[NEWS UPDATE] – The 3B7M DXpedition is heading towards the end. Only 2 x VDA and 2 x verticals for 40 & 30 will be used. Team will finish the operation at 0000UTC and start packing antennas. Ship departs in the morning at 05UTC. The weather has improved. Everyone is ok, but fatigue is setting in. Approaching 120K QSOs – log here

[MARCH 6] – Yesterday the team were were hit by a strong storm which damaged antennas. 1 x spider broken, 80m vertical and 1 x VDA fell. Besides that, there was a lot of water everywhere in the ham shack; they had to shut down everything, and at night was a limited operation only on 30 and 40m. In addition to that, there were also problems with other antennas.

Team now starting to pack slowly, and tomorrow morning everything will go down gradually except 30 and 40m. At night only these bands. Team must be on the boat by Wednesday morning (local), so 02.00 UTC QRT that day.

The pile-ups are strong. 20m is not a priority because 10m lasting late at night. Today, activating 20m a little bit, but everything is impossible. In addition, team should work on 160 & 80m tonight. Photos show QTH after the storm to see what it was like here. Disaster at night – we almost didn’t sleep. It was a matter of life rather than transmitting!

[MARCH 5 @ 1430Z] – 100,000 QSOs has been achieved – congrats! Some more pics below courtesy the team: 

[MARCH 5 @ 1100Z] – Team approaching 100K QSOs. Check the log here. A reminder that 3B7M is QRT on Wednesday morning (local). 

[MARCH 4 @ 0530Z] – 80, 000 QSOs in the log. Problems with low bands. After a strong storm, the 80m vertical has fallen. They didn’t operate CW due to high SWR but only FT8. It’s fixed now. 160m is still a big disaster. Strong interference. Again only a few QSOs on FT8. The low bands are a problem at St Brandon. Neither Beverage nor EWE is listening. There’s a mess from the generators. But the priority is the upper bands. 10m is open till 02.00 local times. Incredible pile-ups on 10, 12m. Over the weekend is ARRL SSB contest. 3B7M will be only on 17, 12 SSB and 10, 15 CW.

QRT info: team start packing antennas on Tuesday, and by Wednesday morning will be on air with only 2 x vertical 30, 40m and 2 x VDA. Wednesday morning QRT.

[MARCH 2 @ 0700Z] – Team started on 160m and 80m. The problem is that every night there are storms and big QRN which prevents them from receiving well on low bands. On RX they have EWE and Beverge 260m. They have solved the electrical problems, which seem stable now.

Yesterday, good openings on 10m, 12m and 15m. In the USA it is the 32nd most wanted. Therefore, team prefer USA and not EU for the opening of that band. Today they made another Spiderbeam. In total: 2 x VDA 12 & 10m, 2 x Spiderbeam, 1 x vertical for 40m, 1x vertical for 30m, 1 x vertical 80m. They have massive pileups on 10 and 12m. Pictures credit 3B7M team:

[MARCH 1 @ 0925z] – Logs are updated. About 35K QSOs in the log. Yesterday, the team finally built all antennas. 3 x Spiderbeams for HF and verticals / VDAs for other bands.  They have big electrical problems. Generators are overheating. At noon, it’s almost 40C in the sun and 32 in the shade. The power supply cable from the generator room to the ham shack has burnt out. Team had to fix the replacement cable. There’s often terrible rain and storms and that’s why there are so many operation outages. From today, team will focus more on low bands. FT8 on 80m will operate on 3567 kHz. YL Sisa is doing a lot of QSOs on 10m SSB with Ruda OK2ZA. The team is in good health.

[FEBRUARY 28] – Thanks to the team for sharing pics of their DXpedition. Please note than 6 & 60m will not be activated. 

[FEBRUARY 28] – FT8 is via MSHV software. Identical or similar way as TN8K. GPS clock synchronization will be on a regular base (JA window & EU radar QRM on 80m reported). The log is to be uploaded gradually to the Club Log. Corrections ONLY after the expedition. Requests send directly to the expedition QSL manager OK6DJ. During the expedition, no log modifications. Please check your band slot after the log update. Operation on QO-100 is planned at earliest for the second half of the expedition. There is a satellite connection to the team via Inmarsat-Bgan.

[FEBRUARY 26 QRV] – Delay in departure due to obtaining additional permits. The cruise and crew pick-up from the North Island took about 34 hours. The original house, where the previous French expedition was, is destroyed (not during the latest cyclone). They are in a smaller place, which is not so comfortable. During the trip, some got seasick even though they took pills. In the evening, they started at 30m, and in the morning, they continued at 15 and 12m. With extreme sunshine during the day, they can’t build anything. They want to build 1 x VDA and 1 x Spiderbeam later today. The whole team is in good health.

[FEBRUARY 24] – All clearances received. The ship has been refueled and is underway. You can follow the ship’s route and position here. The journey will lead first to Raphael Island (also known as the North Island). There they pick up the island crew, evacuated earlier before the cyclone, and sail to Saint Brandon Island (also known as the South Island). The total length of the cruise is approx 26-28 hours.

[FEBRUARY 23] – The delay on departure is 24 hours because the “minister of the blue economy” did not permit the team to go to sea due to the ongoing cyclone in the area. Team will sail a day later; they have rebooked departure flights by 48 hours; which cost a lot of money, the radio operation will be extended by 2 days until March 8th. 

Delayed in Mauritius

[FEBRUARY 22] – Team on their way. Expect first signals in a day or two. 

[FEBRUARY 13] – Team have obtained all entry permits from Outer Island Development corporation and now have green light to enter the island. They are in last phase of packing and next Tuesday will leave from OE to 3B8. Then they have recovery day and by February 23rd team should be on boat to 3B7. 

[JANUARY 16, 2023] – Miro OM5RW joins the 3B7M DXpedition. He is very experienced operator and will focus on 160m. A reminder that 3B7M takes place at the end of next month. 

[NOVEMBER 30] – After long discussion with team members 3B7M will be active on QO-100 Sat. Hardware is ready, the only problem is dish, but they hope to agree with local 3B8 hams and activate QO-100 from 3B7. Stay tuned!

[NOVEMBER 17] Czech & Slovak DX team consisting OM5ZW, OK6DJ, OM3PC, OM4MW, OK2ZA, OM3KAP & OM4MM will be active from St Brandon as 3B7M during February 24 to March 5, 2023. QRV on 160-6m; CW, SSB & Digi. QSL via OK6DJ, LoTW, Club Log OQRS. Website

Saint Brandon, also known as the Cargados Carajos Shoals, is an Indian Ocean archipelago, situated on the Mascarene Plateau, about 430 kilometers Northeast of Mauritius and is composed of sandbanks, shoals, and islets. The archipelago is low-lying and prone to substantial submersion in severe weather. Economic activities in the region consist of diverse types of fishing on the extensive 2300 km² shallow bank around the islands together with related leisure activities and ecotourism. The atoll may have been discovered in the 7th century by Arab sailors but the Cargados Carajos name was applied in 1506 by Portuguese sailors who put ashore for provisioning on their way to India. Subsequently, the Dutch, the French, and the English controlled the territory until independence in 1968.