You have probably heard something about recent efforts to develop a special “FT8 DXpedition Mode” in WSJT-X. This message aims to bring you up-to-date on our progress, and generally to make our plans more widely known.
It looks like some of the major DXpeditions are beginning to embrace FT8. This will certainly create a need to handle “pileups” in FT8 mode and to make it possible to make many contacts in the shortest period of time possible. It appears that Joe Taylor, K1JT is working on an update to WSJT-X to create a variation of FT8 tailored for DXpedition use. Also, we will also need to update our copies of WXJT-X to take advantage of the new FT8 DXpedition mode. The link above is an article by Joe which gives more information about his new FT8 DXpedition mode and the software which will support it.
Bouvet Island is one of the most remote uninhabited islands in the world. It is 2700 miles east of South America, 1000 miles North of Antarctica and 1800 miles west of Africa. It is also the 2nd most wanted DX Entity just below P5, North Korea.
Bouvet Island DXpedition
A team of 20 Ham Radio Operators from all over the world is currently on a boat headed to Bouvet. They are headed there to operate for 2 weeks as 3Y0Z, so that the rest of us can get Bouvet Island in our logs. Their ship sailed for Punta Arenas, Chile on January 19th for the 10-12 day trip to Bouvet. You can watch their progress here,
Visit their website at http://www.bouvetdx.org/to see the latest news of their voyage and operation and learn more about Bouvet, where they plan to operate, who the team is, how to work them, check if you are in their log, and get a QSL. You can also follow them on Facebook by joining this group.
Bouvet lies at 54 degrees, 25 minutes South and 3 degrees, 22 minutes East. It’s the product of a volcanic eruption that last occurred in 4,000 B.C. Bouvet is 97% ice-covered, and with surrounding rocks and small islands, has an area of 19 square miles, with 18.4 miles of coastline. Its location, ice, rock cliffs, high seas, harsh climate and surrounding pack ice and icebergs isolate it from human presence. Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier first saw the island in 1739. The island was not seen again until 1808. There was a disputed landing by Benjamin Morrell. But, the first documented landing was by the Norvegia expedition in 1927, which named the island Bouvetoya, and claimed it for Norway. More on the Bouvet Island DXpedition…
Fred, AB1OC and I recently returned from the Dayton Hamvention, which was held at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, OH for the first time this year. Here is a summary of our visit.
We always arrive 1 day before the Hamvention to attend Contest University. We get to listen to professors who are experts in contesting, propagation and other aspects of Ham radio and always learn something new. The presentation that stands out in my mind was on Space Weather by Dr. Tamitha Skov, who is a regular on Ham Nation and has a web site Space Weather Woman.
On Friday it was time to visit the first day of Hamvention. We spent most of our time visiting the vendors. The new venue had 5 buildings with vendor booths and 2 more buildings for Forums. It took us most of Friday and some of Saturday to visit all of them. Here are some of the highlights.
Icom has a new SDR transceiver coming out later this year, the IC-7610. We got to see it in person at their booth. The display was impressive. If the performance is as good as the IC-7300, this will be a great transceiver.
The Elecraft booth was very busy – we got to see their upcoming 1500 W amplifier, the KPA1500, which will cover 6m – 160m.. this one is going on the wishlist.
Next, we visited the Flex Radio booth and spent some time playing with the Maestro, which will have at Field Day for the GOTA station. Their newest radios, including the Flex 6600 have buttons and knobs and a display.
At Kenwood’s booth, we got to look at their newest HT, the TH-D74, a tri-bander which does APRS, D-Star and has a great looking color display.
We then visited the Begali booth where we got a chance to try out a large variety of Begali Keys.
At the Begali booth, Fred picked out his Hamvention toy for this year – the Sculpture Mono key.
We made several visits to the AMSAT booth and saw Burns, W2BFJ, one of our newest club members. We also talked to their educational lead about ARISS opportunities to contact astronauts on the space stations and learned the details about how cube sats are built and launched. We also picked up a copy of their latest satellite book, which is one of the best books on the topic we have read.
We also visited the ARRL booth where we received a warm welcome from Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, ARRL CEO, who spoke at our club meeting last year. He is very interested in our HAB project.
After the Hamvention closed for the day, we attended many of the dinners and activities at the Crowne Plaza with the contesting community. At the Top Band dinner, we saw a very interesting presentation from Nodir, EY8MM, about his home country, Tajikistan and his plans for 160m operations during the Bouvet Island DXpedition coming up in 2018.
Overall we had a great time at the Hamvention and are looking forward to attending in 2018.