JUNE 19, 2018 — The majority of the team is now gathered in Pago Pago, American Samoa. 10 out of the 14 team members have arrived, and the other four are all in route. The NAI’A is expected to arrive in Pago Pago at approx. 1900z today. The team plans on boarding the NAI’A tomorrow to get ready to leave port Wednesday.

KH8/K6MM (credit WJ2O)
KH8/N1DG (credit WJ2O)

JUNE 18, 2018Don, N1DG says: “Dinner in Samoa. Took 3 planes and 36 hours to get here. Later today we go to American Samoa to meet the Nai’a. Departure Wednesday to Baker. [L-R] N4HU, K6TD, N1DG, JN1THL, 9V1YC, K6MM”

(credit N1DG)

JUNE 17, 2018 by Kevin K6TD — “We arrived at the boat about 9:30AM on 15 June Fiji Time. The freight agent’s flat bed truck had just arrived. They were waiting for a forklift to unload the 9 pallets of equipment. The forklift arrived quickly. Pallets were unloaded, and then items taken off the pallets and handed onto the ship. The crew made quick work of getting all the barrels, and cases.

All the equipment was stacked into the outside prep area, adjacent to the storage area. The crew moved all the equipment in, repacking it twice.

The dock at Lautoka isn’t large, and we were parked behind a ZL naval ship that wanted to leave. So, we cast off the dock lines, motored out of the harbor, did a triangle route, letting the ZL naval ship depart. And return to the dock. The NAI’A felt very smooth and steady on our short 15 minute out and back.

Once back at the dock, items from the NAI’A warehouse arrived – generators, tables and chairs, gas cans, lights, etc. Stowing these items required the storage area be re-packed, for a third time. But, it all fit. Which was a surprise to all of us that saw the equipment coming onto the ship.

The storage area is normally the camera storage and prep area. Right next to this area is a meeting and bench area. When the time comes to move the equipment off the boat, in the correct order, we can move it all into the meeting area, then extract items in the right order. Going to make all this pretty easy.

George, AA7JV, and Rob, NAI’A owner got a chance to talk boats, routes and issues, such as navigating coral heads. We all came away thinking we can do this. The only issue concerning all of us is the surf at Baker.

NAI’A has two large skiffs, which they fitted with bran d new engines today. Rob bought a new skiff just for this trip. The NOAA boat that visits the island told Rob about this skiff that makes getting thru the surf much easier.

N4HU, AA7JV, KN4EEI, and K6TD stored items on the boat, so we don’t need to haul them with use thru APIA onto Samoa. We went over the cabin assignments with Vanessa and Chad, our cruise directors. Got a chance to meet and talk with the cook. The cook even made us all hamburger for lunch. We won’t go hungry on this trip.

We hooked up and activated the inReach tracker, lent to us by ND2T. Rob’s wife plans to track the boat with it.

HA7RY found the expresso machine, and proceeded to make several cups while we were there.

We all got to sit in the air-conditioned dinning room, and review all the items required by DDXA and NAI’A. How much gasoline are we taking (1800L)? What is the island rotations schedule? I forget all the items we covered. We all felt preparations are complete.

The boat plans to leave Lautoka harbor at 2:00PM on Saturday.

Weather today in Fiji was pleasant. Not oppressively hot, nor humid. If you were out of the sun, and where a nic breeze blew, it was very pleasant.

Next stop – APIA, then meet the boat on June 19th in Pago-Pago”.

More pictures and info here

JUNE 12, 2018 — George, AA7JV team member of KH1/KH7Z writes:

“We will be active on 160 from Baker Island from June 27 to July 6 (note that dates are tentative and may change — please visit http://baker2018.net/ for updates). Given the time of the year, KH1 is likely to be challenging for most. In addition to the less then perfect time of year, we are limited to a maximum antenna height of 43 feet. But, we do have a new antenna for 160 meters we will stand it in the salt-water to maximize its performance. We will also have a couple of DHDL receiving antennas with high performance pre-amplifiers. In other words, we will do our absolute best to overcome the handicaps that we were dealt.

Our TX frequency will be 1822.5 to begin with and we will be listening up. NA stations should call above 1825.0 to avoid the stronger JA callers, who are limited to below 1825.0

Our sunset will be at 07:45 UTC. We will be on the band at sunset to fully take advantage of the 1 1/2 hours of common darkness with the NA East Coast.

During that time the sun will be still up in Japan, so we will be able to focus on NA and SA. West coast stations will have more than 4 hours of common darkness with us, they should have a decent chance of putting KH1 in the log. After the West Coast sunrise, from about 12:45 UTC onward, JA, UA0 and SE Asia, as well as ZL/VK, will have an exclusive shot at us. During this time we may move down to give the JA-s more room.

EU will be…well…difficult. We will stay on the air throughout each sunrise, working as far west as possible.”

26 COMMENTS

  1. Middle of winter in ZS. No propagation. Guess I will have to wait for the next Group to go there.

  2. At the low of the cycle, mid winter is a great time for ZS. Low bands will be open much longer than in summer. If any one should be griping it would be Europe as conditions on the high bands and low bands are likely to be poor in June.

  3. Best time is Autumn or Spring for Low bands in Europe.
    Too much money passed for expedition and no possibility for Eu on Low band. Strange.

    73! Voctor UA4HBW.

  4. By choosing this timeframe with no common darkness between KH1 and EU you automatically put out of the game 80-160. 40/30 will be marginal as well. Not a wise choice considering high bands will be marginal (due to low SSN/SFI) and anyway K1B did a great activity on 10-12-15-17-20 back in 2002.

  5. ZS2DL…do whatever it takes to work them if you need KH1, the odds are that the USF&WS wont allow another expedition for some time. Dont wait
    for the next one. The choice of vessel is interesting, Rob and his sister grew up a couple of miles from me, he is a good skipper but suspect he has never been to Baker. The trip from A to B is easy, there is only one way on-off the island and I doubt they know it. I still climb my tower but wont attempt that reef crossing, you need to be sure footed and in good shape. We last visited Baker a couple month ago to supply the Amelia Airhart search expedition and the waves were pounding the reef, common mid-summer conditions. Howland is ok, Baker is terrible.

  6. Roger. Already putting strategy (Top Secret) into place to make the QSO. Really not a great time of year.
    But I do understand they have to work with what they have been given.
    Some first class Ops going and that will make all the difference….and a few sunspots..Hi
    73
    Donovan, ZS2DL

  7. Donovan -“…But I do understand they have to work with what they have been given. …”

    I do not think, that is good reason to spend $400000 ….

  8. “Donovan -“…But I do understand they have to work with what they have been given. …”

    I do not think, that is good reason to spend $400000 ….”

    Why they need to spend it now ?

  9. Probably a complete waste of time and $400,000 as far as EU is concerned!
    Solar minimum conditions – OK, none of us can do anything about that!
    PLUS, mid-summer condx, instead of planning for spring or autumn to maximise possibilities for EU.
    PLUS, quoting:
    “Our use permit for access to the Baker National Wildlife Refuge restricts the type and height of antennas we can use for KH1/KH7Z”
    So, totally compromised antennas as a result of the paranoia of the eco-brigade about suicidal birds flying into antennas – surely there are way of scaring off suicidal birds?

    Best of luck to those in W EU who need this as an ATNO – you’re going to need it!
    73
    Chris, G3SJH

  10. It amazes me the number of negative comments, some from operators who have never been on a major dxpedition. It is what it is so get used to it. They are going and instead of gloom and doom comments, wish them luck and a safe landing/departure from the island. They are the ones risking life/limb to bring us a new one or fill-in while you sit in the comfort of your home. At the very least, send them a few bucks…..Nuf Sed!

  11. Now or never ? ? ?
    We need to “PRAY A LOTS” for a good propagation.
    But trust helps the audacious.
    I’m sure will be a good dxped.

  12. As a W6 I am expecting an easy collection of an ATNO and new bamds. The gift is appreciated after the weeks of frustration with silence from the Indian Ocean operations. Good luck guys and pay no attention to the crabbing about your decision making. They have no idea about the politics and other difficulties involved in dxpeditions.

  13. Not sure why EU griping over costs or conditions. Most cost for all the major DXPEDS usually shouldered by US/NA Operators, next would be JA, EU normally last (cheapest) but lead all with griping. Look forward to easy pickings from here for ATNO just as EU had easy pickings on the Indian Ocean DXPEDS. Safe Travels.

  14. Hi friends I wish lots of good luck for this excursion on this island. Of course if I can I would go for this tour.
    I hope to hear the amateur radio teachers on the frequencies quoted.
    Congratulations to all good luck friends.
    I stay here in QAP in the frequencies and I await an alo of voices.
    Fort 73 ”

    J.Carlos PU2OLT
    Blog: http: //qsldobrasil.blogspot.com

  15. I congratulate the team for going there.

    No matter what the non-sayers say, if it was easy, it won’t be challenging.

    Best 73

  16. I hope for NO miracles on 80/160m Band, not a single minute of common darkness EU vs KH1.
    Let’s wait for phantom qsos 🙁

  17. I don’t get the idea behind it why many major expeditions to rare ones use primary 500 W PA in the last couple of years. I believe since Elecraft is a major sponsor they had to use the KPA500 but now they have the KPA1500. Why is it not used as primary PA for all Workstations for this one?

  18. I wish the guys good luck but think that South Africa will battle this time of the cycle and being winter, but if we dont try we will never know.

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