South Orkney Islands DX-pedition

  • Corporate Sponsors

We are delighted to announce that Low Band Systems will supply their High-Power Bandpass Filters for all planned bands. This complement of best in class filters, in conjunction with vertical and horizontal polarized antennas, will allow us to operate two stations on the same band simultaneously and improve overall inter-station operability.
DX-peditions to the Southern Ocean are challenged by high winds which may result in downed antennas unless adequately guyed. Joining our corporate sponsors are Mastrant Antenna Guying and Clamcleat Limited. We’ll use a selection of their antenna support products to keep the masts in the air. We appreciate the confidence these new sponsors have in our project and team.

  • Project Major Milestones

During the week of October 20 th team members will meet near Palo Alto, California to
consolidate, integrate, test and pack the equipment for its transport to Punta Arenas, Chile.
Arrangements were made for our customs broker to transport the tents and all other
equipment to their depot where a container will be prepared for the journey.
The team began making their travel arrangements to meet the Braveheart in Chile. At their own expense airline reservations are being booked, and a Punta Arenas hotel will house the team.

Braveheart left New Zealand on August 20 th to meet her contractual obligations in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, including VP6R Pitcairn Island DX-pedition, first stop Papeete, French Polynesia. She will return home sometime in April, 2020.

  • Fundraising

The inconvenient truth is amateur radio DXpeditions to the Southern Ocean, and other rare
entities that require a ship charter, are expensive. While the team members will shoulder much of the cost of the project, we depend on corporate sponsors, clubs/foundations and individuals to share the cost. Ham radio is our hobby, businesses require full payment for their services. To date, 37 clubs / foundations and over 300 individuals have shown their support for the project. With 6 months before sailing we are at 48% of our fundraising goal.

A subsequent DXpedition to South Orkney Island will likely not take place for a long time. If you need South Orkney for an ATNO, band fills, or plan to play in the pileups, we would appreciate your help before we sail.

  • Ham Radio Events:

With the project still in the planning stage, we’ve agreed to participate at the following events:
– Ham Radio (June, 2020) Friedrichshafen, Germany
– Asia Pacific DX Convention (November, 2020) Osaka, Japan

In closing, we’ve been in contact with Silvano I2YSB of the Italian DX Team. Their recently announced DXpedition to Tanzania will not overlap our South Orkney project. Good luck to Silvano and his team.

73, Team VP8/VP8DXU
Please direct your questions to:


  1. We had the same questions as many of you.

    No new call signs are being issued for VP8O or BAT, that’s the official position, subject to change in the future. We’ve been told to use /VP8 because we’re operating in an area “administered” by the United Kingdom. The authorities don’t care about short or fast CW call signs.

    Each of you has an opinion and I respect that, I also have opinions. However, we are (and were) working with official channels of at least 3 agencies / organizations. Their decisions are the only ones that count. Under the current leadership – what was done in the past is not acceptable today.

    After twisting our knickers in a knot over this for several months it was time to fold our cards and move on. There are more important items on which to focus.

    GS K5GS

  2. Sorry, just noted you will be active from Signy Island. So, British Antarctic Survey´s Signy Station will be your neighbour.

  3. Signy Station (BAS UK) and Base Orcadas (Argentina) are both located on the South Orkney Islands. Don´t they have ham calls you could borrow for the operation?

  4. Between January – April, 2019 we were in contact with governmental agencies in different countries, and with the ARRL re: a call sign.

    Several administrative processes have changed since the previous South Orkney operation in 2011, and those of the other DX-peditions to the British Antarctic Territories.

    South Orkney is at 60 degrees south, therefore falls under the Antarctic Treaty. South Georgia and South Shetland are above 60 south, so they don’t fall under the treaty. But still they might have an issue under today’s interpretation of the call sign processes. Hopefully this will change in the near future, but exactly when is unknown.

    We’ve been advised that a VP8xxx callsign will not be issued because under the Antarctic Treaty no one country “owns” Antarctica, and we may use any legitimate amateur radio call sign we hold /Portable.

    We are using /VP8 because we are operating at a UK administrative area. Had we been on a US administrative area we would use /KC4. And no, a KC4 call would not have been issued because we are a non governmental organization.

    We accepted the decisions of these agencies and with agreement of the ARRL moved on. VP8DXU is held by one of our team members.

    Agree, not snappy, but it is what it is, and we’ll deal with any FT8 issues.

    GS K5GS

  5. A VP8 callsign can be used from any of the VP8 entities, including South Orkney. I therefore fail to see the need, or logic, in using a complex callsign such VP8/VP8DXU. It is not exactly the snappiest of callsigns on CW and, if they intend using FT8, they will have trouble working other complex calls.


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