Heard Island Expedition 1997

Q: Who is doing this?

A: The team includes 21 radio amateurs from 10 countries worldwide:

EA8AFJ Michel Sabatino
HB9AFI Kurt Wetter
HB9AHL Willy Rusch
HB9BHW Hans Burki
KØIR Ralph Fedor
K4UEE Bob Allphin
K9AJ Mike McGirr
KK6EK Robert Schmieder
N6EK Bob Fabry
N6MZ Michael Mraz
NP4IW Carlos Nascimento
OE9AMJ Arno Metzer
ON6TT Peter Casier
ON5NT Ghis Penny
PA3DUU Arie Nugteren
RA3AUU Igor ("Harry") Booklan
VK2JDM (VK2TQM) David Muller
W8FMG Wes Lamboley
WØGJ (WAØPUJ) Glenn Johnson
K3VN (WA3YVN) Al Hernandez
9V1YC James Brooks

Q: Why is the team so large?

A: It was necessary to spread the high cost of the expedition out among many participants. The requirements were: no more than $10,000 and 5 weeks duration. Safety and manpower for operations were central requirements.

Q: Why is the budget ($320K) so high?

A: Transportation alone is $10K per person. It is so high because Heard Island is not on any shipping or tourism route, hence a special charter trip is necessary. The cost of passage for the team is $200K. To this must be added the cost of helicopters, food, gasoline, propane, shelters, generators, cooking and living facilities, and emergency gear, plus coax, connections, computers, and operating facilities for 5 radio stations. The additional cost was estimated at $5100 per person.

Q: Who is paying for this?

A: The participants are paying their entire transportation bill, $200K, plus other major expenses. Several foundations, including NCDXF, INDEXA, and many other clubs and associations have contributed about $30K. We expect QSL donations to be about $20K. We're currently looking for the balance. The rough breakdown we envision is about 70% paid by the participants, about 20% paid by organizations, and about 10% paid by individuals.

Q: Why are you doing this expedition at the bottom of the sunspot cycle?

(1) Experience with VP8SSI, 3YØPI, XRØY, and others southern expeditions shows that propagation is always much better than predicted;

(2) We are interested in extending our understanding of topband (160m) propagation (currently there are no programs that do this);

(3) The team had considerable momentum from the previous year, and considerable resources that would have been lost if the expedition were delayed.

Q: Is this a commercial enterprise?

Hardly. Everyone on the team is an amateur radio operator, and is contributing large amount of finances, time, and energy to make it happen. There will be no profit, and no cash residual.

Q: Will you have souvenirs, and will they raise money for the expedition?

We already have the mug sand tee-shirts, and we will have a video and book. We will not sell rocks from HI, but what would you think of a small vial of penguin guano? They will only result in a net for the project if we sell them all. The books are breakeven.

Q: How many radios will you have, and what bands will they use?

We will have at least 5 stations, on the air whenever there is propagation. We will be active on all HF bands (especially 160, 80, and 40), plus 6 m, RTTY, and AMSAT.

Q: Will you post the logs publically so we can check to see if we're in?

A: Yes. It will be slightly different from the way XRØY did it.

Q: Will you send out e-QSLs and next-day (pre-emptive) QSLs?


Q: When will you come on the air, and how long will you operate?

A: On or before Jan 15, 1997. We'll operate about 2 weeks.

Q: Who is the QSL manager?

c/o John Parrot W4FRU
P. O. Box 5127
Suffolk, VA 23435

Q: Where can I send contibutions, and will I be acknowledged?

Heard Island DXpedition
c/o Bob Allphin, K4UEE
4235 Blackland Dr.
Marietta, GA 30067 USA
(Preferred U.S. site for donations under $100)
Heard Island DXpedition
c/o Peter Casier, ON6TT
Oude Heerbaan 30B-9230
Wetteren, Belgium
(Preferred Eu site for donations under $100)
Northern California DX Foundation
c/o Bruce Butler, W6OSP
P.O. Box 608
Menlo Park, CA 94026-0608
(Preferred site for donations over $100)
Cordell Expeditions
c/o Bob Schmieder, KK6EK
4295 Walnut Blvd
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
(Any donations)

Sponsors are listed on the Web page according to the following general categories:

Donations to the Northern California DX Foundation and to Cordell Expeditions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law for 501(c)(3) organizations. The should be specifically designated for the Heard Island DXpedition.

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Last update: 4 Jan.1997 Robert W. Schmieder cordell@ccnet.com