On Feb. 18, Expedition Leader Bob Schmieder KK6EK met with members of the Northern Corridor Radio Group (Perth, Australia). Members included Keith Bainbridge VK6RK, Wayne Johnson VK6EH, Stuart Bedford VK6LSB, and Andrew Albinson VK6IA.
The Group formally agreed to be the official Perth Local Team for VKØEK. providing a very significant resource for the expedition, and probably significant savings in shipping and other expenses.
The Group built and operates the Neil Penfold State Amateur Radio Centre. Penfold VK6NE was a major supporter for the 1995 attempt of the Heard Island DXpedition (see the book VKØIR, available for download from the website http://www.heardisland.org).
The Radio Center is a very ambitious facility, comprising numerous operating rooms, workshops, meeting rooms, and storage areas. The Group constructed the center themselves, on grounds that were provided by the government. One look at the awards hanging on the walls is convincing evidence that they do more than talk about radio and build equipment—they are very active in contests, DXing, and other aspects of amateur radio. It is a world-class facility run by a world-class group of hams.
The Group has a variety of resources, including commercial connections for generators. They will be able to obtain certain major equipment that could save us shipping from the U.S. For instance, the Group offered the use of several triangular towers for the radio antennas. The towers are aluminum, 10 ft. sections, and can be stacked 3 or 4 (with low wind loading) high. The sections are extremely light, and can be carried easily by a single person. They are erected by attaching the antenna to the tower and then rotating the assembly vertical on a hinged baseplate.
[Please stay tuned for a series of great news from Bob’s trip to VK-ZL . . . ]