Preparations for the 2014 Lagunaria DX Group DXpedition to Lord Howe Island are ongoing. We have booked our flights (which was not an easy task with so many people going to such a small island at the same time with a small plane). We finalized our station concept, are now putting together all the needed equipment and building also some new equipment.
While having all antennas already in our DXpedition stock, we will try to get up the yagis higher than 10m to take advantage of the better radiation pattern. For certain bands (i.e. 40m or 20m) where we expect propagation in both directions Europe and North America (which are 90° apart), we will provide a two-antenna setup combined through a stack-match unit. This allows us to hear in both directions at the same time or switch very fast between two directions. Additionally we want to try a setup with two radios manned by two operators. This operating technique which already has proven at numerous contests at DR1A, is a great way to increase the QSO rate in a huge pile-up (at least the first days we should have such situations). Also the two operators will be able to hear in different directions at the same time.
If you haven't already heard of SJ2W, you should visit http://www.sj2w.se. Besides a lot of information about this contest station, Mike SM2WMV provides also a PCB service for nice accessories like antenna switches (6 antennas - one or two radios), stackmatches or 4-Square controllers. For our DXpedition Mike generously sent us the stackmatch PCBs for free. Many thanks for your sponsoring!
Though the DXpedition's location can be reached by plane and includes a lodge, the transport capacities on the flight are stricly limited to 14kg per person. So we have to ship most of the equipment from Germany to Lord Howe Island by sea freight. Therefore we face transport costs of over EUR 15,000.
We already have granted support from various DX clubs. Special thanks to the German DX Foundation (GDXF; http://www.gdxf.de) for their generous financial support! We also would like to thank the Chiltern DX Club (CDXC), Clipperton DX Club (CDXC), GMDX Group (GMDXG), European DX Foundation (EUDXF), LA-DX Group (LADXG) and the Danish DX Group (DDXG). Also some individual sponsors already showed their interest and gave us their financial support.
Working together on DXpeditions for more than 6 years now, Spiderbeam (http://www.spiderbeam.com/gate.html) has always been and still is a very reliable and invaluable partner when it comes to antenna work. They are supplying us with masts made of glass fiber or aluminium, with antennas like their monoband yagis and many small accessories, but also their technical advice whenever needed.
In the past we already were using VHF handhelds made by Wouxun (http://www.wouxun.com/). These small and cheap devices were not only reliable equipment on our last DXpeditions and enable operations on 2m and 70cm, but also work on Marine frequencies (which was very helpful when going on DXpedition by boat). This time we got a special sponsorship to use some new devices.
Please visit also our sponsor site http://www.lordhowe2014.org/sponsoring/oursponsors/individuals.php to have look at all our sponsors.
Originally planed with 15 people, our team size increased to 16 members. Michael, DL6MHW, a professor in informatics found some time in the winter semester 2014/2015 to join our group. Being a ham for over 30 years now, he is mainly active from his station at home or at club stations like DF0HQ, DR1A or DP9A. But also regularly on the road together with his family in the small bus, you can hear him from places all over Europe. Welcome Michael! Now we can say that the lodge on Lord Howe Island is fully booked with radio amateurs.
Thanks to the efforts of our team member Bernd, VK2IA, we received confirmation of our callsigns.
For the standard DXpedition operation we will use VK9DLX. Funny suffix, isn't it? Of course there is a story behind it. The first three DXers who send us (please use the contact form http://www.lordhowe2014.org/about/contact/index.php) the correct history about the special suffix (information can be found in the internet), will receive a foto book of our DXpedition ZL8X to Kermadec Island 2010.
For the CQWW SSB we will use the well-known callsign VK9LM. In memory of Rudi DJ5CQ (silent key 1995) who was active from Lord Howe Island with this callsign several times in the 1980s and 1990s. And two of our team members already operated with this callsign together with Rudi: Dietmar DL3DXX and Joe DL8WPX.
Feel free to visit the DXpedition website on http://www.lordhowe2014.org and subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed.
No idea who the Lagunaria DX Group is?
Just visit http://www.lagunaria-dx-group.org/ and learn more about the group, the people behind it and their goals.