APRIL 4 — The 7Q7EI team went QRT on Monday 02/04/2018 @ 16:30UTC with over 37,000 QSOs in the log. The full log is now complete on Clublog ​and our OQRS pages are open via http://www.m0oxo.com/oqrs/logsearch.php

During our stay in Malawi, we encountered many power outages, internet outages and had to QRT even to lightning storms. We noticed several hours each morning of zero propagation to anywhere! Most afternoons, band conditions began to improve and we frequently checked 10m & 12m. Due to our antenna design and station layout, we were able to exploit all openings and operate 2 stations on each band (mixed mode) with zero interference.
FT8 proved invaluable for our LF operations. Yes, we did receive some criticism about using FT8 on 80m & 160m however due to local high noise levels, FT8 certainly did what it is designed to do and that was putting QSOs into our LF logs. CW was tried time and time again however, netted us few QSOs on 160m.
Words of thanks and emails of support are coming in on a daily basis. We like to think that we gave many a new band or mode slot, no matter what continent you’re QRV from! Sincere thanks to all our sponsors.
Be sure to check back our website for any further updates. Until then, 7Q7EI continues to the next stage for Powerpoint presentations, QSL design, photo sharing, website updates, etc.

APRIL 2 @ 16:20z — 7Q7EI is now QRT. Teardown begins (pix by MW0ZZK)

MARCH 30 — We are getting lots of requests for 160m CW. This will NOT be happening. Due to high local noise levels we will NOT be working CW on 160m. Only FT8 is possible. We have had some success on 80m CW and we try to maximise these QSOs each day.

Yes, I’m sure it’s frustrating for the general public to be thinking that we are only working FT8 on LF, but I assure you, CW is our preferred mode (by far). There are still many ‘bugs’ in the FT8 programme but you must remember, this is still a BETA TEST which is working well for us on 160m. Without it, we would not be QRV on 160m at all.

80M CW will be maximised for our remaining days – we need every QSO in or log.

Other than that, I can say that our frequent electricity outages have stabilised a bit now – we hired a generator locally to power our radios, and we have now a reliable internet source. Shortly after sunrise, we have a period with zero propagation when all bands are closed for a few hours and only the Big Guns get through.

A fellow DXpeditioner once told me ‘it’s the going into the unknown that makes the adventure’ and we are certainly having an adventure!

I’m confident that we’ll make the 30,000 QSOs and make the GDXF Mega DXpeditions Honour Roll.

Vy 73 de Dave EI9FBB

MARCH 27 – GREETINGS FROM MALAWI! The 7Q7EI team arrived as planned last Friday and immediately begun station set up to participate in the CQ WPX SSB contest. Several stations were QRV across all bands while antenna set up was completed. “We are now firing on all cylinders” reported one of the team and our first logs have already been uploaded to Club Log.

Unfortunately, we are experiencing several electricity outages on a daily basis along with intermittent internet. If we suddenly disappear, please wait and we’ll be back as soon as we can!

We have begun operating FT8, in DXpedition ‘FOX’ mode…version 1.9 rc3. We will try to work 4 Khz below the recommendations on each band…1.836, 3.569, 7.070, 10.132, 14.074, 18.096, 21.070, 24.911, 28.070

We will update with a plan for our JA friends tomorrow – we are aware of their restrictions and are trying to find a solution!

Our QTH is excellent, with a full beachfront at our disposal and the whole team are enjoying large pileups.

Thanks to those who have already supported our project – we will try to keep our SUPPORT page updates as often as possible. Thanks!

MARCH 25 – Pictures of 7Q7EI activity by team member Steve, MW0ZZK.

MARCH 24 – QRV:

MARCH 22 — The 7Q7EI team departed Dublin and now on their way to Malawi. Follow their first flight to Ethiopia. Estimated QRV on March 23 @ 22:00z.

MARCH 19 — Just a few days before our departure and the whole team are highly motivated. Last minute preparations have begun with final packing and baggage weighing over next few days, when van will be loaded ready for our journey to Dublin Airport. We have over 1/2 ton of equipment to bring with us! We are watching our propagation tool very closely along with any FT8 updates. We do hope for success when using the DXpedition version of FT8 so be sure to watch this space for ‘How to work us on FT8’ once we are QRV. Website

9 COMMENTS

  1. If you come to 60 Meter band, don’t forget CW as many others now do it!
    73, and GL: Hannu OH1XX / OG1X

  2. Will there be some REAL lowband activity by them at all … ?
    Guess I am spoiled by the operations by 3C, TJ, TY etc.
    Guys, come on, I just need you on 40m for a new one, preferably in CW.

    73 de Gary, DF2RG

  3. It is the same story over and over again with AF DXpeditions. From Africa the South Pacific is the most difficult area as it typically is a polar path (both ways) and main direction or short path is to the South while you guys point beams mostly to Northern directions. So if you finally work a Station from a Pacific you must assume there are more desperately trying to reach you. Last evening (your morning) you worked finally ZLA1AIX on 30m via LP only for you to continue with EU, Then a VK4 made it through and you’re continuing with working EU… There was plenty of OC in the back only to miss out on you. We are not louder than EU because we sit 18,000 km behind EU.

    73 Holger

  4. Thanks guys for persisting with FT8 on topband and providing a new country for many.

    It is interesting that FT8 allows for topband qsos to be made in high qrn where cw cannot. Dxpeditions to Africa frequently avoid 160 because of this high qrn so hopefully future dxpeditions will spend more time on topband using FT8 (if cw is not usable).

    Some of the purists on topband have been grumbling about FT8 only activity but I am happy for there to be FT8 activity rather than no activity at all.

    Cheers
    Paul – vk4ma

  5. Thank you very much for FT8 Beta Test Contact on 14068 yesterday
    i whish your Team all the Best , have Fun and enough Power in your Wires…..

    Vy 73 de Mike OE7MPI

  6. Online logs and numbers speak for themselves, dxpedtion using ft8 lose qso.

    In Africa, TN5R, 3C0W, TJ2TT without ft8 are large ahead with qso numbers respect TY7C and 7Q7EI,
    on low bands (80-160) they all have thousand of qso (also TY7C), but with CW !
    7Q7 just few hundreds on ft8, when they operated in cw the rate was “normally” good, no feeling of bad rx.
    9M0W with 5 days of operation have 780qso in digital, all in ft8, ridiculous number, on rtty from a rare country like Spratly, you can do 780qso in 4-5 hours.
    Do not believe in fairytales, let pc for business stuff, do human mode.

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