Monday, July 21, 2014

One month to go

With the IOTA Contest coming up this weekend, many DXers thoughts turn toward chasing new islands. So good luck to all of the hunters and safe travels for those taking the time to activate the IOTA’s. Its only a month before the VK5CE/8 Bathurst Island OC-173 DXpedition takes place and everything is going to plan. On the weekend I cut and tested new vertical dipoles to use for the DXpedition.

Flights from Adelaide in South Australia to Darwin in the Northern Territory and then the charter flight from Darwin to Bathurst Island have been paid for. The costs of hiring the facility on the island have also been paid for. The flight charter company have approved the weight of equipment needed and the island operators at Bathurst Island Lodge have confirmed that I will be the only guest at the lodge so I can set up vertical dipoles at the high tide mark of the beach and I’ll have the whole place to myself.

On Red Island OC-255 as VK5CE/4 in October last year I just focussed on using 20m and 15m for all QSOs. Based on propagation forecasts, I’ve decided to build 4 vertical dipoles and so I’ll be using 3 main bands namely 20m, 17m and 15m. I’ll also put up a vertical dipole for 10m. With 15m, 17m and 20m that will give good flexibility for QSO’s to North America and Europe as I’ll be operating from 2200 UTC to 1700 UTC. The days of operation are still August 26 to 29.

In a couple of weeks I’ll announce my operation plan with likely bands/frequencies/times as I won’t have any internet access on the island.

73s de Craig VK5CE