We remember that the Mediterraneo DX Club is a sponsor of FT5ZM. Free internal QSL service available for all MDXC Members
We are now 6 days from departure from the U.S. The Braveheart is making its way across the Great Australian Bight and the North Corridor Radio Group of Western Australia has a stockpile of supplies queued up and waiting for us. Momentum has taken over now and there is no turning back.
Upon arrival in Fremantle, the Braveheart will re-provision and refuel to 90,000 to 100,000 liters of fuel. We will load the materials we’ve obtained from the NCRG, do a little shopping for personal supplies, set up our maritime mobile station, take our sea sickness pills and patches, and be prepared to sail on January 15th.
We’ll be passing through some rare grids on the way to Amsterdam Island and we are anxious to hand out QSO’s from them. Be sure to look for us on the bands and track us on our website in near real time. Landing on Amsterdam can be “exciting.” Wish us good luck with this. We’ll have some heavy work to do upon landing and expect our set up time to take at least a full day. We’ll let you know when we get there.
This will be our last press release. It has been a long time of preparation and a great deal of work, but that is behind us now. The next time you hear from us, it will be a signal from the Braveheart or from Amsterdam Island.
As you can see from our financial status on our home page, we still need help. If you haven’t helped us yet, please consider doing so. If you’ve supported us, thank you – you’ve kept us afloat to date.
73 – The Amsterdam Island DXpedition Team
The first day of a DXpedition can be challenging for the DX’ers, the DXpedition’s pilots, and the DXpedition operators. DX’ers are understandably anxious, thinking: ‘Will I be able to work this DXpedition? I think 12 meters should be open, why aren’t they operating there? I can hear them, but they’re working JA’s – why not me? The pile up is huge, I don’t think I’ll ever get through.’
Pilots in North America, Europe, Oceania, and Asia see their inboxes fill with emails expressing concern. They struggle to answer the many emails and may be saying, “Why did I volunteer for this?”
The DXpeditioners are still struggling to get everything running smoothly and they are typically dead tired. Unknowns invariably demand change and attention. They may have to QRT unexpectedly to re-route a power cable, install some ferrite cores, repair a shelter, or see where the smell of smoke is coming from.
In a day or so things settle down. DX’ers have learned the rhythm and pattern of the DXpedition and increased their confidence level. The DXpedition team has tamed their RF, gotten their generators humming, obtained some rest, and has sync’d their rhythm with that of the pile-up. The pilots breathe a sigh of relief and it’s time to ask, “Whats the best way of working this DXpedition?”
I suggest you begin by going to our website and clicking on The DXpedition tab and then the Propagation tab. You will be taken to Create DX Prediction FT5ZM. Fill in you call sign, grid square, and select an antenna configuration that most nearly matches yours. Click on Save and in a few seconds a graph will appear showing predicted band openings to your area along with expected signal levels. You now know the bands and times when you are most likely to be able to work FT5ZM.
The Amsterdam Island team will use a more detailed propagation map enabling us to see these openings in greater detail. It will be especially useful to us for seeing openings to areas that occur “underneath” other openings. For example, if you are a U.S. station in the zero call area, your 1600 UTC opening on 17 meters will be “underneath” a European opening occurring at the same time.
After you’re in the right place at the right time, following the DX Code of Conduct (there is a link to it on our home page) will give you the best chance of working FT5ZM.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- We will make every effort to be on as many open bands as we can, but at times we may have more openings than we can cover with our manpower and eight stations, especially when trying to operate on more than one mode per band.
- As part of our permit, and to be appreciative guests, we will be assisting with some of the daily chores and duties at the Amsterdam base. We will be part of the base community. At this time we do not know the times and durations of those work details, other than that they will not be overly demanding.
- Our two operating sites are over a mile apart. Night time walks between the two sites are prohibited. We may not be able to make this walk without a companion during the day.
- Routine DXpedition chores will need to be done, including generator refueling, antenna maintenance, shelter cleaning, meal preparation, moving supplies, and attending to the unexpected.
Any of the above may interrupt our operating. Sometimes these issues may only allow us to be on a band for a few hours, even when it is open. But we feel dealing with the interruptions as necessary and operating on a band, even if it is only for a short time, is far better than not operating on that band at all. We hope you agree.
Our pilots are there to help you and help us. We will be in regular communication with them. They welcome your constructive comments and observations, but may not be able to respond to all the emails they receive. They WILL NOThave log and QSO information. Please DO NOT contact them about busted calls or ‘not in log’ issues.
We are extremely grateful for the interest and support shown to us by the amateur radio community. Now it’s time for us to do the best we possibly can for you.
73 and we will see you from Amsterdam Island.
The FT5ZM Team