VP8SGI South Georgia DXpedition Trying to Be Accommodating


[UPDATED 2016-02-04 1336 UTC] The VP8SGI team on South Georgia has been running several stations simultaneously in an effort to work as many of those needing need the rare DXCC entity. The pileups have been enthusiastic, if not always orderly. The VP8SGI operators are not listening on their transmit frequencies, so it's necessary to operate split; listen to the operator’s instructions on whether to transmit above (UP) or below (DOWN) their own frequency.

On February 3, the DXpedition site experienced high winds, and some antennas and tents were damaged. VP8SGI will be off the air for a few hours, starting at approximately 1100 UTC, while they repair the antennas and tents.  

Co-leader Paul Ewing, N6PSE, described South Georgia Island as “an amazing, very beautiful, windy, and cold place.” It is snowing, and the noise level is higher than usual. The DXpedition campsite is surrounded by penguins and seal pups.

On February 3 they have been experiencing a G1 geomagnetic storm that is affecting their operations on the higher bands. The operators report that their phased verticals for 160 meters seem to work very well, though, and they expect to continue a major focus on the low bands, including Top Band.

VP8SGI is planning to be active on 17 meter SSB on Sunday, February 7, for those needing an ATNO (all-time new one) contact.

To accommodate VK and ZL stations that have had problems working South Georgia on 15 and 30 meter RTTY, VP8SGI ops will be on 14.080 RTTY on February 4, listening up, only for VK/ZL and Oceania stations. They also will try again on 6 meters (50.110 MHz CW at around 1600-1800 UTC and 2000-2200 UTC). They do not have a 6 meter beacon.

The VP8SGI team will shut down at sunrise in South Georgia on February 8. — Thanks to VP8STI/VP8SGI Chief Pilot Toni Gonzalez, EA5RM