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    VP6D - Ducie Island - News - Announcements - Video

    For Immediate Release
    Press Release #2
    Feb 8, 2018

    VP6D Ducie Island 2018 DX-pedition (OC-182)
    VP6D Ducie Island DX Pedition Map





    Joining the team is Vadym UT6UD. An active DX-peditioner, he has operated as H44UD, A35UD, S21XV, FO/UT6UD from Austral and Marquesas Islands, FG/UT6UD. He was a member of the 2016 VK0EK DX-pedition to Heard Island. Many will recognize Vadym from his 160 activity.
    We’re happy to announce that 6 meter EME was added to the project. With planning support from Lance W7GJ, and the 6 meter community, we hope to make the first ever 6m EME QSOs from Ducie Island.
    We’re working with several amateur radio equipment manufacturers and suppliers who indicated interest in supporting VP6D. Onboard already are Arlan Communications for RadioSport headsets, DX-Engineering for antenna and other supplies and GM0OBX Custom Cables offered their support. We’re in the process of formalizing agreements with other manufacturers.
    The logistics plan is coming together. Our equipment will be consolidated in Fremont, California for testing, packaging and shipment to the Braveheart in New Zealand. . The team has a group reservation for our flight transportation from Papeete to Mangareva and back. Braveheart will pick us up in Mangareva and return us there at the end of the expedition
    Detailed antenna plans are coming together nicely with 2-element vertical dipole arrays on the high bands backed up by a couple of horizontal beams, 4-squares on 30 / 40 meters and verticals on 80 / 160 meters. The 160 receiving antenna plans are under development.
    With the cost of DX-peditions to remote islands increasing each year, we kicked off our fundraising campaign with a generous grant from the Northern California DX Foundation, quickly followed by other DX clubs and foundations. We appreciate the individuals who are supporting the project with their donations. A current list of all donors is available at: vp6d.com
    VP6/D continues to be ranked in the top 25 Most Wanted, now at #21.
    73,
    Team Ducie – 2018
    73 Al 4L5A
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    #2
    Video announcement VP6D Ducie Island DX Pedition





    More information on:
    VP6D Ducie Island
    73 Al 4L5A

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    •  

      #3
      For Immediate Release
      Press Release #3
      March 23, 2018
      VP6D Ducie Island 2018 DX-pedition

      (OC-182)


      Joining the team is Ken Karr NG2H. A CW enthusiast, Ken was most recently a member of the VK0EK Heard Island 2016 DX-pedition team. Ken was first licensed in 1955 and credits amateur radio for launching his interests in science, engineering and oceanography. Ken is retired from the US Navy; his assignments included commanding two nuclear fast attack submarines and serving as the senior member of the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet Operational Reactor Safeguards Examination team. We are very happy to welcome Ken to the team.

      With the cooperation of Elecraft and the Baker Island KH1/KH7Z DX-pedition team we will share the same Elecraft equipment. Upon its return to California the Elecraft equipment will be tested, configured and repacked for shipment to the Braveheart in New Zealand. Elecraft offered their assistance to expedite the process. We appreciate the willingness of both Elecraft and the Baker team to support VP6D.

      Joining our list of corporate sponsors is Cornelius Paul DF4SA of Spiderbeam GmbH whose products will be added to the antenna plan.

      Providing an All Time New One (ATNO) is a key objective of VP6D. We will keep stations on 20 meter SSB and CW as propagation permits. Additionally, FT-8 may also provide DXers an ATNO opportunity during periods of poor conditions.


      As previously reported, we kicked off our fundraising campaign with a generous grant from the Northern California DX Foundation, followed by individuals, DX clubs and foundations. We especially appreciate the support from the following European organizations: German DX Foundation, Swiss DX Foundation, UK DX Foundation, European DX Foundation, Mediterraeno DX Club (Italy), Clipperton DX Club (France), GM DX Group (Scotland), Radio Society of Great Britain, LA DX Group (Norway), OHDXF (Finland), and the British Amateur Radio Teledata Group (BARTG). Like any DX-pedition to a rare entity, we will continue to actively solicit financial support.

      Of course, we appreciate the clubs, foundations and individuals that have already supported the project with their donations. A current list of all donors is available at: vp6d.com

      73, Team Ducie – 2018
      73 Al 4L5A

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        #4
        For Immediate Release
        Press Release #4 April 16, 2018
        VP6D Ducie Island 2018
        DX-pedition (OC-182)

        We are now in the implementation phase of the project; equipment is being consolidated in Fremont, California. Customs brokers in the USA and New Zealand have been selected, and the New Zealand Government issued us an import / export license to ship the equipment to and from the country.

        Manufacturers and distributors of amateur radio equipment are critical to the success of DX-peditions to rare entities. We are happy to have received significant support from DX-Engineering. They have furnished coax cable, guy ropes, a 40 meter four square system, coax connectors, ground anchors and other accessories. DX-Engineering has been a long time supporter of our projects and many other DX-peditions to rare entities; we very much appreciate their continued commitment to the hobby.

        Joining our list of corporate sponsors is SteppIR Communications Systems. We will add to our antenna lineup two 2 element Yagi antennas. These antennas proved to be indispensible during our TX3X Chesterfield Island project; we’re happy to have them for VP6D and appreciate SteppIR’s ongoing support.

        A Garmin InReach Satellite Communicator will be used during the DX-pedition. You will be able to follow our journey on the web, details to be announced. This handheld unit also provides 2 way SMS messaging similar to that of a traditional mobile phone, and one way messaging to Twitter and Facebook. We will use this technology to communicate with family, the pilot team and to update you via social media, as required. We’ll also have an Inmarsat BGAN terminal for log uploads and e-mail with the pilot team.

        Our budget for this project is ~$175,000(USD). Our current fundraising campaign is underway; you may see the progress at our website. We appreciate the donations and equipment support we’ve already received. With the final payment for the Braveheart due on September 1st, the next most expensive line item is equipment shipping budgeted at $20,000. Please remember, we have to pay these expenses whether or not you make a contact. We need your help to keep our DX-pedition team’s investment at a reasonable level. You may help by donating at: vp6d.com

        Members of the VP6D team will be attending the International DX Convention, Visalia, California April 20 – 22, 2018. We hope to meet many old friends, and make new ones at the convention.

        73,

        Team Ducie – 2018
        73 Al 4L5A

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          #5
          For Immediate Release
          Press Release #5
          June 14, 2018
          VP6D Ducie Island 2018 DX-pedition
          (OC-182)
          The VP6D – Ducie Island 2018 project is on schedule. At Visalia and Dayton we had the pleasure of meeting many of our supporters and equipment sponsors, including: DX Engineering, Elecraft, SteppIR and Arlan Communications (RadioSport headsets). Several of team attended Europe’s Ham Radio event conducted at Friedrichshafen, Germany where we met with corporate, EU club and foundation sponsors, many EU DXers and other DX-pedition operators.
          Joining the Pilot Team is Mason KM4SII from Clemmons, South Carolina. Mason, an avid DXer, is 15 years old. In 2017 he operated from Iceland as TF/KM4SII, in July 2018 he will operate from Curacao as PJ2/KM4SII. Mason will work with NA and Chief Pilot Glenn KE4KY.
          Joining our list of corporate sponsors is Rig Expert Ukraine Ltd (rigexpert.com/). Rig Expert is a recognized leader in the development, production and global sales of antenna analyzers, transceiver interfaces, ARDF equipment and amateur radio software. Rig Expert donated 2 Model AA-55 Zoom antenna analyzers to the project. We appreciate the support of our corporate sponsors.
          Our current fundraising campaign is underway; you may see the progress at our website. We appreciate the donations and equipment support we’ve already received. Our final payment for the Braveheart is due on September 1st. Please keep in mind, boat/tent/generator DX-peditions incur similar expenses whether or not you make a contact. Team members have booked their travel to meet the Braveheart at Mangareva, French Polynesia. This is not a VP6D project expense; each team member pays travel expenses from personal funds.
          Financial transparency allows the major sponsors to better understand the costs associated with a DX-pedition and how we spend their money. Consistent with our previous DX-peditions, we will send club and foundation sponsors a VP6D financial summary.
          We need your help to keep our DX-pedition team’s personal investment to a reasonable level. Please consider making a donation at: vp6d.com
          Good luck to the KH1/KH7Z DX-pedition team, we’ll see you in the pile-ups.
          73,
          Team Ducie – 2018
          Website: vp6d.com, Twitter and Facebook
          Please direct questions to: info@vp6d.com


          VP6D Ducie Island News 14 June 2018

          73 Al 4L5A

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            #6
            For Immediate Release
            Press Release #7
            August 5, 2018
            VP6D Ducie Island 2018 DX-pedition
            (OC-182)
            We are honored to have received a grant from the ARRL’s Colvin Award Committee. The Colvin Award is funded by an endowment established by Lloyd D. Colvin, W6KG (SK). More information can be found at:
            http://www.arrl.org/colvin-award-grants We appreciate the ARRL’s confidence in, and support of, VP6D.
            We’re pleased to announce that Rob Fanfant N7QT has joined the VP6D team.
            Rob is a DX-pedition veteran whose most recent project was VK9MA Mellish Reef in 2017. Previous projects include: VK9WA Willis Island, Manihiki E51MQT, Montserrat VP2MQT, Austral Islands (TX5Z), Christmas Island, Australia(VK9AN), San Andres (5J0X , HK0/N7QT), Sint Maarten (PJ7/N7QT), Saba (PJ6/N7QT), Austral Islands TX5D), Saint Lucia (J6/N7QT), Saint Lucia (J6/N7QT). We think you will agree that Rob is well qualified for the project and we are happy to add him to the team.
            As we march towards our departure date of October 16th the project is on schedule. A VP6D working group is currently in Northern California preparing the equipment for shipment to Braveheart in New Zealand. On August 3rd we had the pleasure of meeting Eric Swartz WA6HHQ at the Elecraft factory where we were introduced to the Elecraft team and toured the factory. We then accepted 8 complete K3s stations for use at VP6D. Thanks to Elecraft and all our corporate sponsors for their ongoing support.
            Today we are continuing the tasks of integrating the radios, computers, software, configuring the network and preparing the shipping cases. We plan an end to end test, from the keyboard to the BGAN to the log server in the cloud . We expect to have the equipment ready for the customs broker by Weds, Aug 7th.
            Thanks for your continued interest and support of VP6D.
            73,
            Team Ducie – 2018

            Website: vp6d.com, Twitter and Facebook
            Please direct questions to: info@vp6d.com
            73 Al 4L5A

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              #7
              VP6D Equipment in Transit


              Chris N6WM and Walt N6XG report that on the evening of Wednesday, Aug 8th our customs broker accepted the VP6D shipment for transport to Braveheart in New Zealand. The shipment will soon begin its long journey.
              We appreciate the assistance from: Jim K8JRK, for the loan of the Halliburton cases used for the shipment, Ross K6GFJ for his coordination activities, and Paul N6PSE of the Intrepid DX Group for their loan of a BGAN and additional Pelican cases.
              Also, while in California we attended meetings with members of the recently completed KH1/KH7Z Baker Island project for a debrief. We were especially interested in their FT8 experience.
              73 Al 4L5A

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                #8
                For Immediate Release
                Press Release #8
                August 19, 2018
                VP6D Ducie Island 2018 DX-pedition

                VP6D has reached another significant milestone.
                After a short delay the VP6D equipment is on its way to Braveheart in New Zealand. The shipment was consolidated on to 5 pallets, with a total weight of 1,615 kg (3,553 pounds) and released to Cathay Pacific Cargo airlines by our customs broker in Hayward, California.
                The shipment was trucked to San Francisco International Airport for delivery to Cathay Pacific’s cargo hub in Hong Kong. From there it goes to Auckland, New Zealand where it will clear Customs and Bio-security, then taken to our customs broker in Tauranga, New Zealand for delivery to Braveheart. We built in plenty of buffer to meet the contracted date to load Braveheart and manage any unexpected delays.
                It’s been a busy several weeks to get all the equipment consolidated, integrated, tested and packed for shipment. The short delay allowed us to add a few late arriving items: SPE high power amplifiers, a spare set of band pass filters and a drone, we think you will agree the delay was justified. At Braveheart’s warehouse the pallets will be unwrapped and inventoried. The shipping cases will not be opened unless visibly damaged.
                The next major milestone will be in October when team members begin their journey to meet the Braveheart at Mangareva, French Polynesia. It's been a long 16 months of detailed planning and coordination - the target is now in sight.
                In case you missed the latest Clublog update, VP6/D is shown as #19 Most Wanted.
                With donations at 78% of target we’re looking forward to additional DXers joining the project’s donor list on VP6D.com
                73,
                Team Ducie 2018
                73 Al 4L5A

                Comment

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                  #9
                  For Immediate Release
                  Press Release #9
                  September 2 , 2018
                  VP6D Ducie Island 2018 DX-pedition
                  (OC-182)
                  The VP6D – Ducie Island 2018 project is on schedule. The equipment is now at Tauranga, New Zealand, stored in the Braveheart’s warehouse.
                  A real challenge for DX-pedition teams on uninhabited islands is knowing where in the world they’re being heard. The usual pilot reports tell us what happened, not what’s happening, propagation predictions tell us what might happen.
                  We understand that propagation may produce only short openings from Ducie Island to many locations around the world. For example, it’s not unusual for an EU opening to occur but EU callers are covered up by callers from other geographies. Until propagation changes for the better the EU stations can’t get through.
                  We have therefore augmented our pilot process to quickly identify these openings and get this information to the VP6D operators so they can exploit them. We’re confident this new capability will result in more timely coverage of difficult paths.
                  No one likes to be continually asked for donations. Today’s reality is DX-peditions to ecologically sensitive and restricted entities are expensive. Our boat and the freight invoices to New Zealand are now paid, the team is hoping to cover ~50% of the project cost.
                  Our fund raising target plus projected OQRS income should cover the remaining 50%. These bills must be paid whether or not you make a Q. We have a team of A1 operators who have been working on this project for 17 months, they can use your help.
                  Look for another announcement in the next press release on or about Sept 21st.
                  73,
                  Team Ducie – 2018

                  Website: vp6d.com, Twitter and Facebook
                  Please direct questions to: info@vp6d.com
                  73 Al 4L5A

                  Comment

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                    #10
                    For Immediate Release
                    Press Release #10
                    September 21 , 2018
                    VP6D Ducie Island 2018 DX-pedition
                    (OC-182)
                    The VP6D – Ducie Island 2018 project is on schedule.
                    We are excited to announce the availability of DXA during VP6D. Bob Schmieder KK6EK of Cordell Expeditions offered the use of DXA and we gladly accepted.
                    By pointing your browser to http://www.dxa3.org/vp6d/ DXA allows anyone with an ordinary browser to see VP6D activity, in near real time. Within 60 seconds of your contact with VP6D, the browser page is automatically updated to show your call sign, this confirms that your contact is in the log (DXA reads the VP6D log). This process eliminates the need for duplicate contacts on the same band / mode and minimizes the confusion caused by pirates or other DX-peditions operating at the same time.
                    During our equipment consolidation weekend in California we performed an end to end DXA test: N1MM => BGAN => Inmarsat satellite => DXA3 server => laptop. We are confident that DXA will significantly reduce, or eliminate, the hundreds of e-mails asking for “log checks”. If you see your call sign on DXA you’re in the log. Thanks to Bob KK6EK, Pete W6OP and the DXA team for their support.
                    Speaking of logs, we will upload the log every day to the VP6D.com - Log Search tab. We do not use Clublog and there is no Leaderboard.

                    With the loan of a portable 6m EME antenna - Lance W7GJ - has prepared the VP6D team to put Ducie Island on 6 EME for the first time ever. Operation will be on 50.200 JT65. We intend to be active at Ducie moonrise on most days and occasionally during moonset. Watch our Twitter feed for up to the minute information.
                    Follow us on Twitter / Facebook for updates from the island. We installed and tested a bridge between our Garmin inReach =>Twitter =>Facebook.

                    The cost of this project is ~$175,000(USD). To date, we are at 87% of our donation target. Our goal is all donations plus OQRS income will cover 50% of the project cost, with the team members paying the remaining 50%. There’s still time for you to join the hundreds of DXers, and many foundations, clubs and corporate entities already on the list.

                    There will be at least 3 DX-peditions operating in the Pacific during Oct / Nov. Please make sure you’re working and logging the correct DX-pedition – VP6D operating frequencies are listed on the website. DXA will enable you verify your VP6D contact(s).
                    73,
                    Team Ducie – 2018
                    73 Al 4L5A

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