“Baker is brutal!” That was the initial assessment from the Baker Island KH1/KH7Z DXpedition team, which arrived at the uninhabited South Pacific atoll on June 26 at local sunrise, following a 4-day sea voyage. The KH1/KH7Z team started up early on June 27 with three stations on the air, with additional stations pending.
“Island conditions are extremely hot, and difficult. Long work periods in the sun are challenging,” a June 27 DXpedition news update reported. The team reported that the landing “was not too bad, but the island is an oven,” with the temperature well above 100 °F by mid-morning. Despite rough tidal action, the crew of the Nai’a was able to offload all tents, generators, and emergency supplies. After the initial landing team left “totally exhausted,” a fresh crew arrived to put up the tents for sleeping tents and move radios antennas and generators to the storage and operating tents.
“They say it never rains on Baker,” the DXpedition noted in its June 28 update. “At midnight giant squalls came through knocking out one of our three antennas that we worked so hard to get up. We worked through the morning and [now] have 6 stations available.
The KH1/KH7Z frequency plan is on the DXpedition website. DXpedition operators will be operating split. Do not call on the DX station’s transmitting frequency!
FT8 operation is planned, using the FT8 DXpedition Mode. Stations should have WSJT-X version 1.9.1 installed and be in “Hound” mode (check the appropriate box under the Advanced tab in the WSJT-X File/Settings menu). More information on DXpedition Mode is available from the WSJT-X Development Team.
Plans call for the DXpedition to be “very active” on 60 meters.
IT problems have prevented uploading logs, but the team is working to correct the issues. These will be on Club Log as soon as they are available.
For his June 28 Ham Talk Live internet radio program, Neil Rapp, WB9VPG, has arranged for a satellite telephone contact with the Baker Island DXpedition team and will take callers via Skype or telephone. He’ll also take live questions via Twitter (@HamTalkLive) or, in advance, by email.