Imagine traveling across the United States in a boat going 10 mph with waves (at times) up to 20′. That’s what its like to get to Heard Island and why its so hard and expensive to get to. This is also why, when you plan to go there, you try to stay as long as you can, and to do that, you need to make sure your living quarters are going to stay up in constant and changing winds. Hats off to the VK0EK Team for taking the time (and expense) out from their “normal lives” (and to their families) for making this all possible. And thanks to the skillful Braveheart Crew for supporting so many top notch amateur radio DXpeditions!
Dave, K3EL reports that they should arrive evening Heard Island time. Its always easy to tell when that is on the US West Coast because its exactly 12 hours ahead – and on the other side of the International Date Line. So for me, they should start setting up at daybreak their Wednesday morning, the 23rd, which is nightfall PST the evening before. They will no doubt work all day to get camp and stations set up – so we could see them on the air meaning Wednesday morning PST. (Phew – this is a little tricky to figure out!). I will update this since exact details of their landing are completely dependent on a SAFE landing and setup. So – what kind of weather can they expect upon landing?
windyty.com, which has proven to be very accurate so far shows a nice blue area predicted for their landing, but with a storm to their north. The weather changes so much and fast in the southern oceans that we should pretty much just wait and see – but if this holds out – then it could actually be about as good as it can be for landing. Fingers crossed!
Bob provided an in depth listing of the deployment plan:
Dave, K3EL also gave a very nice detailed report on propagation and radio operations so far:
The openings to NA on 40 in particular during our early hours to dawn have been pretty impressive. Big surprise propagation-wise has been how lousy 20 m has been. Far from being the money band, it has been the noise band. 15 has been pretty good, and 10 has been very pleasing, at least to EU, although as we get further south and east we’ve begun to loose some of the 10 m prop. After being at Atlas Cove with all stations up and running for some days, we will set up at Spit. We also have the notes on the VK SSB frequency spectrum, and we do have the full VK rules, regulations and band plan on hand in our VK0EK Manual.
We plan to set up on the 23rd, and expect to be able to have a few stations on the air that night so long as weather conditions are conducive to doing so. I would aim to have 40/30 and at least one tri-bander up by that evening, and a couple more Yagis if possible. We can then go live with three or four stations. 160/80 and the rest for the next day.
For the band plan, we will follow it as published right from the start, with a few exceptions. Perhaps you can add a couple of footnotes to our band plan on the website:
We will use different frequencies for RTTY to allow a greater listening range until FT4JA comes on the air. We may occasionally deviate from this plan before FT4JA comes on the air, if the op considers it useful to do so.
Its very nice to see those VK WSPR Spots . .
So – if you have a “Vernal Equinox” weather dance and can ensure that that high pressure system lets them land safely and set up without rain – maybe even with some sun, please get that started now – because we are now starting to talk activation details – and now you know everything I know!
Today we have received an excellent 40M propagation map from:
Good luck and CU !
73, Rich KY6R