NEWS UPDATE –  The planning is well underway for a group of Amateur Radio Operators (hams) to participate in a DXpedition to Efate Island, Vanuatu in the South Pacific for two weeks in October 2024 instead of the previously announced December. This will allow them to take advantage of the Southern Hemisphere springtime propagation for radio signals and to take part in the CQ WWDX Phone Contest.

Not every DXpedition for ham radio operators has to be a trip into the wilderness or to an island in a rubber raft. They have identified that the top 101 most wanted DX country has commercial airlines service, rental homes, and electrical power. In addition there are lovely beaches from which they can operate ham radios and talk to other hams from around the world. Vanuatu is 3,000 miles from Honolulu and 1,500 miles from Sydney, Australia.

The eight member team (N4VGE, WB4ZBR, KC5FM, W2FQ, K4QQG, WB2BXO, K3DNE and F1IXV) will be operating CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8.

Average age for the hams is 70 and about half are bringing their wives or girlfriends. They expect to make over 40,000 QSOs over the two week period with over 10,000 during the CQWW DX Phone Contest on October 26 – 27, 2024.

They have over $45,000 committed for the DXpedition plus a Flex 6700, Yaesu FTDX10, Icom 7300, and a Yaesu FT891. The budget per person is $4,500 and spouses were encouraged to join.

They are currently working on a website, vanuatudxpedition.org, so they can keep everyone advised of the latest news about the Vanuatu DXpedition and post the names of sponsors.

They are looking for sponsors to help with antenna systems and one or two backup hams in case there are any hams that have to cancel. The Team Leader, Van Herridge, N4VGE, can be contacted at vanherridge@gmail.com

[NOVEMBER 18] A group of Amateur Radio Operators (hams) are organizing a DXpedition to Vanuatu in the South Pacific for two weeks in December 2024 (also covering the ARRL 10 meter contest. Not every DXpedition has to be a trip into the wilderness or to an island in a rubber raft. We have located a top 100 most wanted DX country with commercial airlines service, rental homes, electrical power, a city with 40,000+ population, and lovely beaches from which we can operate.

On the DX Most Wanted Countries, Vanuatu is #100 out of 340 countries. It’s main island is Efate (IOTA OC-035), in the Province of Shefa. Vanuatu’s capital city Port Vila is located on the main island and has a large expat population but no hams. It has commercial air service to Australia, Fiji, Honolulu, and New Zealand.

In this nation of tiny islands and indigenous villages, Port Vila is the exception: a bustling port town with hotels, restaurants and markets to delight visitors and cruise ship passengers. The 150-foot-high Mele Cascades waterfall is the ideal place to refresh yourself in the South Pacific heat. For a glimpse of real Vanuatu culture and traditions, travelers say a trip to Ekasup Village is a must. See Vanuatu video here

Operating CW, SSB, RTTY, and FT8 we are expecting to make over 50,000 QSOs over the two week period with over 10,000 during the ARRL 10m Contest on December 14-15, 2024. We have over $50,000 committed for the DXpedition plus a Flex 6700, Yaesu FTDX10, Icom 7300, and a Yaesu FT891. The budget per person is $6,500 and spouses are encouraged to join.

Since we are older hams (average age of 70) we are bringing our wives for them to enjoy sunbathing, snorkeling, scuba diving, sightseeing, and shopping while we operate. We are hoping that they will keep our spirits and energy up with good food and drink. There are numerous You Tube videos on Vanuatu including Dxpeditions made by others. We are currently working on a website – vanuatudxpedition.org – so we can keep everyone advised of the latest news about the DXpedition and post the names of sponsors.

We are looking for four more hams and their wives to join us for this exciting DXpedition and sponsors to help with the antennas systems. I can be contacted at vanherridge@gmail.com or 843-303-1885.

Thank you / 73

Van Herridge, N4VGE
2022 Team Leader