By Tom, KC0W..
I’m excited to report everything is pretty much confirmed. The only order of business I’m presently waiting on is accommodation for Tokelau. Several of the licenses will be issued “upon arrival” & the departing date will be summer of 2016. The exact activation order of the islands/countries will be: American Samoa, Samoa, Tokelau, Solomon Islands, Temotu Province & Bangladesh. I will decide if Nepal and Bhutan will also be added when in Bangladesh.
- There will be no time frame from each entity. Tourist visa extensions are easily extendable for all. The determining factor will be when the pileups die down it’s time to pack everything up & move along. Could be 3 weeks or it could be 3 months at each QTH.
- I have spent months researching the absolute BEST DXing locations for each island & for Bangladesh. All have been secured except for Tokelau. This will be the only DXpedition that I’m aware of in which the operator will operate from separate sides of the islands. Meaning the west coast of the island & the east coast. Islands in the South Pacific have large mountains separating the east side of the island from the west side. I learned first hand how much mountains attenuate HF signals when DXing from Haiti. I operated on the beach in northern Haiti in the shadows of (literally) a large mountain right behind me. Made just over 17,000 total QSOs with NA/EU/AS where the antennas had a clear mountain free shot to those continents. The total number of QSOs with South America was less than 15…………Thus the reason for operating from the east side of the island for NA/SA & then packing everything up and heading to the west side for AS/EU.
- Emphasis will be placed on 160/80/40 meters. An arsenal of Low Band receiving antennas will be brought along for this purpose. All transmit antennas will be true 1/4 wave verticals placed either directly over salt water or a few meters from it. For 160 meters the antenna will be an inverted L on a Spiderbeam 85′ telescopic fiberglass pole. Will be QRV on all bands 160 – 6 meters.
- A tentative phase II of this DXpedition will be “Cows Over Africa” & it will go into the planing stages from the Solomon Islands/Bangladesh.
- My biggest concerns are equipment failure & the possibility of antenna/coax theft while in one specific country. The main radios will be K3’s with a Yaesu 857 as a backup. A KPA 500 amplifier as well. We will see how the radios/amplifier stand up to the extreme humidity & heat of the South Pacific. The heat/humidity will be the Achilles heal of this whole DXpedition.
More information regarding any other potential countries/entities added as I learn of them.
Good DX & see ya in the pileups!!!