July 8 0030z Update:
We believe that all logs have now been updated in Clublog. Further logs items will be addressed once the team reaches Fiji in a few days.
We are now QRT. The last QSO was with JA2FJP on 80m FT8. We expect to be off island by 00:00 UTC 6 July for journey to Fiji. Our trip will take six days and cross the Dateline again. The team is very tired but proud of QSO totals, over 16,000 unique calls in the log, and successful deployment of new DXpedition Verizon of FT8 that showed over 6,000 unique calls in our log.
Happy 4th of July America from Baker Island where we will celebrate with hot dogs and burgers.
After 9 days on Baker it’s time to think about going home.
We’ve put about 60,000 QSOS in the log. By sticking to our commitment to keep stations on 20 meters, we have over 16,000 unique calls in the log. Many have thanked us for ATNOs. Despite it being June we have over 1200 top band QSOs and many European stations on the other low bands in the log. And the use of FT8 has allowed many hams with moderate stations to get us.
We start tearing down at daybreak and plan to have 3 of the 8 radios and 5 of the 10 antennas in their boxes and on the boat by lunch.
We will operate some CW and SSB in the afternoon until dark and dismantle more in the evening. Final shutdown occurs at our sunrise Thursday and we must have the camp dismantled and on the boat by Thursday night.
Thanks for all the well behaved pileups
Things are humming on Baker Island. After storms, SAT phone failures, extreme heat and a storm that damaged both our low band antennas everything is fixed and we have over 40,000 QSOS in the log.
We are all happily working radio shifts handing out ATNOs and making memories that will remain with us forever.
Our pilots have requested we shift our 30 mtr frequency to down 1 to 10.107 to avoid EU QRM. We also will try FT8 normal mode on 1.840 at 09:00 UTC 3 July for East Coast USA who have been hard to work. If successful we will stay on 160 through the night giving Eastern EU a shot.
We are still getting lots of FT8 callers using the wrong software.
Also we hope to activate 60 mtrs (FT8) on 4 July.
Lastly because of the tides and heat we start tearing down late on the 4th and leave Baker on the 6th.
For the first time since we got here, we have had all 8 stations on the air, and antennas are now up covering 6 through 160. Today was one of the few days without a storm. The weather should no longer be a factor, as the last 2 antennas have been deployed. We are still having issues with our BGAN but are uploading logs via SAT phone; a slow, and expensive way.
The team has settled into a routine of 4-hour shifts. We are all tired, but happy to be on the radio and not building, or repairing things. The weekend is here and we are all looking forward to giving out many ATNO
Operations are now in full swing. Pileups have been good, with lots of contacts going into our logs. However, Baker island needs your help on FT8. Fully half the callers are using the wrong software and mode. You must have WSJT-X v 1.9.1, and go into advanced settings, and choose hound mode. Please make sure to sync your clock too.
The six meter beacon is up on 50.323 Fox Hound mode. We have a person monitoring it while working other modes.
First log uploaded. Another one tomorrow.
June 29 Update:
Good news. All but one station deployed. We are running up to 7 stations on all bands and making many QSOs after a weather related slow start. We hope to provide many ATNOs over the next week.
We are now well over 10,000 QSOs, with great rates on CW, slightly slower rates on SSB, and FT8 has been effective. Please make sure to read our primer at baker2018.net on working us on FT8.
The bad news is our BGAN terminal system for log uploading refuses to link up with the bird. We have two BGAN terminals on island and neither are correctly connecting to the satalite. We will continue to work to sort this out, but right now we can’t upload logs.
The weather continues to be extremely hot and humid. But that is what we expected.
Tomorrow we plan on constructing the 6 meter antenna.
That’s all for now. Many people to work.
Weather:1 – Baker Island Dxpedition: 0
We did get 3 stations up and running last night, one day ahead of schedule.
They say it never rains on Baker. At midnight giant squalls came through knocking out one of our 3 antennas that we worked so hard to get up. We worked through the morning and have 6 stations available for the scheduled startup tonight at 05:00 UTC.
Tomorrow before it gets too hot we will erect 2 more antennas making 8 stations available as the bands allow.
The team is exhausted but excited about settling in and making QSOs around the globe. We are experiencing minor IT problems, and as such have not uploaded to ClubLog. We do plan on making our initial upload via BGAN satellite soon, however at this time, we do not have an exact time.
Don N1DG Kevin K6TD. Tom N4XP for the Dateline DX Association