are currently open (no 80 or 160 yet). We hope to be on all bands in the next few days. After a few technical difficulties on-island, DXA is working properly and you can check that you are in the log at .The team members are all well, but very tired from long hours and tough work. We have mostly had good weather, and appreciate all the thoughts and support from our partners in the ham radio and scientific community.

    DXA3 – VK0EK online log

    Wanted: Audio files of VK0EK

    Since news is updated regularly by the team’s blogger, simplest thing is to redirect to the VK0EK page where an abundance of info is found.

    Vadym, UT6UD as ZL/ZS9HI/MM
    Vadym, UT6UD as ZL/ZS9HI/MM

    March 12 – The team’s signing ZL/ZL9HI/MM as their voyage gets underway.

    March 10 – RV Braveheart has left port and heading for Heard Island.

    RVB2

    VK0EK blog page / VK0EK ship tracker

    FIRST FOR DX NEWS – DX-WORLD.NET

    Comments