So far there have been no surprises, everything is on schedule.
As you may recall, we are using the same Elecraft radios and amplifiers as the recently completed KH1/KH7Z Baker Island DX-pedition. Some people were concerned that the short turnaround time could be a problem. We’re happy to report the following:
On Friday, July 20th the Baker Island Elecraft equipment was delivered to the factory in California. Elecraft will inspect, test, and refurbish the 8 K3s / KPA 500 stations.
We will also have 4 team owned high power amps for use primarily on the low bands. We will collect the equipment from Elecraft on about August 3rd. Our other equipment is already in California or will be brought to California by K3EL and K5GS.
On August 2nd Gene K5GS, Dave K3EL, Walt N6XG, Steve W1SRD, Mike WA6O and Chris N6WM will meet in Northern California to begin the process of integrating the equipment, testing and packaging for shipment to Braveheart in New Zealand. We will use the same shipping cases as KH1/KH7Z.
We will meet with members of the Baker Island team to discuss their experience, especially with FT8.
We will have 3 BGAN terminals on the island thanks to the Intrepid DX Team (Paul Ewing N6PSE) for loaning us their Hughes 9201 BGAN. The lineup will be one Wideye Sabre 1 BGAN and two Hughes 9201 units. We will integrate and test the BGANs in California. Bob Schmieder KK6EK (Cordell Expeditions) is also loaning us equipment for the project, including all the laptop computers which have been refurbished by Steve W1SRD.
While underway aboard Braveheart we will send position reports using our Garmin inReach device. From the island we’ll be posting regular updates to Twitter / Facebook, and sending Press Releases to the DX bulletins. We think the use of Twitter / Facebook will minimize the usual Internet rumors.
Unless they bring their own satellite device, team members will not have access to their personal e-mail accounts while on the ship or the island. Team member families and the Chief Pilot will have our private BGAN e-mail address during the project. We expect to send some photographs from the island but the cost of about $6(USD) per megabyte will limit the number (size) of the images.
VP6D was issued a permit by the Pitcairn Island government to collect plant and soil specimens that will be sent to the National Antarctic Scientific Centre of Ukraine for their climate change research.
Financial support continues to build, with many DX foundations and clubs already onboard. We’re still waiting for a few clubs and foundations to respond to our request for support. If your club / foundation is not on our sponsorship list (VP6D.com) please contact the officers and ask for their support of VP6D.
In the next few weeks we will be announcing some exciting project details.
Thanks for your continued interest in VP6D.
Team Ducie 2018