HK0NA – Malpelo Island


    FINAL REPORT FROM THE ROCK

    Today at noon local time the last three stations went QRT. 3/4 of the camp was dismantled around them as they continued to work the pileups. Amazing that there are still pileups after 190,000++ QSOs. Assuming a safe transition to the Seawolf of all equiment and team members, this one is definitely for the record books!

    Thanks to all for their kind comments both on the air and via our pilots. This is a gratifyng accomplishment of this International team. The Colombian and American organizers have worked very well together.

    Special thanks go to the Fabulous Four (HK1N, HK1T, HK1MW and HK6F) for spending six weeks on Malpelo to make sure we were ready to begin operations almost immediately upon our arrival.  Also a very specal thanks to the “iron men” at OP A who survived brutal conditons of heat, lack of food and water and as well as a dangerous climb just to get to the camp. They are HK1R, DJ9ZB, PP5XX, LU9ESD, HK1T and HK1X, as well as a few visitors during the daytime.

    We shall have two nights in Bogota seeing the sights and a specal reception with Government officials and then most team members return home on the 10th.

    We are tired, but extremely happy with the results.  We hope you, our audience so to speak, are also!

    February 3, 2012 – Full operations will continue through tonight at both OP A and OP B – nine stations QRV. This will be the last night of 160m operations and the antenna will come down tomorrow. OP A will be dismantled and all equipment, antennas, infrastructure and operators will come down the mountain for the last time. I am calling those 5-6 regulars at the top, the “iron men”.

    On Saturday night we will have 5-6 stations QRV at OP B for our last night. At sunrise Sunday, the day of departure, four stations will remain QRV until mid day while the camp will be dismantled around them. We hope to have everything and everyone safely on the boat for a sunset departure back to Buenaventura for a hot shower, table service and a cerveza.

    As a matter of interest, we will break the DXpedition record set by VP6DX of 183,686 QSOs. That is the record for DXpeditions that you cannot fly into and where the operation doesn’t take place at a hotel with all the comforts of food, water, and power supplied. It is commonly called the “tent and generator” DXpedition record. We should break it by a confortable margin. Considering the rarity of Malpelo on the DXCC “most wanted” list at #12 and the extreme difficulties of the basically vertical terrain, we are most proud of our accomplishment. We give full credit to our Colombian marine friends and the crew of the Seawolf for doing most of the heavy lifting.

    February 1, 2012 – We are beginning the shut down process …Our boat leaves here on the afternoon of the 5th but we plan to have a couple of stations QRV until the last few hours.

    160m and 6m antennas at OP A are down now and will be back in OP B tomorrow. OP A will officially close down on the 3rd. We will scale off the air at OP B as mentioned. So, we have three or so more days of operation although with a reduced number of stations at OP B.

    Conditions have taken their toll on our QSO rates, but the team members are staying on their shifts and calling CQ if need be. Both RX antennas on 160m failed to help, so we continue so slog away with the QRN here near the Equator. We do feel good about our results.

    Morale is high and we are enthused about our QSO totals….now over 155,000. Quite a feat under very difficult conditions. Let’s hope we get everything and everybody off this “rock” without injury or incident.

    We will all be glad to get back to civilization, arriving in Bogota on the 7th. Most of the team leaves on the 10th, so there may be time for some well deserved R and R.

    If you have any questions about earlier QSOs you are welcome to work us again before we leave.

    January 30 – Effective immediately there may be two stations signing HKØNA on the same mode and band; ie. two SSB signals or two CW signals, both signing HKØNA. This is especially likely on the high bands as OP A and OP B will try to maximize QSOs and propagation.

    OP B will continue to use the published frequencies while OP A will look for a clear frequency and operate. This should help everyone getting into the log as we enter the final days of our operation.

    January 28 – by QSL manager, N2OO

    Be advised that Op A logs from the top of the mountain arrive late and some QSO’s therefore may not be in the current online log until the next upload. Overall, logs are uploaded about once a day. If you notice that your QSO is not showing up before the “last” QSO in the database date/time posted here, wait for the next upload. If still not there, you may want to work them again. We do realize that there are some log gaps and the team is doing everything they can to correct the situation.

    The gaps seem to be related to a software issue with their logging program. These gaps should not reoccur since the log collection process has been changed.

    At this time we cannot guarantee that we can recover the missing log data. We hope that this is not the case. But we probably will not know for sure until well after the DXpedition is over. If you have any missing QSO’s from before January 27, we suggest that you try to work them again. The HK0NA team apologizes for the inconvenience.

    If anyone has any inquiries for any QSO’s made AFTER Jan 27, and you waited one log upload past the last QSO date, please drop an email to me and I will research for you. n2oo@arrl.net will work. NOTE: I will not make any corrections to the log until I process QSL cards. If you think that there was a busted call, include a note with your QSL request.

    January 14 – For the last couple of nights there have been many bogus HK0NA spots on the clusters.

    While there is a limited operation by the advance crew, and thus some of thespots are valid, one or more ‘slims’ are apparently calling CQ using the HK0NA call. Because CW Skimmers pick these up and place them on clusters the ‘slims’ are apparently enjoying this new method of causing trouble. The offenders probably call CQ until they get spotted by a CW Skimmer, and then quit…perhaps to head to a different band to perform the same shenanigans. What can a user do to minimize this?

    1) Turn off skimmer spots.

    2) Block spots posted by W3LPL.

    Using CC-User connected to a CC-Clusters, such as AE5E-1 DXSPOTS.COM you can elect to receive or decline CW Skimmer spots. While these can be useful in some circumstances, the CW Skimmer spots are a target for troublemakers as explained above. CC-User can also be used to block spots posted automatically from W3LPL. You can do this on CC-User at “Configuration>Reject Ann or Dx Spots”,entering W3LPL as the offending spotter. These are actually CW Skimmer spots which are processed for ‘accuracy’ by W3LPL automatically. ‘Accuracy’, I am told is measured by matching spots from multiple CW Skimmers…if a sufficient number match, then W3LPL’s system puts them out in a format which is identical to a normal spot. Under ordinary circumstances W3LPL’s spotting system is useful as it reduces the number of mangled calls. But it is still subject to the ‘slim’ problem outlined above.

    January 12 – The “Fabulous Four” advance team continue their work building the infrastructure for HK0NA with emphasis shifting now to OP. A (top of the mountain). And, in their spare time making some QSOs with the deserving.

    Of course, we are hearing from a small minority that they are doing everything wrong and not listening here or there or whatever. May we suggest everyone be patient and remember that 16 more operators will be there from the morning of the January 21, for up to 17 days.

    Yesterday the DXCC desk confirmed that QSOs made by the advance team, when they used their individual calls, will count for DXCC purposes. Those logs will not be available until after the DXpedition concludes. May we suggest that you work HK0NA also.

    We intend to upload the HK0NA logs to ClubLog soon after the arrival of the main operating team. Don’t bother checking the “Log Online” until then.

    Lastly, our volunteer pilots kindly request that you not contact them until after the main operation begins!

    January 11 – Exclusive images from Malpelo. More pictures can be viewed at the official HK0NA website.

     

    The fantastic 4 Faber HK6F, Jim HK1N, Bolmar HK1MW and Salim HK1T at the arrival to the island, 6am on Dec 29, 2011
    First sail to the rock
    Camp B
    Starting assembly


    January 9 – The Fantastic Four continue testing and latest Press Release issued. Beginning at 0001 Zulu, January 10, 2012 the advance team will start using the HK0NA callsign.

    [audio:http://dx-world.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/HK1T-15-SSB-1.mp3|titles=HK1T-15-SSB-1]

    January 8 – San K5YY and Col MM0NDX become Pilot stations for HK0NA.

    January 7 – The “Fantastic Four” are working very hard and doing a great job on Malpelo! We are in daily contact with them. They are tired but in high spirits.

    Most of the camp infrastructure and antennas for Op.B (bajo) is now complete. Two antennas require further testing. Today, they made the climb to the top of the mountain (300m), this will be the location for Op. A (alto). The purpose was to survey the antenna and operating locations. It is a fairly strenuous climb, and took about 40 minutes to get to the top. Afterwards, a decision was made to place the operating position and sleeping tent at the very top of the mountain and schedule operators for 2 day shifts to minimize transit risks. Set up of the camp infrastructure and antennas at Op A will begin in a couple of days.

    We plan another press release prior to departure to Bogota on January 18th.

    January 5 – sign the official HK0NA team guestbook.

    January 3, 2012 – Jorge EA8TL mentions on Twitter that The Fantastic Four had been briefly active (testing) from Malpelo on 14158Mhz at 23.53UTC (Jan 2). They continue with the assembly of antennas and stations, whilst it rains much. The four will also have to mount new antennas for the low bands because the noise is strong there.

    December 28 – from Manu LU9ESD,  Team Member HK0NA.

    “The Fantastic Four” advance team arrived Malpelo today at 1400z. Now starts the hard job to build up the 2 camps with 11 stations and 18 antennas. We still need the help of everyone to achieve the DXpedition success. Please visit hk0na.com site.

    December 27 – Four members from the HK0NA Team, namely HK1N, HK1T, HK6F and HK1MW have departed from the pier at the Bahia Malaga Navy Base. They are aboard the Patrol Boat Jose Maria Palas.

    The target of this advanced team called “The Fantastic Four” is to set up all 11 stations, 2 camps and wireless network in order to have everything ready for the main group arriving on January 21, 2012.

    To these four brave men – who are going to spend more than 40 days on Malpelo and have sacrificed their holidays away from family – we have to express our admiration and gratitude.

    November 2, 2011

    A reconnaissance trip to Malpelo by three of the HK0NA team was completed last week. Read about the trip in latest news and view some images.

    September 25, 2011

    18 ops now participating with Gary K9SG and Glenn W0GJ joining HK0NA team.

    July 23, 2011

    The number of operators has increased to 15. The new members are VE7CT John, LU9ESD Manu ,WB9Z Jerry. Also, the start date for HK0NA – Malpelo has been approved for January 22, 2012.

    June 24, 2011

    Bob K4UEE joins HK0NA.

    May 4, 2011 – official permission from HK Government. License shown. [tnx HK1X, PR]

    The DXARC DX Colombia Amateur Radio Club HK1NA announces its next expedition to Malpelo Island in 2012 as HK0NA. All efforts have been made ​​by the Colombian group ahead of Team leader Jorge Prieto HK1R.

    The big idea of this DXpedition is to be on the air from Malpelo Island all bands and modes allowed by Colombian laws.

    Full details

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