Monday, February 25, 2008

Fireworks at Ducie Island!

Copying from Ducie page......

"On 2008 February 25 Monday at 0437z, after 13 days 7 hours and 37 minutes of continuous operation, RA0ALM contacted the Ducie Island expedition on the 10 MHz band for the expedition's 168,723rd contact.

According to documents maintained by Jari Jussila OH2BU, this contact breaks the record for the largest number of contacts made by any radio expedition. The record was previously held by the Five Star DX Association's expedition to the Comoros Island (D68C) during 2001 Feb 8-28.

A few moments later, the pre-moonrise starry skies above Ducie Island sparkled with a barrage of flares launched from the deck of the M/V Braveheart in celebration. The thirteen operators and six Braveheart crew congratulated each other with handshakes, hugs, and some strong coffee. But deep pileups of European and North American stations were still calling. Soon the seven on-duty operators were back in front of the radios, while the others crept off to their cots to catch up on sleep in the cool of the evening.

The Ducie Island expedition has broken other expedition records in recent days, including:

  • largest number of RTTY contacts, previously held by the Swains Island N8S expedition of 2007 April.
  • largest number of SSB (voice) contacts, previously held by the Comoros Island D68C expedition.
  • largest number of contacts on the 40m band, previously held by the Libya 5A7A expedition of 2006 November.
  • largest number of contacts on the 30m band, previously held by the St Brandon Island 3B7C expedition of 2007 September.
  • largest number of contacts on the 17m band, previously held by the Swains Island N8S expedition.
  • largest number of contacts with North America, previously held by the Comoros Island D68C expedition.
  • largest number of contacts with South America, previously held by the Peter the First Island 3Y0X expedition of 2006 February.
  • largest number of contacts with Africa, previously held by the Rodrigues Island 3B9C expedition of 2004 March-April.

As this message was transmitted by Iridium satellite from Ducie Island, the expedition contact total crossed 170,000 contacts... and continues to increase at about 415 contacts per hour. Most contacts now entering the logs are with European stations during their morning twilight period. In an hour or so the focus will shift to North and South America, east Asia and the Pacific, where it will remain until dawn at Ducie Island."

Congratulations dear folks. You gave us very nice moments indeed. And now next station Clipperton...the terminal one!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ducie online log promised today

Actually it was booming on 80m this morning. The online log first upload is promised for today at noon. I am publishing some late news as they request it.

News #14- 2008 Feb 13

I just had a telephone call with Carsten (DL6LAU) on Ducie Island. The reason we did not get any update or online log from the island is that they had no time until now because of a big workload to setup the stations and antennas. They plan to go "online" in the next 6-12 hours so we expect the first online logs around noon on Thursday. Please be aware that the data connection via Iridium is very sensible so it can last a long time to upload the online logs.

After 1,5 days of operation they have now about 28,000 QSOs in the log (about 17,000 after the first 24 hours!). They already started RTTY operation on 20m with over 700 QSOs at the moment. In some days we expect also RTTY operation on 30m.

Antenna construction is still in progress. Some antennas for 12m and 10m are missing. Today they are at the installation of the Beverage antennas for the low bands.

All team members are in a good shape (except some sunburns) and they have a lot of fun. A problem is the extreme heat during the daywhich makes it nearly impossible for the night operators to sleep.

Tomorrow we will get some more news from the island. Please stay tuned.

We would be delighted if DX editors would publish this information as widely as possible and DXers bring it to the attention of their clubs and fellow DXers.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I spent last weekend running the CQWPXRTTY contest. As a single operator I was 30 hours active chasing mostly dx stations. It was a really cold weekend, so I enjoyed it very much sitting all that time in my cozy shack. Even with a spotless sun propagation was not bad. MixW worked faultlessly again. I worked 605 qso and over 600,000points. No bad at all. The main target was not the championship of course. In comparison I had done 532 qso in CQWWRTTY last September. Several USA, VE, JA and VK stations were heard. P40X was in the log also. A welcome surprise it was also the qso with my friend Patrick, F6IRF. Patrick is a devoted CW operator so I did not expect him to join the test.

By the way two new expeditions start this week: VR6DX (Ducie) and TI9KK (Cocos). Both have nice signals in 80m and 40m in the morning, but no chance the rest of the day. With so low sun activity it is amazing we can work them. So no complains….and the next month I am anxious to work the TX5C (Clipperton). This is a very important for me as it is the real last one to get the Honor Roll with 329 entities. So folks it will be a really exciting spring.