OCTOBER 23, 2018

– It’s been raining, we’re waterlogged. In 24 hours we expect a significant storm to pass through, with heavy rainfall and up to 25 knot winds with potential for stronger gusts.

– We had some problems with the BGANs dropping off the satellite which is why DXA has occasionally not been updating in real time. We presume this is due to the WX and wet foliage. We moved both BGANs into the HQ tent, they seem to be performing better.

– We worked on the log this morning, over 27,000 Qs, 9,900 unique calls, 4,000 FT8 Qs, 141 DXCC entities.

– We know some FT8 Qs are not in the log yet, working that problem.

– FT8 odd/even resolved (we think), Control Key conflict between programs.

– Pileups continue to be energetic and reasonably well behaved. One request on SSB, please do not call over the station we’re working.

– The team is doing their best to get you in the log.

– Trying to get the EME antenna assembled before the WX moves in.

– Keep the pilot reports coming in.

OCTOBER 22, 2018 @ 16:00z

– Rain last night, expecting occasional rough WX over the next few days.

– No EME today, expect to be up in 48 hours.

– Antenna work coming along nicely.

– Pileups have been deep, energetic and generally well behaved THANK YOU

– Full set of VDAs for high bands, 4-sq for 40 m and a SteppIR installed
at SSB camp. Low bands antennas installed at the CW camp.

– A few people are calling with the incorrect version of FT8. Please use
WSJT-X 1.9.1 in DX mode. You are configured as a Hound. Please see
VP6D.com for FT8 Guidance.

– Last night we observed a serious backlog with the BGAN systems, the
queue was cleared early this morning, but the network is slow. We have 2
BGANs running, both showing the same delay. We have 2 spare BGANs, but
we don’t believe it’s a hardware issue.

– We had a report that some FT8 contacts are not in DXA, we will
investigate.

– We had a report of an audio problem with 40m SSB, we will investigate.

– The log was uploaded this morning. DXA is a copy of the log. If your
contacts are in DXA they are in the log.

OCTOBER 22, 2018

OCTOBER 21, 2018 @ 16:00z

Good morning from Ducie Island. We are progressing well.

The main camp and kitchen are fully established and supplied with food / water.

The generator sites are built and supplied with fuel.

The SSB camp, located at the main camp, is setup with 4 stations. It is this camp which has been making all the SSB /CW QSOs using VDAs. SteppIR beams go up today.

Today the CW Camp and antennas are the priority. This camp is about 3/4 mile from the main camp. Equipment for this camp was landed at a different location. About a 30 minute walk through the bush between camps. There is very little beach at high tide.

Over the next 2-3 days we’ll complete the antenna work, including 30, 80 and 160. Because of the undergrowth stringing radials is a challenge. SSB 40m 4 Square is complete, CW 40m 4 Square almost completed.

It’s been very hot and humid. We’ve been told to expect some rain possibly later today, heavy at times.

Large 8 person sleeping tents house 3 men per tent, plenty of room.

Signals on this end are loud. The team is in good spirits and eager to get into a routine.

We will upload the log this morning. When we put the/MM log online there may be some errors with the times, we’ll correct them, no need to send e-mails.

We know DXA dropped out a few times, this was due to power at the network switch. The plan is to install a UPS on the network switch.

2 Braveheart crew members will remain on the island to support the operation and generators.

OCTOBER 20, 2018 – UPDATE II

OCTOBER 20, 2018 @ 04:20z 

At 04:18z, VP6D started activity on 40CW followed by 20SSB. K4SC & K4HC first in log.

OCTOBER 19, 2018 @ 13:45z

Team VP6D arriving offshore Ducie Island soon.

OCTOBER 18, 2018

OCTOBER 17, 2018

OCTOBER 10, 2018

The team is as ready as we can be. We begin our travel this weekend, first meeting in Tahiti.

Nigel Jolly will not be with us on the boat, his son Matt will be the skipper.  Nigel will meet us in Tahiti on Oct 15th, he will then fly to Tonga. He was awarded a last minute contract to bring supplies to Tonga, his other ship Claymore II has the job. Nigel must be in Tonga to arrange the Customs and Immigration formalities.

We have 3 BGAN terminals and a spare, getting updates to you shouldn’t be a problem 😉

Thanks for all your help with the bulletins and getting the word out.

UPDATE I

After 18 months of intensive planning we will soon begin our long journey to Ducie Island. This is a team effort and you are part of the team. Please help us to work you by reviewing this important information.

1. You can follow our progress as we sail to and from Ducie Island.
https://share.garmin.com/VP6D Tracking will be available on Oct. 16th as we depart Mangareva.

2. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook – updated from the ship and island.

3. As time permits, we’ll send Press Releases to the DX-bulletins and upload photos to VP6D.com from the island.

4. Your only email route to VP6D is through the pilot team.

5. The pilots do not have the logs. Please don’t ask them about NiL, busted calls, skeds, etc.
Do send them helpful suggestions.

6. There is no access to personal email while on the ship or on the island.

7. The log will be uploaded daily, OQRS will be available at VP6D.com shortly after we leave the island.

8. The process for reporting busted / missing QSOs will be available when OQRS opens.

9. We are uploading the log only to VP6D.com – there is no Leaderboard.

10. We plan to use WSJT-X Version 1.9.1 as a Fox on all bands except 160 where we will not use DX-pedition mode. VP6D FT8 operating guidelines posted at VP6D.com

11. DXA at DXA3.org/VP6D will update about 3 minutes after your contact. Check here to see if you are in our log.

12. The log may show FT8 dupes even if you didn’t dupe us, we will resolve dupes after the DX-pedition.

13. Thanks to Lance W7GJ our plan to activate 6m EME is a first for Ducie Island.

There will be at least 3 DXpeditions operating from the Pacific during Oct/Nov. Ensure you are in the correct pileup for the DX you are trying to work. If you see your contact on VP6D’s DXA that contact is in our log.

Please consider a donation at VP6D.com to help offset the team’s significant investment to put Ducie Island on the air. Those who process a donation on VP6D.com before we sail on 16 October will receive their LoTW confirmation while we’re on the island.

We wish everyone the best of luck in getting in the log, we’ll do our best to get you the Qs you want.

73, Team Ducie – 2018

Website:  vp6d.com, Twitter and Facebook
Please direct questions to:  info@vp6d.com

17 COMMENTS

  1. It will be a true ATNO for me… I missed out on the last expedition because of health problems, and at my age this will likely be my last opportunity to work Ducie.

  2. ATNO me too. Hope they understand the situation. The direction from here(OH) is quite difficult. OH4SS.

  3. ATNOfor me also !For cw 10-15-20-40-80 ! 2 qsos will be great !Gl oms , great team and all the best . VA2IG

  4. ATNO for me too.
    This time it should be easier for ZS. It is later in the year and out of the “black hole” for ZS.
    Looking forward to all mode QSO.
    73

  5. In last 2 years, big QRM always come up. Any time, at almost all freq…
    Make me stress and borring..

  6. Fantastic sigs here in NC/East coast NA on the early morning/morning grayline…great ops; apparently great antennas… MNI TNX !!!

  7. Regarding FT8: by default, hounds are calling on odd periods, fox is transmitting on even. VP6D does vice versa: transmits on odd. Many hams are unable to find a way to change WSJT-X setting to transmit on even because the checkbox is grayed out in F/H mode. But they still try hard using bad seq or using normal FT8 mode in hope for a miracle.
    The solution is not obvious: enter Settings – General, and set the checkbox “Double-click on call sets Tx enable”. Then double-click on received VP6D transmission, and your hound’s sequencing will be correct now. 73!

  8. The new V2.x is switching to the wrong cycle, thats why a lot of stations using the wrong timing. I changed from V2.3 back to 1.9 and its timing is OK.

  9. A simpler solution is to use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+E and Shift+E to toggle the grayed out checkbox for even/odd cycle. Of course using major release 1.9 obviates that all. V2.x release candidates as names say are for testing and (may) contain a number of bugs.
    Cheers,
    Paul sq5nry

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