Well here it is finally. Took a while coming but we did eventually manage to agree on the final layout after iteration number 13,759!
Cards will start going out in a couple of weeks from now. Thank you for your patience.
73 de VU7AG
VU7AG was voted the 5th most popular DXpedition in 2013. A great reward. It was an honour to be in the running with some first-class efforts to places like Wake Is. (K9W), Clipperton Is. (TX5K), Myanmar (XZ1J), Banaba Is. (T33A), Bangladesh (S21ZBB) to name a few.
We thank the DX community for their appreciation.
As of Dec 10 2013, 18:29z, VU7AG went QRT
The team had a lot of fun making QSOs and providing a new one to DXers world over.
We hope you all had fun chasing the new one.
Until next time… signing off the air on behalf of the entire team
73 de Krish
The team reports that all is going well barring the internet connection which has been a real let down. Log uploads to Clublog are proving to be very tedious. All the logs are intact but not all are on the Clublog server. Seems some 30m QSOs are missing and these would be looked into. The team would be setting up the 160m top-loaded vertical today. The last of the antennas to go up would be a Spiderbeam which will be used for the third station. VU2PAI and VU3DMP join the team tomorrow. All three stations should be QRV from tomorrow afternoon, approximately 1200z onwards.
The team continues to focus on NA and alternates between working EU and NA, especially on the short path. They request co-operation from EU when they are working NA and SA which has the largest population of hams requiring VU7 for a new one. The feedback received so far has been passed on to the team and they will pay closer attention to certain band openings.
The team spent the better part of the weekend installing antennas. They now have phased verticals for 80, 40 and 30m apart from a Hexbeam, a 2el Steppir beam and Butternut verticals. They reported working NA on 40 and 75m SSB last night (which is a sign that they RTFM and got the antennas installed right…hi ). More pictures awaited whenever they are able to get a stable internet connection.
VU2RCT arrived a day late after missing a connection due to an airline issue. He provided some relief by working the bands when the other 2 ops were installing the antenna. Two stations were up last evening with one on SSB and the other on RTTY. There was no CW activity yesterday unlike some reports stated.
VU2NKS and VU2NXM join the team today and antenna work progresses through the day. CW / RTTY to start from this evening onwards.
Some pictures uploaded in the Photos section.
Krish posted this on the eHam DXing forum:
“Poor internet connection here from the room Folks. Will need to fix that issue in the next couple days once i have the other ops. Lack of connectivity is driving me crazy, but rather than spend time messing around, i have chosen that we will stay on the air. We arrived and installed the Hex beam on 20th. That evening we worked through the night. The next day(21st) was a day we had a planned public event, so had spent most of the day out. The night, we again continued to operate. We are looking for 10/12m openings. I did work a few NA stations on 12m.
The charts show 00:00 to 0200 for LP on 12/10m
1200-1300 for LP and SP for 10/12m
The cargo boat has arrived late, so more antennae will go up in the next couple days. We have not worked any JA’s so far, since we have been busy during the day time. Europe is getting a fair share of the QSO’s , but we will continue to look for NA. We have a 2ele hex at 9-10m height with a straight water shot to NW and the KPA500 with 500w.
The higher power amp will be here in a day or so. Please stay tuned and bear with us. The pile up has been incredible and the signals from NA weak at times. I know folks are there, but at times, just not enough to pull them out. We have some more time here, so hope to offer many many more Qs.
Note: i am unable to even send any pictures due to the connectivity issue. I will need to leave the laptop outside for the upload of the 3Meg picture files to happen or will need to spend time shrinking. Priorities at this time with just the 2 of us on the ground is the installation and QSO’s. The 230k log file upload to clublogs had to be attempted like 10-20times until it will succeed. I get downstream speed of less than 1Kbps at times and down to 0 times often
VU7AG went on air around 1255z on 12m SSB, a bit later than expected. The working condx are a TS-480 SAT with KPA 500 and a Hexbeam.
The other good news is the boat finally left port this noon after a delay of 2 days. This means the gear is expected to reach Agatti by late afternoon tomorrow. That is very comforting news for the entire team as they will have all the items to put together the stations and antenna field over the weekend.
Meanwhile our pilot Rich KY6R has been quietly doing some analysis and has published an article on his blog which should interest those in NA, especially West Coast. Have a look here: How-to-work-vu7ag-from-the-west-coast
Good luck in the pileups!
Update : Dec 5, 2013
Deepak VU2CDP joined the team on Nov 30th and Chandra VU2RCT left the island on Dec 2nd. In addition, Raji VU3CHM joined the team on Dec 5th and she is a new Op, so please be easy on her.
The team has been provided with feedback on bands/paths/times, based on data that was sent to all the pilots. The team is taking stock of the ground situation pertaining to propagation and aligning the operation along those lines in conjuction with the data provided.
All equipment is functioning well. There was a minor issue with the 30m phased array, where the crimped PL-239 failed. The murphy was short lived and a new PL-239 was installed.
The team also reports high QRN on 160m. The Rx penant antenna is not performing well. So we may need to focus on the low bands in a big way in a couple years on a subsequent trip, but the team will continue to operate those bands when possible.
There are a lot of log correction requests. It appears that once fixed, a subsequent log upload is wiping out the corrections inspite of using the clublogs merge option. So please drop a note after the dxpedition is over. Please direct log correction/check related mails to email@example.com. But, if you are not in the log, please rework the expedition.
The team is tired, but in high spirits.
On Dec 9, about 02:30hrs, the team has to start dis-assembling all the large antennae. The lowtide is at 05:00z, so they need to remove the arrays that are further in the water. In addition, the yagi’s need to be removed as well and packed up. The 2 element hex beam and one butternut HF9V will be used through out the day. VU2PAI will leave the island on Dec 9th around 05:00z. On Dec 10th, about 03:00z, the hexbeam will be brought down as well. The single butternut HF9V will continue to be used. Most of the team will depart on Dec 10th, around 05:00z. VU2ABS & VU3CHM will remain on the island and will continue to operate until 18:00z on Dec 10th. The operating permit expires at 23:59 localtime on Dec 10th. VU2ABS & VU3CHM will disassemble the HF9V and leave the island on Dec 11th at 05:00z. Any deviation from the above plan will be communicated to the Dx community.
Update : Nov 20, 2013
Krish W4VKU was in Kavaratti, the administrative HQ of Lakshadweep, yesterday meeting officials and overseeing arrangements. He arrived in Agatti in the evening and would be setting up one station today and plans to be QRV by 1100z.
There has been a delay in the cargo shipment. The boat which was to leave Mangalore is still docked due to a weather alert. This is contrary to information we received earlier that it would have sailed the very afternoon the cargo was loaded. We are monitoring the situation very closely as it can disrupt the plan and set us back by a day or two, especially on the low bands.
Krish would be joined by VU2ABS today who will assist him in setting up the station. VU2RCT arrives in Agatti tomorrow while VU2NKS and VU2NXM join on Saturday. The team will set up antennas over the weekend and hope to be QRV on all three modes gradually. VU2PAI and VU3DMP join the team on Tuesday, 26th by when all 3 stations would be operational. The remaining team members will join in the last week of operations.
We will communicate the progress of the cargo and keep everyone informed on the operations.
Well folks, we are almost there. Most of our gear was shipped to Agatti this morning on a small boat from Mangalore (South West coast of India). Some pictures have been uploaded in the Photos section.
We have a great team of pilots who will help DXers world over to work VU7. Stan KH6CG is our Chief Pilot as well as the pilot for Oceania and Asia, Gary DF2RG will care for Europe, Luc LU1FAM for Central and South America, Mark N1UK will be helping NA East Coast while Rich KY6R has to look after the toughest path to VU7 – NA West Coast. You can get in touch with them via the Contact page.
We also have an experimental ePilot on our website. A contact form which allows DXers to write to the island team. This was successfully piloted for T33A and we hope to refine it further. You are invited to make use of the ePilot and let us know what you think. But be mindful about what you post because Stan is watching you …hi hi
Meanwhile, Krish W4VKU landed in VU early Sunday morning and is already on the way to Agatti to make arrangements. The team will assemble gradually over the coming days as stations are set up. We will post the operating schedule since not all the team members would be present at the start. This also means that we will not be in the Contest this weekend. Good luck to those who are participating.
That’s all for now. Stay tuned!
Plans are progressing well though it is a race against time to get everything organised in a matter of weeks for a medium-scale expedition like ours.
Our frequency plans have been updated after carefully checking which other DXpeds are QRV around the same time as us. These can be viewed on the Plans page.
We have received some assistance from organisation as well as individual supporters, both in terms of equipment as well as financial. They are listed on our Sponsors page and we thank them for their generosity.
We also welcome our pilots for the Americas. Mark N1UK for NA East Coast, Rich KY6R for NA West Coast and Luc LU1FAM for Central and South America. Their profiles have been added to the Team page.
We will continue to post more frequent updates as our travel and operating plans get finalised. 73 for now!