Please take a minute to look at the team members page and look for our back office support team. They are AMAZING! Here is a pictorial list of the technology we are using to support VK0EK. Every thing we use is in the “Cloud” – and everything is automatically maintained and backed up – so we spend all of our time helping you and little time futzing with technology. First, lets look at how YOUR “Contact Us” support tickets look like on our web browser:
So far, we have KY6R, N6PF, K6JEB, K6MM, W6DEI, K2CUB, M0URX and WB4RFQ answering your support tickets. We hope you like this system – because its a life saver for us. No more personal email where things slip through the cracks – and no more painful manual consolidation of email by the support team leader (formerly known as a “Pilot” in the prehistoric days).
We have an outstanding team with an amazing first response rate. Some of us answer tickets using the Freshdesk Mobile app while on the commuter train (BART) to work! Once an agent receives your ticket – IF (and only IF) the issue is critical, we then message the team on Heard Island:
We tested a live video last night, and we will use this on Tom, W5KUB’s show “Amateur Radio Roundtable” for the next 2 Tuesday’s at 0100z. It is simulcasted on shortwave radio station WBCQ 5130 mhz.
The blog you are reading is a WordPress Blog. We introduced this with the TX5K Clipperton DXpedition, and it was award winning (DX Coffee specifically started a new award called the “Best Communication Award” based on our TX5K blog). We are so honored and thankful to DX Coffee! It rides again on VK0EK, and as you can see – we have 253K “hits” just this month alone – and are now averaging 10K hits a day! There have been ZERO issues with WordPress.
There is nothing quite like DXA. This was Bob, KK6EK’s vision from 1996, when he introduced the first online log server and (controversial) “next day QSL’s” with bar codes! Pete, W6OP has extended that dream to what you see today. Notice how we fly logo’s for our sponsors in the upper left hand corner, and how we have integrated opening a Freshdesk support ticket with “Contact Us”. Here is a little secret, if you don’t see ANY lights on in the “CURRENTLY WORKING” section – that means the team is most likely QRT or QRX. Yesterday we had a bit of a mess when it seemed like DXA was down – but in fact, they were all out putting up antennas when it was daylight and 30 and 40M were closed. That lead to a flurry of support tickets. So – IRONICALLY, just having the team give status updates in that “Message from VK0EK” box is the trick to avoid what happened yesterday. Was it a technical problem? NO. It was purely a human issue – and when the team is sooooo busy working hard to get everything set up – these things can be overlooked. So – now you know “the rest of yesterdays story” regarding DXA. Lets talk about Mike, KJ4Z – because his contributions are AMAZING!
The DXpedition leader calls a telephone number and records a message. It appears directly on the DXpeditions web site! Think about that – its HUGE.
Mike also wrote the code that automatically takes the DXA data uploaded and then sends LOTW data for early donors (Express QSL Service), and also Clublog for all QSO data. He even wrote a little widget that lets support staff add in donors who were not “early” but where we decided to extend this to anyone who makes a contribution or who purchases a Cordell Branded Souvenir. Speaking of that – Mike wrote the code that talks to the database for the ordering system.
Mike has one last trick up his sleeve, and we will unveil it later in the DXpedition – probably right at the end. Stay tuned.
All of this runs in the cloud, and our DXA and Store is in AWS – with automatic infrastructure support from Amazon and automatic replicas and backups.
OK – we hope you like this little “journey” and appreciate all the hard work. It all runs on BGAN satellite terminals that have been provided 100% FREE (corporate sponsor) including unlimited airtime. Since we had that – why not use it at full capacity?
We also have the Track Us feature, the WSPR Beacon, Buoy deployment and tracking, and other interesting technology that is very useful and we hope – adds to your enjoyment of this DXpedition and Expedition.
We think we have a potentially historic DXpedition on our hands (fingers crossed).
We are so lucky to have such a capable support staff!