Don Greenbaum, N1DG, reports that the Dateline DX Association is making progress in planning its 2018 DXpedition to Baker and Howland Islands(KH1), the fourth most-wanted DXCC entity, according to Club Log’s DXCC Most Wanted List. The DDXA team will operate from the Baker Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Greenbaum says a ship has been chartered — the Nai’a from Fiji — with arrival on the island during the third week of June 2018. The DXpeditioners will spend 12 days on the island, with 10 days set aside for radio operation, if plans hold.
All preparations are subject to the approval of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which administers the Baker Island National Wildlife Refuge, and the ship and dates were chosen in consultation with the agency, based on the availability of the vessel and of the USF&WS “resource monitor,” who will accompany the team, as well as avoidance of the cyclone season. Greenbaum said long-range propagation forecasts appear favorable on HF to Western Europe during the late-June period of planned operation. The 11 operators on the team are covering one-half of the estimated $400,000 cost of the DXpedition, and are seeking financial support for the rest. Greenbaum, Tom Harrell, N4XP, and Kevin Rowett, K6TD, are team co-leaders.
The 3Y0Z DXpedition to Bouvet Island team reports it now has 10 FlexRadio transceivers in hand, with shipping containers and accessories. The Bouvet Island DXpedition will have 14 stations, each with its own computer and everything tested and networked. All gear will be checked out thoroughly in advance. Two of the stations will be set up for an early September team meeting in Atlanta.
ARRL has granted an unspecified Colvin Award to help support the Bouvet Island DXpedition, and the Northern California DX Foundation (NCDXF) contributed $100,000.
A new 160-meter vertical, designed by Nodir Tursun-Zade, EY8MM, and DX Engineering, will be used on Bouvet. The vertical is 90 feet tall, 70 feet of which is aluminum tower sections with a 20-foot “stinger” on top. DX Engineering has donated two of the verticals to the DXpedition, one as a spare. The antenna is top loaded and tuned with two base coils. It’s raised using a “falling derrick.” A video of the raising and testing of the vertical is available on YouTube.
Team member Jim Mornar, N9TK, has been preparing the radials, putting the cut-to-length wire on spools so they’re ready to install on site. The radials total 24,000 feet. With this transmitting antenna coupled with directional receiving antennas, planners feel certain 3Y0Z will be effective on Top Band. Video showing setup and testing of the vertical has been posted on YouTube.
The Bouvet DXpedition is planned to take place in January 2018 and the team hopes to be on the air for 14 to 16 days. The estimated cost of the DXpedition is upward of $750,000. The DXpedition has a Facebook page.
The Mellish Reef VK9MA team said in its recent VK9MA Expedition Insiderthat it plans to focus on the lower bands during its November 2017 DXpedition. Mellish Reef is the 29th most-wanted DXCC entity. The nine-operator team will set sail on November 1 from Australia aboard the MV Phoenix, arriving on November 3. The DXpedition will depart Mellish Reef on November 16.
Data modes, and especially RTTY, will be one focus of the VK9MA DXpedition, and the team says it may give JT65/JT9 and the newly popular but still beta FT8 a try. During their 13-day stay on the reef, team members will run four complete station around the clock. — Thanks to The Daily DX