By Rick K6VVA


I have received several inquiries as to the status of the K6VVA/KL7 – North Slope IOTA tour, which was QRX’d from 2012 (NA-172 QRX’d again from the NA-242 trip in 2011).

Here is the situation as of today, as I have continued to monitor solar condx and trends. If anyone wonders why, you can read my previous historical comments on the website also relating to 70 Degree North Latitude HF operating, the Auroral Oval concerns, and that Mike, K9AJ and I would have set foot on NA-172 right in the middle of a major solar X-Flare had we gone to NA-172 last Summer. This would NOT have resulted in a successful activation in spite of enormous expenses involved.

In less than a month now, on 3 different occasions the K Index has spiked to K=4. The prognosis for this Summer from observations of solar trends and my perspective appears that things will likely be similar to last Summer (2012). And, that escalated CME and X-Flare activity is more common near and at the peak of any sunspot cycle (if you can call this a peak).

Mike, K9AJ, has decided he is only interested in doing NA-172 with me, and NA-050 is pretty much a one-person activation anyway. So I am breaking up the “Tour” into 3 separate chunks which may, or may not be done in one lengthy trip vs. separate ones (NA-172, NA-004 & NA-050). NA-004 is NOT the “Drive-On” QTH many have worked in the past. It is a boat journey & Bear Guards venue like NA-172.

At this point, there is a 50-50 possibility that any of these activations will take place until 2014, and a final decision will not be made until mid June to possibly the first week in July. I am not going to make any official date changes at this point. Mainland lodging reservations will remain in place for NA-172 unless it may be determined to QSY that activation plan again to Summer 2014. My personal NA-004 and NA-050 plans will remain fluid, and hope to at least make one or more quick attempts at least to NA-050 this year if solar condx coooperate (or in-between any CME’s or X-Flares), because this one requires the least advance logistics beyond several airline leg seats and local lodging. I also have some other business to attend to in NA-050 when I finally get up there.

I have various other IOTA Projects on the back burner, one or more of which may occur without much advance notification, if any. As I am ready to push the send button on this Info Update, the solar K Index has spiked back up to K=5. No Bueno.