Heard Island VK0EK DXpedition Team Has Arrived, Operation Hours Away


[UPDATED 2016-03-23 @1654 UTC] The VK0EK DXpedition began operation on 40 meters on March 23 and was expected to soon start on 30 meters. 

A VK0EK DXpedition “reconnaissance team” has arrived on Heard Island. Bob Schmieder, KK6EK; Arliss Thompson, W7XU; Bill Mitchell, AE0EE, and Dave Lloyd, K3EL, are on the island with several members of the R/V Braveheart crew to get the lay of the land. The DXpedition team plans to spend about 3 weeks on Heard Island, which is the fifth most-wanted DXCC entity, according to ClubLog’s DXCC Most Wanted List. Co-organizer Rich Holoch, KY6R, spoke with Schmieder via satellite telephone.

“The satellite connection was crystal clear, and he sure is one happy camper!” he reported. “He said they have a beautiful view of Mawson Peak (Big Ben), where it peeks out from the fog often. He said that they are planning exactly where the tents will go and making final staging plans.” Holoch related that the DXpedition will be busy staging the gear tonight and will set up camp in the morning.

“It will take them all day to set up, but then they will be on the air!” he said. The DXpedition team will use an all-terrain vehicle to transport themselves and their gear to the operating site.

At 0100 UTC on March 23 (the evening of Tuesday, March 22, in US time zones), Tom Medlin, W5KUB, host of the weekly “Amateur Radio Roundtable” video webcast and radio program, hopes to make ham radio media history by interviewing the DXpedition team live on his webcast. Audio will be simulcast on international shortwave broadcaster WBCQ on 5130 kHz.

Heard Island is an Australian protectorate, part of a subantarctic island group (Heard Island and McDonald Islands) in the southwest Indian Ocean, some 4000 kilometers (approximately 2480 miles) southwest of Western Australia and 1000 kilometers (approximately 620 miles) north of Antarctica.