Monday, August 12, 2013

DXpedition starts soon – no internet will be available on the island

Hi everyone, well it’s just a couple of days to go before the DXpedition starts. I've been informed by the island’s caretaker that internet access will not be available at my operating position and so please note the following:

- I won’t be able to see any DX clusters
- I won’t be able to read any email questions
- I won’t be able to upload logs to Club Log until I return to the mainland
- I won’t be able to update the daily blog until I return to the mainland

Considering that I won’t be able to let people know where I’ll be, here is an indication of my likely operating pattern based on observations of propagation recently. Remember that I’ll be operating ½ wave vertical dipoles on 20m and on 15m and a multiband vertical for 10m/12m/17m/30m/40m. They’ll be mounted on the high tide mark of the beach and with this set up I won’t need to worry about beam headings.

I’ll be operating on SSB predominantly except for 30m where I’ll be on PSK31/RTTY and listening up. I may operate more on digital modes later in the DXpedition on other bands if QSO rates slow on SSB.

For the first few days of the DXpedition I’ll spend most of my time on 20m SSB around 14260 +/- QRM. The goal is to give as many unique call signs for this IOTA.   

The most challenging part of the world to operate into will be North America and so I’ll be searching for as many openings as possible. For those people in North America look for me on 20m from 2100 UTC long path and later in the day on the short path. Signals from Europe will be dominating 20m in the 0430-0800 UTC period and so for people in Asia and Europe please be patient during the 0600-0900 UTC period if I sometimes listen out for North America only. Don’t worry Europe, I’ll be on 20m at this time most days.

From around 0800 or 0900 UTC I’ll be trying for North America on 40m SSB or 30m PSK31 (and listening up 1 kHz). I’ll try to stay on 40m SSB while east coast North America goes through their sunrise from 1000 to 1130 UTC. If I end up calling CQ endlessly on these two bands without much success I’ll then venture to 20m SSB. I’m hoping for band openings to North America around 1100 or 1200 UTC on 20m.

It’s hard to know if the bands will be open to Europe after 1200 UTC on 20m at this time of the year. I will be there calling CQ but if there are no openings then look for me on 30m digital.

A few days into the DXpedition I’ll be spending more time on 15m. If the 20m pile ups slow down too much you’ll find me on all other bands.

I aim to be on the air each day from 2000 UTC (5:30am) prior to sunrise on either 40m SSB or 30m PSK31 (listening up 1). I’ll venture onto 20m once it opens and stay on the air until around 1400 UTC (or later if open). If you do the maths that means operating for 18 hours a day so please be patient you’ll have a good chance of working me sometime over this 7 day period.

Again my focus is to always look for North America on 20m, 30m and 40m and to spend most of my early time on 20m to give everyone the chance to work me. For those in the IOTA DX Marathon please be patient, I intend to operate on multiple bands over the 7 day period.

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