Heard Island Expedition 1997 (Planning Documents)
John Devoldere ON4UN
A number of E-mail addresses in this document are shown as ...@????.?? These are confidential addresses which should not be published. These addresses will be forwarded individually to all pilots, but should not be published.
The information on how to contact the island directly (PACSAT or e-mail address, tel. nr., fax nr. etc...) as well as the telephone and fax information of all pilot stations is CONFIDENTIAL. Only the team members, their families, the pilots and the technical support crew know this.
In the past, many DX-peditions have made the mistake of cutting themselves off from their audience, once they got on the air.
While criticism was building up, sometimes to a very high level, e.g. the Bouvet affair, the expeditioners were not aware of it. This can easily be avoided by providing a flexible way for the DX-community to provide feedback to the DX-peditioners.
On the other hand, there often were situations where DX-peditioners were getting frustrated because the pile-ups were not going the way they wanted, or because they had equipment problems and were unable to explain why they could not do certain things they wanted to do.
On a third level, DX-peditions often go to very remote places, where danger and the possibility of accidents lay behind every corner. DX-peditions need a flexible way to keep in touch with their homes, have access to emergency sources etc..
The pilot program provides means to achieve all these goals.
a. Be a permanent and established communication link TO and FROM the DX-community.
The success of an expedition is measured in terms of the reaction it gets from the DX-community. This is done in two ways:
Both are equally important, and can only be achieved if there is a good communication between the two sides: the team needs to know from the DX-community what they are doing well, what can be improved, what the DX-ers propose, etc. so that the DX-pedition can adjust its operation according to this feedback. On the other hand, the DX-community needs feedback from the island: going from 'why were they not on 160 yesterday', to 'when RTTY?', 'why 20 KHz split in SSB' to 'what is the weather like', 'is the 5th amplifier back on' and 'did the landing succeed well'...
This worked well for the mid west, west coast and EU during the 3Y expedition in 1994. People like to inform and to be informed. It makes them feel part of the DX-pedition. And it made it fun for the 3Y0PI operators to fulfill the needs of the community. And.. the DX-ers commented favorably on the way they had their say.
This time, the pilot station concept will be extended to all of the US, as well as to Japan.
b. Provide a way to keep in touch with the civilized world when commercial systems fail.
This DX-pedition is taking along Inmarsat telephone equipment, which enables the team members to call home, and to receive calls from home. The pilot station will, however, be in a fold-back position, in case problems might arise with the commercial satellite links.
1. 2. The pilot's profile:
A few of the pilots for the Heard Island DX-pedition have served before in this role during the 3YØPI DX-pedition. We think we know what a good pilot looks like.
In order to make the present expedition an example 'par excellence', pilots were chosen which fulfill the following profile:
the pilot MUST have an excellent (well above average) HF-station
Being a pilot requires a lot of time and patience. This should not be underestimated. Be prepared to spend a minimum of 4 to 5 hours every day at your pilot job!
During the 3YØPI expedition the pilots had to collect the info from the DX-pedition, broadcast the latest info to the DX-community, collect feed-back from it, and feed it to the DX-pedition, all by amateur radio means, most of it by HF or via packet-radio.
We are now 3 years further in an ever faster evolving telecom environment, which means our communication channels have changed significantly.
The primary communications system to be used on this DX-pedition is amateur satellite communications (PACSAT). We have a fold-back with internet via Inmarsat commercial satellite. This means we will not have to waste valuable HF operating time for this purpose. It also means more flexibility for the pilots. They will be able to concentrate more on talking to their audience, on listening to the DX-community and on broadcasting the latest news.
It is the feeling of those who took part in the 3YØ DX-pedition (either as operators or pilots) that the 3Y pilot scheme helped A LOT in optimizing the operating procedures, times, band choices etc.. (read the 3Y book!)
The pilots are to a large degree responsible for determining the perception and the quality of the Heard Island expedition. As such, the pilots take care of an important part of the deliverables as a team.
First of all let me tell you all how proud and happy I am to be part of it, and to be able to work, hand in hand, with you, pilots, to make this the most successful DX-pedition of this century.
I am delighted to have you aboard our VKØ/H team. Yes, you are fully-fledged team members! Once the DX-pedition has landed, you will be the key people in determining the course of the expedition. With your dedication and help, we will make this project a tremendous success.
Remember: we are the DX-pedition's public relations people. Be patient and friendly. Mind your language. I know how difficult it might get, with DX-ers giving very one-sided views or aggressive comments... Remember: you can not please them all, but you can lend a 'friendly ear'. Put the blunt information you received in the right perspective. Rephrase if necessary before passing on to us. Co-ordinate with your fellow pilots. Communication is the key word here.
Don't be afraid to stress things to the guys on the island. If they are doing certain things wrong, tell them. If they do not change, tell them again.
I am sure we, pilots, will have a lot of fun, too. And I am speaking of past 3YØPI experience.
I've been asked to act as Pilot co-ordinator or Pilot Czar. That means that I write the Pilot's manual, and that you come to me, if you have any questions as to your role as pilots. I'll do my best to help you as much as I can.
Isao is 41 years old and has a ham since 1969. Profession: commercial photographer, living in near Tokyo.
Family: XYL Yumiko, 12 yrs old daughter Hiromi, 10 months old daughter Yuki and his parents. Isao has two stations, one is at his home QTH which is about 10 miles north of downtown Tokyo and one is at his country house which is about 100 miles north of the home QTH. He will be at this mountain side shack during the first week of HI operation.
Isao has been in a number of DX-peditions himself: J79ROJ, JH1ROJ/V2, 9M6/JH1ROJ, JH1ROJ/VE2 Zone2, 9M6RO, V2/JH1ROJ, HA/JH1ROJ, PS7ZIN, ZY0FZI(PY0), V31RO, JH1ROJ/TG, ZF2RO.
KØEU, Randy Martin, (USA, Mid-West, South)
Randy is 41 years old and married to Brooke with a son Thomas, who is 5 months old now. Thomas keeps Randy and Brooke pretty busy right now. They live on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, in what Randy calls a piece of the country surrounded by lots of subdivisions. The lot is just over 1.5 acres in size. Randy is an independent consultant in the mining industry and his expertise is in computer-aided mine design.
Randy has been on three separate DX-peditions. The first, AH1A, was probably the most successful (4 guys from the present Heard team were there as well). Randy was one of the four CW operators on Howland, and also took care of the RTTY duties. Randy's second DX-pedition was a solo job to Ghana as 9G1XA, about 7 months after the Howland trip. Although working 10 hours a day, 6 days a week as a mining consultant, Randy managed to make almost 18,000 QSO's in his spare time on all bands and all modes. The Southwest Ohio DX Association voted it DX-pedition of the year in 1993. The International RTTY DX Association voted this the 1993 RTTY DX-pedition of the Year. Finally, Randy joined forces with K4UEE and K0IYF down on Isla Juan Fernandez in 1995 as CEØZ. He likes to think that this was also a very successful operation, even though CEØZ is not considered rare, with emphasis to Europe and on the low bands (it indeed was - ON4UN-)
Also Randy has recently upgraded his antenna farm. He now has two KT-34XA tribanders stacked at 67 feet and 120 feet, and also has two stacked Cushcraft 40-2CD's on the same tower, one at 127 feet and the other at 60 feet. He uses a quarter wave sloper on 160M and a full sized quarter wave vertical on 80M. Four 290 foot beverages are used for receiving on 80 and 160. The primary rig is an FT-1000D with HF-2500 amp. The second radio is a TS-670 with an Alpha 76A.
When not DXing, Randy "dabbles" in contests. His favorite has always been sweepstakes, low power. He usually manages a top-ten finish in sweepstakes, and even took first place on both CW and Phone in the same year. More recently, Randy has done some serious single operator entries in the CQWW CW contest. Randy has also been active in multi-op efforts from K0RF and W0CP.
N1DG (ex WB2DND) - Don Greenbaum (USA - North East)
Don is 45 years old, married with 2 children. Micah, age 16 who is N1QMM. Jocelyn is 13 and not yet licensed.
Don was first licensed in 1961. He has held DXCC Top of the Honor Roll. An avid DXer and contester he has been on several expeditions as well. These operations include A61AD, AL7EL/KH9, /VP9, /VS6, /BV2, and /4X.
Don is President of Aurum Telemedia Co. a distributor of computers and telecommunications services. Aurum provided the laptops for Heard97. An accomplished musician with multiple television appearances and records, Don has been moonlighting as principal Tubist with the Brockton Symphony Orchestra since 1986. In his spare time (RIGHT!) he is often seen on his Harley Davidson Softail Custom (without the Tuba).
ON4UN - John Devoldere (Europe and Pilot co-ordinator)
Age:55, licensed since 1961. Retired (since Sept. 96) professional engineer. Author of technical books and software. Family: XYL Frida, one daughter, Marleen (John thinks she is going to get her ham ticket).
Avid DX-er, contester and home-brewer (antennas and equipment). Holder of 80-meter DXCC award #1 (now 345 countries, needing only 3), holder of 5-band WAZ plaque #1, DXCC 160m (271 ctries), 160 m WAS, USCCA (all 3000+ counties), and many contest plaques. Holder of European all time record in CQ WW Phone 80m and in both the CW and the Phone 160 m CQ WW contests..
John loves CW, can stand Phone, but HATES lists. RTTY is a great mode as well! He loves opening his station up for newcomers and young hams to train them in the art of contesting. John is the responsible as well for the contest calls OT4T, OT5T, OT6T.
Station: M/S contest set-up with 2 FT1000MP's, home made amps and all home made antennas: 1/4 wave full-size vert on 160, 4-square with elevated rads on 80, 3 el full-size yagi at 30m and 4-square for 40, 5 el (15 m boom) on 20m (at 25m), 6 el (12 m boom) on 15 (at 22m), and 6 el on 10m (12 m boom) at 19m, plus an array of 12 Beverages (one every 30 degrees) for reception on the low-bands.
WØEK - Bob Bruner (ex WDØAEK). (USA, Midwest, North)
Bob is 43 years old and married to Deb (KB0SIL). He has been self employed for 27 years doing auto body repair. Bob has been licensed since 1977 and then the DX virus hit home. He is in charge of VE testing in his area. A little over 2 years ago Deb and Bob bought their dream home that they have been searching for over 10 years. They have 40 acres in the hills. (where the towers are now growing). Bob's main rig is a FT1000MP, an ALPHA87a, and a TH11DX yagi. Bob uses wires for 80 and 160, plus 5 beverages at 1000 ft plus.
Bob is a member of Twin city DX association, Northern Minnesota DX association, and the ST.Cloud radio club.
W2IJ (ex WA2FIJ/6) - Jay Kobelin (USA - Westcoast)
Jay is 50 years old and has been married 23 years with 2 children (19 and 16 years old). Jay was licensed in 1959 as WV2FIJ (NOVICE), WA2FIJ, VK6AP and now W2IJ.
Jay's original station was comprised of home-brew equipment and relics from WWII as he likes to dabble in electronics. Jay is an electrical engineer presently employed by the Northrop Corporation where he works on the B-2 program. He also has a business that designs and does printed circuit board layouts, PCB4U which can be found on the WWW at http://www.ecsworld.com/~pcb4u/ .
Jay has been on two unique DX-peditions: the 2nd operation ever to Kingman Reef (WA2FIJ/KH5K, 1980) but prior to getting to the Reef the airplane crashed at Palmyra requiring the United States Coast Guard rescue to fly into Palmyra with 2 C-130's rescue aircraft. In 1992 Jay was in the team that "stormed" Clipperton for 9 days setting an all time record from this spot, approx. 48,000 Qs which came out to 3.75 Qs a minute for 9 days. Jay is proud to say that this is the expedition that exposed to the DX world one Peter Casier (ON6TT)!
Jay is putting up a new tower which should be ready for HI. The HF station consists of a TS950S and a Collins 30L1. The antennas are 2 multiband yagis (30/20/15/10 and 12/17 meters) and a 40 meter rotatable dipole. Jay is on the DXCC Honor Roll with a 332/323 count. His prime interest is DX-ing ever since his first DX contact at 5WPM on 40 meters, XTAL controlled, 50 watts, longwire and using a receiver with bandspread to tune off the XTAL frequency one cold evening in 1959...PY7CY, Jay says he'll never forget it and neither will his parents as he screamed out loud realizing what had just happened!! As you say, Jay is a REAL amateur!
W4WW (ex N4PYD) - Scotty Neustadter (USA - South East)
Scott Neustadter is M.S., C.P.L (Certified Professional Logistician ) is 52 years young, and works as a Logistics Analyst for the Boeing Company, working on the International Space Station. Scott is a retired US Air Force Training Devices Superintendent. He is also member of the Question Pool Committee that generates the Question Pools for all Amateur Tests in the United States. Scott is the chairman of the Huntsville Hamfest, as well as Field Day Chair for K4BFT (#2 overall in '96) for the past 7 years.
Operating interests: Field Day, DX and Contesting including RTTY. Home Station: Yaesu FT-1000MP, Ten-Tec Titan Amp, Mosley Pro 67B @ 70ft. Wires for 80 & 160. 5BDXCC, DXCC Honor Roll, WPX Honor Roll.
ON1AIG - Andre Marchandise
Andre is our PACSAT man:
On the island, Peter (ON6TT) and Ralph (KØIR) with Bob (KK6EK as a backup) will be our contact people for all matters related to information to and from the pilot stations.
4.1. General Mechanism.
We are 7 pilots, and each one is fully responsible for his own area: Europe, Japan, USA North East, South East, Mid West/North, Mid West/South and West Coast. This means you should encourage the people in your area to feed you with information, impressions, proposals etc... You can do so by mail on PBBS and DX-cluster and better even, you can have a nightly Heard Island info net on 75m SSB, with a question and answer session afterwards.
Now that we know what the DX-community thinks, we have to feed that to the guys on the island (let me call them "the islanders"). This step is somehow tricky. You will get a lot of information. Some of it will be relevant, some will be contradictory, some of it will be insulting, some will be chit chat. It is up to you and your common sense to filter, condense, reword and summarize all feedback. Send it to the island, with a copy to the other pilots. Make sure that the mail is short and clear. Please do not delay sending the info to your colleague pilots. There is no competition between the pilots!
The task of the pilots is not only to listen to the DX Community, we should also inform them. This task is at least as important. For that, the "islanders" will send us daily news. Here we make a clear distinction between world-wide news and local news.
4.1.1. World-wide news.
World-wide news, also called "news of general importance" will be sent from the island to ON4UN, cc all other pilots. Only ON4UN will feed this world-wide news to the HEARD ISLAND internet reflector (see "THE HEARD ISLAND REFLECTOR"), and onto the EUROPEAN packet and DX-Clusters. This is to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts. ON4UN will send a copy of all world-wide news, that is sent to the Heard Island Reflector to the 6 colleague pilot stations. The local pilots will distribute the news (unchanged) to their local information networks via packet, and use it in their local information broadcasts as required.
Examples of world-wide news:
In my daily world-wide news bulletins that I will send to the Heard Island reflector, the European BBS's and DX-Cluster networks, as well as to all pilot stations for further distribution and use in their own areas, I will regularly make use of general information on the DX-pedition, in addition to the "news" from both sides. Most of this general and generic information is available on the Heard Island Web pages, but we have to consider that many amateurs do not have access to the internet, and will get this information via Packet Radio, or even via the 75 meter news broadcast. All local pilot stations are encouraged to use some of the same information to spice their daily news bulletins.
Some of the topics covered will be:
I will send a copy of these texts to the responsible Czars as well as to all Pilots as soon as they are ready. Please do not hesitate to amend them. You will be using these texts for your job as well. So let it be yours also! It is evident that some parts of these texts may have to be altered in view of actual developments prior to the broadcasting date.
4.1.2. Local news:
News of "local importance" will be sent from the island directly to the area pilots, with cc to all colleague pilots. Each pilot will divulge this news as deemed necessary. Replies to earlier questions from a pilot also fall in this category. Local news can of course be sent as a "local addendum" to the world-wide news. Each area pilot is responsible for broadcasting the world-wide news unchanged, plus the local information to all information channels he has available in his area (packet, voice HF-broadcasting, local radio magazines ... ). Local news can be released by the pilots on the internet reflectors but should be clearly identified as local news (e.g. LATEST HEARD ISLAND INFO FOR JAPAN.... FOR EUROPE... FOR EAST COAST ). The area pilots are requested to send a copy of their news releases to their colleagues (by internet).
Definition of the "local areas":
The US pilots will agree amongst them which states are covered by which pilots. Inform ON4UN before the start of the expedition.
Areas without a "resident" pilot are covered as follows:
Examples of news of local importance:
4.2. Frequency of communication.
The rule is that all kind of INFORMATION and QUESTIONS from and to the island are sent at least ONCE a day. Replies to questions are sent within 12 hours of reception of the questions (whatever side this is on). This means that in general we will communicate with the island TWICE a day. All of the pilots are to be copied on all of this traffic.
4.3. Communication between pilots.
The rule is to use E-mail. But we have a fold-back of Fax or phone. The frequency rule, as explained under 4.2. applies. Please do not delay answers to questions you may have received from your colleagues.
4.4. Communication TO the island.
The guys on the island need to know how they perform. Tell them what they do well, but tell them also how to improve. Give them feedback on best openings for your area, how strong they were, when, LP/SP. Send any relevant info which will help the islanders to tailor their expedition to the needs of the DX-ers, or information to encourage them (be fair).
You will get this relevant info from:
A few examples:
come on 80m CW 30 minutes earlier. You miss the sunrise in the 1 - call area
How to send your mail to the island?
As said before, the primary digital link with the island is via PACSAT. All your digital communication must be sent by E-mail to the internet account of ON1AIG, who gateways manually between Pacsat and internet.
PILOTS ¨Æ INTERNET ¨Æ ON1AIG ¨Æ PACSAT ¨Æ ISLAND
Andre, ON1AIG will gateway your messages at least TWICE a day.
Procedure to send mail through PACSAT to the island:
The fact that we use a low orbiting satellite means that there is some delay in getting your messages to the island. This is not a real-time operation.
Fold-back communication systems are described in par. 6
4.5. Information FROM the island.
Any news coming from the island will be clearly identified as WW (world wide)or LOCAL by the senders. WW news is sent to ON4UN with copy to all other pilots. Local news is sent to the interested pilot, cc all other pilots.
Each message from the island should carry a SERIAL NUMBER, starting with H001. This is to enable us to check if we received all messages.
As to the content, three kinds of information will be coming from the island:
This news is always WW news.
All this information will be sent AT LEAST ONCE A DAY to all pilots
You will receive this mail via internet only, either via PACSAT through ON1AIG or directly via internet from the island (first fold-back communication systems are described in par 7).
Note that this link does NOT use our internet account, but goes through ON1AIG only.
4.6. Information to the DX-community
Each pilot can develop his own way of distributing news. I would highly recommend the use of a daily HEARD ISLAND information net on 75 m SSB. This kind of information net was extremely successful in Europe (and was listened to by a lot of US East-coasters) during the Peter 1st operation.
World-wide information is spread on the internet HEARD REFLECTOR (see par. 8) only by ON4UN. The local pilots can send local news messages to the Heard Reflector, but should identify the news clearly as being local (e.g. " latest USA West Coast H.I. news").
The pilot co-ordinator, ON4UN, will send the world-wide news to the Heard Island reflector at least once a day. He is also responsible for sending all news (WW and local) onto the European Packet Radio networks.
The local pilots will send the WW news (as received from ON4UN), and their locally generated "area" news onto the local Packet networks and other media as required. Local news can be sent by the pilots on the Heard Island internet reflector but should be clearly identified as local news (e.g. LATEST HEARD ISLAND INFO FOR JAPAN.... FOR EUROPE... FOR EAST COAST ). Area pilots in the US should agree with one another to delimit their geographical area of responsibility.
Don, W1DG, is responsible for the Heard Island Web page. For news on the Web Page, he will use only world-wide news items, as released by ON4UN.
If a pilot has news that he considers world-wide, he should not hesitate to pass it on to ON4UN by E-mail! Also do not hesitate to give ON4UN your comments as to the world-wide news he broadcasts. Your comments can help him to improve!
In your local news bulletins, ask your audience to check the special beacons (especially the band edge beacons on 10 and 160m), as well as the NCDXF beacon which will be operational as soon as the guys land on Heard island. This is important information to be gathered while they set up the antennas.
The NCDXF/IARU beacon is all programmed, tested and ready to go. Its call is VK0IR It will transmit on 14.100, 18.110, 21.150, 24.930 and 28.200 for eight seconds once every three minutes. (The bands can be turned off individually if they cause a problem.) This beacon is one of a network of eighteen beacons around the world that share these frequencies and this transmitting pattern.
4.7. What are the back-up communication systems for the pilots?
Do not use any of the fold-back communication systems without FIRST informing ON4UN.
4.7.1. First fold-back: internet via Inmarsat telephone service.
If the PACSAT system does not work, we can communicate via internet and via the Inmarsat maritime telecommunication satellite system.
The internet address of the DX-pedition is: heard@????.??
How do we know that the PACSAT system does not work? What's the procedure?
a) If Andre, ON1AIG, cannot upload your messages to the satellite for a period longer than 12 hours, he will send all queued (waiting) messages via internet (to heard@????.be) and keep doing this (for all messages he "may" receive from you) until the PACSAT links is operational again.
b) If Andre, ON1AIG cannot download messages from the satellite for a period longer than 12 hours, he will send a message to the island via internet (e-mail) asking to send all messages after XYZ (=identification of last received message) via internet DIRECTLY to the addressees (the pilots).
Andre will immediately inform all pilots by e-mail of the above situations. The pilots should immediately start send their messages directly to the island via heard@????.???.
Andre will send a message via e-mail to the island as soon as the PACSAT system is again operational, and invite the pilots (by e-mail as well) to stop sending direct e-mail to the island, and to start sending all messages to his address again (ON1AIG@????.??). He will immediately resume sending all mail via PACSATT.
c) If on the island no messages have been received via PACSAT for a period longer than 12 hours, the islanders will check the e-mail server (heard@????.??) to see if any messages have been posted there because of a defective PACSAT system. They will check if there are any missing messages (check sequential numbering!), and inform the pilots (each pilot has his own individual message numbering system) by e-mail of any missing messages, which then can be sent again via e-mail.
d) If messages cannot be sent from the island because of a defective PACSAT system, then the messages will be sent by e-mail (/inmarsat) directly to all pilots at least every SIX hours. Always copy the pilot coordinator ON4UN!
The islanders should keep checking the PACKAT system to see when it has been restored to operation, and revert to PACSAT as soon as possible.
If communications is done directly from the pilots to the island (via E-mail through heard@????.??), the format should be as follows:
4.7.2. Second fold-back: via Inmarsat phone/fax
This alternative is not available if the Inmarsat station on the island is not functioning.
Use this as fold-back and for urgent messages only. (we have no telephone operator standing by at all times.)
4.7.3. Third fold-back: via HF skeds
This is the most flexible way, but on 3Y we spent a lot of air time on this. Openings on VK0/H will be shorter and more erratic. Only if all other communication systems fail, we will use HF.
4.8. Back-up communication systems for the islanders.
If PACSAT does not work, the islanders have the same fail-back communication systems as provided for communications TO the island:
4.8.1. First fold-back: internet via Inmarsat telephone service.
The format to be used for direct e-mail communication from the island to the pilots is as follows:
4.8.2. Second fold-back: via Inmarsat phone/fax
4.8.3. Third fold-back: via HF skeds
4.9. Message indentification (numbering).
For urgent personal matters, use fax, or if really urgent, phone. Remember, the Inmarsat unit will be in the warehouse tent, and might be unattended at times.
It is important that the pilots establish contact with their audience and with the operators long before the operation on Heard island starts.
I plan to release world-wide news to the internet, and send copies to all pilots as soon as the party gets on the air from Reunion as TXØR. At the same time start the 80 meter news broadcast on a 2 or 3-times a week schedule, later to be increased to daily.
6.1. On the ship
The guys will be active as much as possible on the ship. We pilots, should keep in touch with them by radio as much as possible as well. This will create the right link, and provide us with "human" and other "general" information to be used in our news releases and bulletins.
6.2. On Crozet (TXØC)
Time on land will be very restricted. Some low-band operation possible.
6.3. On Kerguelen (TXØK)
Time on land will be very restricted. Some low-band operation possible.
7.1. NCDXF Beacon:
From the first day of the landing, while setting up camp, the NCDXF beacon will run from the island as VKØIR with an R5 vertical. It will transmit on 14.100, 18.110, 21.150, 24.930 and 28.200 MHz. The beacon transmits for ten seconds on each band every three minutes . The VKØIR transmission on twenty meters is at one minute and ten seconds after the hour, and every three minutes after that. The transmissions on the other bands follow every ten seconds with the ten meter transmission starting at one minute and fifty seconds after the hour, and every three minutes after that.
On each frequency it sends VKØIR in CW at 100W, then 1 seconds long steady tones, at 100, 10, 1 and 0.1 W and then moves to the next higher frequency. Let's ask our public to keep an eye open on these frequencies as they will provide unique information for when hell will break loose. The latest beacon information is available from WWW.NCDXF.ORG.
This means that the beacon will be on the air probably 3 days before the operation will start! Invite you audience (by whatever means of communications) to listen for the beacon and report peak times, strength and SP/LP specs to you or directly to ON4UN (via E-mail to email@example.com or via packet to ON4UN @ON4AWP.OVN.BEL.EU). Please forward any information you may receive daily to ON4UN, who will co-ordinate this with the islanders.
The quality of these reports will be an important tool to draft the operating plan for the first days of operation. Tell everybody they have the operation in their own hands, through their reports of the beacon station.
If this beacon does not interfere with normal traffic, it will continue to operate throughout the DX-pedition. I will inform you as to the status of the beacon ON the island. All pilots should inform their audience of the status, and if operational ask them to listen especially for openings on "higher" bands. When someone hears openings on bands higher than the ones they are running on, call them on the lower" band and tell them.
7.1. The 160 meter beacon.
Throughout the whole operation (from just before sunset to just after sunrise on Heard Island), whenever they are not running on 160, the Heard Island DX-pedition will run a topband beacon on 1,826.5 KHz. It will sign "V V V V V V V V V DE VKØIR VKØIR VKØIR " . The beacon will run with full legal power on a monoband top-loaded vertical.
Ask your audience to check this frequency during times of possible propagation (likely when the DX-pedition will be operating on 80 or maybe 40m). Whenever the beacon signal is heard with a comfortable signal, the low band freaks are asked to come down (to 80 or 40m) and to inform the operation of the band opening. If possible, they will QSY immediately. Tell your audience to be fair in their judgment: if they have a super-duper topband station and only hear the beacon now and then (in the noise?), don't bother to ask to QSY.
SWL reports on this beacon with all details are to be sent to the pilots. The pilots can report back to the islanders but should copy ON4UN for any report.
Why do they run a 160m beacon? A lot of time is often wasted by the expedition calling CQ in vain when the propagation is not there (yet). DX-ers are often waiting uselessly on topband too.
Also, expeditions are often said 'never to be on topband when the opening is there'... Well, this time it's the top-banders themselves who will tell when 160 is open!
The calls and the e-mail addresses of the pilot stations are well known by the DX-community. In order to prevent each of the pilot stations to get swamped with "personal" e-mail about the DX-pedition, we have created a full blown reflector, the Heard Island reflector. eard Island reflector.HeThe pilot stations are invited to read the e-mail on this reflector.
Each pilot one should react to questions related to his local area. Make sure you do not answer any "world-wide" issues. ON4UN will take care of those. If in doubt, ask ON4UN. As a rule, reactions are NOT posted on the reflector as individual messages. Reactions are part of the world-wide or local news bulletins (on Internet, on the PBBS or via 75m broadcast).
The "local areas" are defined in par 4.1.
On the internet, all information on the Heard Island operation will be released via the Heard Island reflector. I will send the information on how to subscribe to the Heard Island reflector in time before the expeditions takes off, as well as the guide lines on how we will proceed the questions and suggestions received on the reflector. The e-mail reflector allows readers to "communicate" with their pilot stations.
Invite your audience to send their remarks, observations and queries via internet ONLY to the Heard Island reflector. We will not respond to any mail on other reflectors. Invite your audience to use the Reflector. Explain that we will not individually answer the mail, but respond in our news bulletins.
Don Greenbaum, N1DG, is responsible for the Heard Island Web pages. He will include the WW news that he will receive from ON4UN on the Web pages.
The pilots are invited to tell their audience about the Web pages.
As a pilot station you will likely be asked by some stations "can you check to see if I am OK in the log". Tell your audience they can check themselves, either via a Packet Radio server or via internet (E-mail or WWW) .
No one will be able to "read" the entire log. Anyone will however be able to trace his own QSO's. Duplicate QSO's (same band, same mode) will not be given.
There are several ways of obtaining this information which are described in detail in a separate document.