Many have been asking about our low-band plans for the upcoming VP8ORK South Orkney DXpedition in January 2011. With antennas to cover 75, 80 and 160m simultaneously from sunset to sunrise, dedicated receive systems and top-of-the-line radios, we will be active on all these bands, every night, for almost two solid weeks. Rest assured that we’re giving the low-bands a top priority.
Of course this doesn’t mean we’re ignoring 40m and up. It just means we’re putting in a bigger effort than usual on those bands where the need is greatest.
We realize that lone operators at remote polar science stations often have limited time and equipment to make an effort on every band, let alone 80 or 160. This is why the big Antarctic DXpeditions are there to fill in the gaps. These expeditions offer experienced DXers a chance at working some new band-modes, and newcomers a chance at climbing the honor-roll.
Here is a listing of our low-band arsenal:
The Battle Creek Special (160 main)
85 foot vertical wire supported by Spiderbeam telescoping pole (160 backup)
SteppIR vertical with 80 meter coil (CW) (80m)
60 foot vertical wire supported by Spiderbeam telescoping pole (75m)
60 foot vertical wire supported by second Spiderbeam telescoping pole (backup)
DX Engineering 4 square with DX Engineering preamp and DX Engineering splitters to feed 3 low band radios.
Two RX beverages as an option to 4 square dependant on circumstances encountered on site.
7 x K3 transceivers (sponsored by Elecraft)
3 x Acom 1010 amplifiers (sponsored by Acom)
2 x Acom 1000 amplifiers (sponsored by Acom)
EY8MM, K9ZO, ND2T, 9V1YC, K0IR, N1DG, W3WL, K6AW, N6MZ, N4GRN, WB9Z, W7EW, and VE3EJ
I’m sure most of you recognize these calls. This team brings with it an unprecedented amount of experience in Antarctic DXpeditioning, contesting and low-band knowledge to ensure that all bands are covered from start to finish.
But, even with a great plan, the best equipment and experienced operators, activating the remote entities of the Southern Ocean is still one of the most challenging aspects of amateur radio. These islands are some of the windiest, coldest and roughest places on earth to survive, and just reaching them is an achievement in itself. Its no secret that private, non-governmental Antarctic expeditions come at an astronomical cost, and without support from everyone within the DX community these trips would simply not happen.
We’re extremely grateful to have major DX foundations such as the NCDXF, INDEXA and the ARRL funding us with large donations. We’re also thankful to have support from many worldwide DX clubs and commercial equipment sponsors such as Elecraft, Acom, DX Engineering and SteppIR. But even with all that, and each team member contributing over $12,000, it still doesn’t even come close to covering the massive expense of a polar expedition. We need financial support from all of you.
If you haven’t sent in a donation yet we hope you will consider joining those who have already stepped up to help. Our website www.vp8o.com gives full details of our trip, and is where you can contribute at whatever level you feel comfortable.
We look forward to working you on all bands!
James Brooks, 9V1YC
The Microlite Penguins DXpedition Team
VP8ORK South Orkney 2011