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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Operating Plan


Now of course this all depends on propagation, but here are the plans. Feel free to email me any questions up to August 25, but not during the DXpedition itself

Mode

SSB (maybe a tiny amount of RTTY or PSK later on, but intention is 100% SSB)

Power

400W

Bands

20m (look for me around 14240 – 14265 kHz)

17m (look for me around 18140 – 18160 kHz)

15m (look for me around 21240 – 21270 kHz)

12m (look for me around 24940 – 24970 kHz)

10m (look for me around 28450 – 28480 kHz)

(main focus is 20m and 15m to give out as many unique call sign QSOs as possible)

Antennas

All verticals so no need to worry about where I am beaming. All antennas will be at the high tide mark of the beach. Vertical dipoles for 20m, 17m, 15m and 10m, and quarter wave vertical with twenty radials for 12m. No special reason for a different antenna on 12m, its just that I only have 4 baluns J. Two verticals will be on my two Spiderbeam poles, the other three will be shot into the trees with an EZY-HANG sling shot. As seen from the photo above, I’m lucky to have trees at the high tide mark on the beach in front of the operating position. If I can have all 5 hanging from the trees, that’ll be easier and quicker than putting up and taking down the poles. The quicker the antenna set up and take down time = more operating time on the first and last day.

Club Log

No internet access during the DXpedition, logs will be uploaded on August 30

DX cluster and email requests

No internet access during the DXpedition so don’t bother emailing me requests or asking me to change bands or for me to listen for certain geographical locations, etc on the DX cluster.

If you hear me on the bands calling CQ where I’m not busy and seeming lonely, please spot me on the DX cluster so that I can find some friends to play with. During the 2130 to 0400 UTC period this is typically the most quiet time. Regardless of low QSO rates don’t worry I’ll still be there hitting the auto CQ button because at 2130 to 2300 UTC on 20m there can be some brief long path openings to South America and during 2300 to 0400 UTC on 15m/12m/10m the pile ups are small with just a handful of JA and so it’s a chance for North and South Americans to make it through. At this time of day with pile ups being smaller, there’s plenty of time to do those difficult to make QSOs just above the noise floor without the pressure and challenge of holding back a monster European pile up such as other times of the day and night.

Pile ups

I’ll be listening for ‘North America only’ at various times particularly on 20m during 1100 to 1400 UTC as propagation to North America is much tougher and for shorter windows compared to Asia and Europe. When I call ‘North America only’, stations from North America, Central America, the Caribbean, South America and Hawaii can call me.
 
Operation Plan

August 26

Fly on a charter plane from Darwin to Bathurst Island and arrive there in the morning around 0100 UTC. I’ll spend the morning putting up 5 verticals on the beach by myself and so it is unknown how long it with take to set up the station. Temperatures will be around 31C and quite humid, so its important not to get dehydrated or injured. There’s bound to be some problems here and there during set up but I’m hoping to be finished in the early afternoon by 0600 UTC or 3:30pm local time. (If I’m not on the air by then, don’t worry I’ll be up and running before sunset at 0900 UTC).

Anticipated operating plan for Tuesday August 26:

0600 – 0800 UTC: 20m (if 20m is closed I’ll be on 17m) (if 20m & 17m are closed, I’ll be on 15m or 12m)

0800 – 1000 UTC: 20m (if 20m is closed, I’ll be on 17m) (if 20m & 17m are closed, I’ll be on 15m or 12m)

1000 – 1600 UTC: 20m (listening many times for North America only at 1100 to 1400)

1600 – 1800 UTC: 20m or 17m

Break for sleeping for 3 to 4 hours

2130 – 2300 UTC: 20m or 17m (if 20m & 17m is closed, I’ll be on 15m, 12m or 10m)

2300 – 0000 UTC: 15m, 12m or 10m


Anticipated operating plan for Wednesday & Thursday August 27 & 28:

0000 – 0400 UTC: 15m, 12m or 10m (having short breaks at times as pile ups aren’t big at this time)

0400 – 0800 UTC: 20m or maybe 17m (if 20m & 17m are closed, I’ll be on 15m, 12m or 10m)

0800 – 1000 UTC: 20m or maybe 17m (if 20m & 17m are closed, I’ll be on 15m)

1000 – 1600 UTC: 20m (listening especially for North America at 1100 to 1400)

1600 – 1800 UTC: 20m or 17m

Break for sleeping for 3 to 4 hours

2130 – 2300 UTC: 20m or 17m

2300 – 0000 UTC: 15m, 12m or 10m
 

Anticipated operating plan for Friday August 29:

0000 – 0400 UTC: 15m, 12m or 10m (having short breaks at times as pile ups aren’t big at this time)

0400 – 0800 UTC: 20m or 17m (if 20m & 17m are closed, I’ll be on 15m, 12m or 10m)

0800 – 1000 UTC: 20m or 17m (if 20m & 17m are closed, I’ll be on 15m)

1000 – 1600 UTC: 20m (listening especially for North America at 1100 to 1400)

1600 – 1800 UTC: 20m or 17m

QRT when band closes

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