K6VVA/KL7 – IOTA tour update

    By Rick K6VVA


    I have received several inquiries as to the status of the K6VVA/KL7 – North Slope IOTA tour, which was QRX’d from 2012 (NA-172 QRX’d again from the NA-242 trip in 2011).

    Here is the situation as of today, as I have continued to monitor solar condx and trends. If anyone wonders why, you can read my previous historical comments on the dx-world.net website also relating to 70 Degree North Latitude HF operating, the Auroral Oval concerns, and that Mike, K9AJ and I would have set foot on NA-172 right in the middle of a major solar X-Flare had we gone to NA-172 last Summer. This would NOT have resulted in a successful activation in spite of enormous expenses involved.

    In less than a month now, on 3 different occasions the K Index has spiked to K=4. The prognosis for this Summer from observations of solar trends and my perspective appears that things will likely be similar to last Summer (2012). And, that escalated CME and X-Flare activity is more common near and at the peak of any sunspot cycle (if you can call this a peak).

    Mike, K9AJ, has decided he is only interested in doing NA-172 with me, and NA-050 is pretty much a one-person activation anyway. So I am breaking up the “Tour” into 3 separate chunks which may, or may not be done in one lengthy trip vs. separate ones (NA-172, NA-004 & NA-050). NA-004 is NOT the “Drive-On” QTH many have worked in the past. It is a boat journey & Bear Guards venue like NA-172.

    At this point, there is a 50-50 possibility that any of these activations will take place until 2014, and a final decision will not be made until mid June to possibly the first week in July. I am not going to make any official date changes at this point. Mainland lodging reservations will remain in place for NA-172 unless it may be determined to QSY that activation plan again to Summer 2014. My personal NA-004 and NA-050 plans will remain fluid, and hope to at least make one or more quick attempts at least to NA-050 this year if solar condx coooperate (or in-between any CME’s or X-Flares), because this one requires the least advance logistics beyond several airline leg seats and local lodging. I also have some other business to attend to in NA-050 when I finally get up there.

    I have various other IOTA Projects on the back burner, one or more of which may occur without much advance notification, if any. As I am ready to push the send button on this Info Update, the solar K Index has spiked back up to K=5. No Bueno.