[NEWS UPDATE @ 0700z] Team going to try to land very soon. Picture shows the current sea state. Wishing them safety above all else.

As seen by AB5EB first light
1st morning view of Bouvet (pic by LB1QI)

[JANUARY 30]Awesome ! 3Y0J team are anchoring off Cape Fie, Bouvet soon! Video by Ken LA7GIA @ 2045z

We are at Bouvet. Wx forecast is not too good. There is a 24h wx window on Tuesday noon until Wednesday noon. It is foggy and difficult conditions with high winds. We will assess the situation tomorrow morning at 04:00 local time. If conditions are ok we might attempt to land. But this is not going to be easy. Otherwise we have to wait until Thursday or Friday.


 
The 3Y0J Team is receiving Starlink Internet Service at this time, informs media officer Steve N2AJ.

[JANUARY 30 @ 1830Z] – A copy of the 3Y0J band-plan for your convenience is available below. At time of writing this is the most recent and up to date info we have regarding operating frequencies. Click to see larger size image.

[JANUARY 30 @ 1130Z] – Now under 100 nautical miles until the team reach Bouvet Island. Meanwhile, a short video of Ken LA7GIA talking to Falkland islands TV a few days before departure from VP8 explaining Bouvet is #2 most wanted DXCC entity.

[JANUARY 29 @ 1400Z] – As the the team edge closer towards Bouvet (232 nautical miles to go at 1400z), a reminder of the video published by Ken LA7GIA some months ago of the area and terrain at Cape Fie where the team aim to land and set up camp. Everyone will have fingers crossed.

 

This (old) video also shows how to land and depart Bouvet using a zodiac. Team 3Y0J will have two zodiacs in use. However, they are going to a completely different location for landing than in this video. Nonetheless, it clearly shows the swell the team may encounter.

[JANUARY 29 @ 0900z]A quick check of the Marama from yesterday’s latest update (see below) and using APRS data, suggests the yacht has sailed a further 130 nautical miles overnight (GMT time). Now approx ~ 270 nm from Bouvet. Great to see both island and boat getting closer to each other! The team’s been at sea for 12 days now.

[JANUARY 28 @ 1945Z]Here’s the latest via Media Officer, N2AJ:

I had a very nice Satellite Radio call with 3Y0J Team Co-Leader Ken at 17:00 UTC today. First and foremost we always discuss the condition of the team members. Ken said they are all doing very well now. Some are no longer using the seasickness medications. Conditions at sea are now 30 knot winds with 2-3 meter waves. Ken said their location at that time was approximately 400 nautical miles from Bouvet Island. Their speed was about 8 knots. Ken estimates Marama should arrive at Bouvet on Monday evening just before sunset. He says he anticipates a good weather window for at least two days then. The team will attempt to move the equipment and supplies onto the island using the zodiac then. They have two zodiacs. They are hoping to accomplish it in those two days.

For those of you who noticed that our Garmin GPS stopped tracking halfway through Day 9 at 11:57 PM, and also indicated Low Batt, we certainly noticed that too. Adrian charges the Garmin every night so that is not the issue. I downloaded the manual and texted sections that might apply like doing a soft reset, or if there was a low power mode it may have switched to. None of that helped. So it could be an anomaly of being in the most remote place on Earth. Not everything is going to work there. You will see that the Garmin continues to lay down Day marker flags. If you left click them they give you the date, time, latitude and longitude.

I asked Ken how the team is spending their time as they get closer to Bouvet. They are having meetings and making preparations for the landing operation. They are also enjoying working many if you on the radio. This keeps them from being bored, gives them some practice to keep them sharp, and give you an opportunity to see how the propagation is from that part of the world to your stations. Ken had originally told me they had dipoles for just 17m & 20m they would use for maritime mobile operation, but they are using the Elecraft K3’s internal tuner with 100 watts and doing other bands too. I’ve seen spots for them on 10, 12 15, 17, & 20 meters CW & SSB. Ken said there is very low noise on 10 & 12 meters. They are having excellent receive there.

Thank you to everyone who re-tweeted my tweet, or sent their own tweet, to @elonmusk requesting his help in getting Starlink internet coverage for Bouvet Island if we don’t get signal there when the terminal is set up. I haven’t heard from “Mr. Tweet” directly, yet but word has made it to Spacex, the parent company of Starlink, that we may need help. It’s still in the beginning stages at this point. Hopefully I will have more to report to you on this soon.

[JANUARY 28 @ 1625Z]  – Using aprs team 3Y0J on Marama showing up well. Seems the Garmin tracker had been lagging a little behind, but aprs is ok. Current position at 16:23 GMT is 53°08.05′ S 14°59.16′ W — They are shown on map as “South Atlantic Ocean” and you can see Bouvet in vicinity. Here is the link to aprs.

[JANUARY 28 @ 0845Z]As we wait on news from the team (seems the Garmin tracker may have low battery), below is a short video on how to find the best times and frequencies to work Bouvet, 3Y0J. Author OH6BG (VOACAP) explains two crucial prediction parameters; Signal Power and MUFday that will determine the best openings to the island.

[JANUARY 27 @ 0730Z] – With what appears to be fair seas and winds the team continue sailing to Bouvet. Checking the Garmin tracker they are inching closer to the island and the big day of arrival is approaching. All eyes will soon be on the swell around Bouvet which at the moment appears to be around 3-4m. However, with the prevailing wind it also appears the swell may subside quite soon, perhaps in time for arrival ?

Current swell
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A few readers have asked for the 3Y0J band plan. You can find that here. Also check out the DR2W Propagation tool for 3Y0J. 

There’s also been a request put out to Elon Musk to slightly adjust Starlink so Bouvet island has internet coverage.  Might be worth you retweet this to @elonmusk or send your own tweet to him. You never know!

[JANUARY 26 @ 1110z]3Y0J Team Member Adrian KO8SCA reported to Steve, N2AJ that Marama is now 780 nautical miles from Bouvet Island. If they maintain their current speed of 8 mph they hope to arrive at Bouvet in four days time.

[JANUARY 25 @ 1845Z] – Great progress is being made. Using the Garmin tracker we can now see the Marama and Bouvet together in the one image. In an audio clip, Otis NP4G/MM mentions the seas are about 5m high with an estimated 900 miles to go before approaching Bouvet in approx 5-6 days time.

[JANUARY24 @ 1900Z]Credit to Media Officer, Steve N2AJ for the latest update and video. Good work, Steve !

Here is an interview I did with 3Y0J Team Co-Leader Ken LA7GIA today, 24 January 2023 at 17:00 UTC utilizing the Icom Satellite Radios. The team no longer has Starlink internet access and will not attempt to use it again until they are on Bouvet. Meanwhile the team is passing the time taking turns operating CW & SSB using their home call/MM. Ken says they have 17m & 20m capability with their dipole. I hope you enjoy the video.

 

[JANUARY 24] – A week ago today the 3Y0J team set off for Bouvet in one of the most anticipated DXpeditions ever. This is how far they have sailed so far (as at 0730z).

[JANUARY 24 @ 2045z]Originally 3Y0J announced that there would be no /MM operation on the way to Bouvet. Amazing how a few days sitting on a sailboat with no HF radio to operate can change your mind! Today at around 19:23 UTC the callsign LA7GIA/MM was heard from the yacht Marama. Adrian KO8SCA told Steve N2AJ a few minutes ago that four different operators from the team had operated /MM at that point. Have fun working them! (audio recordings welcome – send here – thanks.)

[JANUARY 22 @ 2230z by Media Officer, N2AJ] – I just had a very nice satellite radio meeting with 3Y0J Co-Leader Rune LA7THA. 3Y0J Chief Pilot Morten LA3MHA was in the talk group as well. The Marama is passing just to the south of South Georgia Island. They will not be stopping at South Georgia. In order to get a better copy Rube was on the deck. He said it was rainy and cold. He said everything is fine. They are sailing in a very calm sea and low visibility due to the rain at the moment. I asked if he had an estimated date if arrival at Bouvet. He said that he thought it is still a bit early to know but he suspected that it would be close to the end of the month. I asked him how the team was feeling. Rune said he thinks the team members are all doing great. He thinks all the team members are very happy with the journey. They all have slept a lot and are well rested.

I heard from 3Y0J Team Co-Leader Ken LA7GIA earlier. I had asked him if donations made now will count towards early confirmations. His response was “I don’t have access to PayPal so I don’t know if people are donating or not. The rules said in order to get that you needed to donate upfront. If people still donate they will get the QSL. I assume OQRS we be open early March.”

Ken also said, “Not much news here. We saw an iceberg and are changing the route to a more northern one. This will add one half day but is more safe. The route is assessed by a professional navigator working onshore. He advises the Captain what route to choose. He provides us with the waypoints we should go to. The guys are chilling, sleeping, eating and discussing. It’s about 1,500 nautical miles to 3Y.” Ken also thinks they will arrive at Bouvet around January 30th.

Someone asked if there were enough bunks on board Marama for everyone or do they need to sleep in shifts. I asked 3Y0J Team Member Adrian KO8SCA about that. He said, “Captain and crew have their own bunks.” I also asked Adrian how he was passing his time on Marama. He said, “Passing time by reading and chatting. Weather is nice, calm ocean but low temperatures, not too windy. No other ships spotted so far.” This was before it started raining.

The 3Y0J Team lost Starlink Internet Service a couple of days ago. So we are very fortunate to be able to communicate with them via the Icom SAT100 satellite radios and the garmin device. No photos though.

I would like to remind the group that there are two other 3Y0J Official Sources for news. These are the folks who do this every day for you covering many other DXpeditions and amateur radio events. Please check out what they have to offer at their sites listed below.

  • DX World
Twitter: @DX_World
URL: https://www.dx-world.net/
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/DXWorld.net/
  • The Daily DX

Twitter: @DailyDX
URL: https://www.dailydx.com/
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/groups/102450473128391/

[JANUARY 22 @ 0800Z]Team sailed well over 200 miles yesterday. Average yacht speed approx 8 mph. Latest wind speed weather maps suggest they will be entering waters soon (south of South Georgia) with winds in the region of 20-25 mph. We can see it’s taken 5 days to get this far, so a loose assumption would be at least another 5-7 days at sea before approaching Bouvet, but this is really only a rough estimate, and not confirmed by the team.

[JANUARY 21 @ 0730Z]Boat has been making good progress recently. Up to 15kts (17mph) at times. Prevailing wind has been increasing the closer they sail by South Georgia. DX-World understands they do not intend to stop off at VP8/SG. Couple of recent charts below:

Plotted chart against Garmin reporting points.

WX satellite chart @ 0600Z, January 21

[JANUARY 21 @ 0320Z] – The Marama continues to make steady progress towards Bouvet. The boat’s speed has been anywhere from 7-9 mph. Unfortunately, they are no longer receiving Starlink internet service and they don’t know if or when they will be able to receive it again during travel. Team still have two other means of communication including the Icom Satellite Radios.

Cezar VE3LYC gave Steve N2AJ (media officer) an update on the team’s condition two days ago. He wrote again yesterday and said it’s about the same. Most of the team still feeling the effects of seasickness despite having taken various medicines for it. Only Peter and Cezar did not take the medicine and therefore don’t have the dizziness that seems to be associated with taking it. Bill, Axel and Mike seem to suffer the least. The rest prefer to lay down rather than eat dinner. They are hoping the situation improves over the next couple of days so the rest of the voyage will be more pleasant for the entire team.

(0600z) Marama now approaching half-way point to South Georgia.

[JANUARY 19 @ 0630Z]You might think – after making a speedy start – the boat has stalled somewhat. This is deliberate as the skipper wants to see out the remains of a recent storm at South Geogia before going full sail there. Keep an eye on the tracker

Couple of beautiful sunset pictures of the South Atlantic, courtesy LA7GIA. 

BEAUTIFUL !
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[JANUARY 18 @ 1245Z] – By Mike AB5EB aboard the vessel Marama. 

We are having fair seas and wind. We are somewhere about 200 miles south east of the Falklands. Crew is holding up good, a few cases of seasickness but mostly doing well. 

Credit AB5EB

And here’s a video from the deck of the Marama courtesy of co-leader Ken LA7GIA, who says: “puked just the once so far!”

[JANUARY 18 @ 0540z]Since leaving port yesterday, the team look to be making good progress towards South Georgia. 

As at 0540z, January 18th

[JANUARY 17 @ 1730Z] – Shortly after 1715z (2.15pm local time) the Marama lifted anchor. Team 3Y0J are on the way to Bouvet! 

[JANUARY 17 @ 0445Z]Gales are abating soon at South Georgia so with the team set to depart for Bouvet about 12pm local time, here’s the latest info from Ken LA7GIA. 

Technically speaking we have departed Stanley as the ropes came off at 22:56 local time (01:56 UTC). We will stay anchored and then continue to Bouvet on the 17th local late morning. WX forecast is 4 days with calm seas to South Georgia.”

As can be seen above a storm system is now moving away from South Georgia.  As Ken says, the forecast is looking decent for the next few days ahead while the Marama sails towards VP8/SG. 

A reminder of the tracker which is in the possession of Adrian KO8SCA. Plus, the latest summary via media officer N2AJ over on Facebook

[JANUARY 15 @ 2330Z]Video taken by co-leader Erwann LB1QI showing the Marama is now loaded and all items secured. We wish again the team the best of winds, fair sailing and above all else do keep safe.  

[JANUARY 16 @ 1925Z] – In a carbon copy of the RAF flight which brought the team to the Falkland islands a few days ago (documented below), this particular plane arriving VP8 is a very special one! It’s carrying the missing items the team definitely require for Bouvet – see previous update regarding that:

[JANUARY 16 @ 1445Z by LA7GIA]It’s a GREEN for GO tomorrow morning late local (17th).

We will receive the three missing amplifiers, some important sailing gear, some important climbing and safety rescue gear, and some other items today with the military flight from the UK. We expect to depart tomorrow morning according to the latest wx forecast. Will have an update later today. Vessel is loaded, all gear strapped and double checked ready for a tough ride. Team spirit is high! All VP8 hams have been very helpful assisting us in any way. Local hams, VP8KCA and VP8YLJ will bring the equipment from the airport to the sailboat for us”

[JANUARY 16 @ 0700Z] – On the IOTA-chasers forum, team member Cezar VE3LYC gave a little update, re-posted here:

We worked very hard for the past three days to unload the container, add many new components to the list, and then load everything onto the boat. It went much longer than we originally expected, mostly because we had to build a lot of wooden frames to secure many heavy components, such as generators (4x 160kg), diesel tanks (1x 1000L plus 3x 400L), the paraffin canisters (400L). In any case, we are all packed up now. Tomorrow morning (16th) we scheduled the border formalities for leaving VP8, and in the meantime we’ll continue strapping all sorts of long components, including masts, antennas, wood planks, heavy poles for the tents, etc. Despite the delay, the spirit remains upbeat, and there is a good chemistry among the team. We’ll have to see how we will be all affected by the long sea voyage in the sub-Antarctic waters below 50°S.

[JANUARY 15 @ 2235Z] – Good news! The Marama is now loaded with 3Y0J equipment. Pictures courtesy Media Officer, N2AJ:

[JANUARY @ 1730Z] – Info by Mike N2AJ: The team is almost finished loading Marama; will complete today in a few hours. If the delayed equipment does not arrive (on next flight to VP8) team will depart after customs clearance on Monday morning local time. If the equipment does arrive, they will depart Tuesday approx 06:00 local.

Short video taken by Mike AB5EB showing the last barrel being loaded. Another video by LA7GIA giving a deck tour of the Marama. With thanks to AB5EB & LB1QI for images. 

SAILING SOON..
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[JANUARY 14 @ 1515Z] – via Media Officer, N2AJ

We have refuelled the IBC tanks and are now proceeding with loading the vessel having stayed anchored through the night and morning. Loading will continue Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately, we have some freight stuck in London. This contains some electronics, and important sailing and climbing gear the team need at Bouvet. They don’t know if the gear will arrive on the next flight to VP8. Therefore, departure will be slightly delayed until Monday morning (local time) depending on weather. In the meantime, they will complete loading to be ready for departure. Ken LA7GIA says: “all is well – we had time for 90 min sightseeing and last minute personal shopping.”

INSIDE (SLEEPING) CABIN (credit LB1QI)
FUELING THE MARAMA (credit AB5EB)

[JANUARY 14 @ 0740Z]With the loading of the Marama to continue today, a safety exercise in the works and any final checks done, departure from VP8 is nearing. Once we get word when the boat leaves port, an update will follow. 

Yesterday (13th) the team took some time out to meet a few resident VP8 operators, even giving an interview to local TV. Also, using a drone (courtesy of VP8AAE), a few images showing the Marama dockside were taken. She’s certainly an impressive yacht. 

[JANUARY 13 @ 1600Z]Today was marked as the day the team would start to empty their shipping container full of equipment and load onto the Marama – they almost have done this. Will be completed by Sunday (15th). Pictures courtesy Steve, N2AJ.

NOTE: It’s been confirmed by LA7GIA that no /MM activity will take place during the voyage to Bouvet. 

[JANUARY 13 @ 0900Z] – Erwann, LB1QI (co-leader of 3Y0J) shares some pictures of the Marama. “A busy day ahead”, he says.

[JANUARY 13 @ 0100Z] – This update runs in tandem with one posted on Facebook by media officer Steve N2AJ. Although not everyone is signed up to Facebook, we re-post most of the text and pics from there – thanks Steve for info:

3Y0J Bouvet Island Progress Report: I did not hear anything for quite a while from the 3Y0J Team after they landed in the Falklands. Adrian had told me earlier there would be no Roaming Service there. So I used the share.garmin/3Y0J URL and found that the team had traveled across the island to a dock in the harbor. I guessed they had made it to Marama. Sure enough, a few minutes later I started receiving text messages and photos from Ken, Adrian, and Otis. Otis even called me on my phone. How was this possible? Adrian said, “Thank you Mr. Musk!” The first thing Adrian did was to unpack the Starlink dish and set it up. It worked! They are getting over 100 MBPS internet speed. “Everyone is super happy!” They are also the only ones on the island using the service. That helps. Bob VP8LP came by to greet the team and have a visit with them. That was very nice. Right now the 3Y0J Team is having dinner on the boat. Plans for tomorrow, Friday, will be to have breakfast, unload the container, load the vessel, and purchase the remaining items they need in Port Stanley. On Saturday the Team will conduct Safety Training and then depart on their sailing trip to Bouvet Island. The Team is very excited!

ARRIVING
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[JANUARY 12 @ 1935z]Some 15 hours after departing Brize Norton air base, the RAF flight carrying the 3Y0J team touched down at Mount Pleasant airport just after 1930z. The excitement within the group will have gone up a further notch as it’s VP8 the team leave from for Bouvet.

Touchdown
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Upon arrival, the next day or so will primarily be about loading the Marama full of their equipment, which was shipped to the Falkland islands some months ago. 

Here’s a quick recap of the 3Y0J (updated) timeline

  • January 11: team meets in London.
  • January 12: team flies to Falklands.
  • January 13: team loads container into Marama.
  • January 14: Safety training.
  • January 15: Complete boat loading.
  • January 16: Marama leaves port and sails towards Bouvet.

The team envisage 9-14 days at sea. While 22 days on the island is planned. Then it’s another 9-14 days sailing to Cape Town. Estimated date for Cape Town is March 1st. 

[JANUARY 12 @ 1000z]Team departed Brize Norton at 0148z arriving D4 at 0740z for fuel stop. At 0830z, their flight departed for VP8, expected arrival at 19z. More pictures in the gallery below of arriving/departing Cape Verde:

[JANUARY 11 @ 2115z]Just for info, the flight to Port Stanley, Falkland Islands is scheduled to depart RAF Brize Norton just after 0100z on January 12th. Callsign of flight (for the tracking enthusiasts amongst us) is TOW2232 or ASCOT2232. This flight (commonly known as the South Atlantic Airbridge) flies via Espargos Amilcar Cabral International Airport, Cape Verde for a fuel-stop before arriving VP8. Check the Passenger Info Page at Brize Norton for more info. Meanwhile, as shown in the gallery, the tracker is on and the team reached the airport. More pics on 3Y0J Facebook page.

Collect your bags!
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[JANUARY 11 @ 1800z]Team gathered in hotel earlier followed by lunch. They then departed for Brize Norton airport (1700z). Little gallery below showing they’re ready and on the way to their RAF flight later. They leave Brize Norton at 1am local, fuel-stopping in Cape Verde (D4) then onto Mount Pleasant airport…approx an 18 hour trip.

On way to airport
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[JANUARY 11] – Mike, VP8NO reports the “Marama” boat is anchored in Port Stanley harbour awaiting the arrival of the 3Y0J team who leave the UK later today on an RAF flight.

Marama (Library image)

[JANUARY 10] – Here they are! The entire 3Y0J team together. Some more pictures of the London meet-up can be found here.

[JANUARY 10] – Few pictures of the London meet up between team members and local hams. One image (courtesy Mike AB5EB) encapsulating all things “IOTA”. It’s of G3ZAY, AB5EB, VE3LYC and G0VJG. Or as Mike says: “IOTA-Bouvet-Rockall”. Thanks also to David, G3WGN for other pics. 

CDXC (Credit G3WGN)
TEAM 3Y0J (Credit G3WGN)
G3ZAY-AB5EB-VE3LYC-G0VJG

[JANUARY 10] – Ken LA7GIA, Gjermund LB5GI and Erwann, LB1QI start their epic journey!  Ken said:

After 3 yrs planning finally I am on my way to Bouvetøya!! This will be an incredible adventure with a sailboat from Falkland island to Bouvetøya, and then 3 weeks of setting up shortwave transmitters on the island. Prayers this will go well!! Finale hurdle will be going onshore Bouvet in a small dinghy! Take care. You can follow the adventure on https://www.dx-world.net/3y0j-bouvet-2023/

Earlier, in London, Otis M/NP4G was operating from the QTH of G3UML. Listen to a short recording of his 20m SSB activity.

LB5GI
M/NP4G
LA7GIA
LB1QI

[JANUARY 9 @ 1700z]Contingent including N0FW, VE3LYC, NP4G & KO8SCA now in London while AB5EB is on his way from Texas.

AB5EB
N0FW_VE3LYC_NP4G_KO8SCA

[JANUARY 8 @ 2200z]  Thanks to 3Y0J media officer (N2AJ) for this update and pictures:

Today I met up with 3Y0J Team Members Cezar VE3LYC and Adrian KO8SCA at Adrian’s home in New York City. After a nice lunch we loaded my van with their luggage and I drove them to JFK International Airport. Now they are on their way to London to meet up with the rest of the 3Y0J Team before flying to the Falkland Islands on January 12th. We all wish you a safe and successful journey.

VE3LYC & KO8SCA
AIRPORT DROP
VE3LYC-N2AJ-KO8SCA
VE3LYC-KO8SCA

[JANUARY 8 @ 1200z] The time has come! After a very long period of meticulous planning, the beginning of the 3Y0J journey to Bouvet has arrived. Team members are leaving their homes and heading to the UK first of all.

On Tuesday, January 10th, the team will be in London. That evening they will meet members of the RSGB and Chiltern DX Club for some food and drinks. Next day, it’s a journey through London and onto Oxfordshire (Brize Norton airport to be exact). From there an RAF aircraft will take the team to Port Stanley, Falkland Islands arriving on January 12th. Spending two days in VP8, the team will pack the boat with all equipment with a view to leaving port on January 14th. The boat tracker is here

Depending on weather and seas, the voyage to Bouvet could take anything up to 10-14 days. Let’s hope it’s sooner. Upon arrival it will take some days to unload all equipment and set up camp. Estimated QRV is the end of January with a stay on the island of 3 weeks.

DX-World, together with Daily DX, has been selected as the official media publishers for the 3Y0J DXpedition. We will work very closely with the Pilot stations, and of course the 3Y0J team, including media officer N2AJ (who will also update the 3Y0J Facebook page) to give out accurate info.

Here, at DX-World, this page will now become the dedicated place for all 3Y0J updates.

Without further ado, we wish the 3Y0J team every success in what is the most anticipated DXpedition in a generation.

PS: A little area of the website will be implemented soon so you just have to click for latest info (or bookmark). It will be just above the Search function here on DX-World.