A35JT Tonga Expedition: 30 Days out – Final Preparations Underway

We are now 30 days away from departing Australia and heading for Tonga. Excitement is building within our team including Oly VK5XDX, Steve VK5SFA, Andy VK5AKH and Grant VK5GR. Our operators have interests from all of the CW, SSB and Digital worlds so we hope to cater for everyone – propagation willing. Our EME equipment is packed too so expect to find us on 6m via the moon! We are also planning to enter the CQ WW RTTY contest as a Multi-1 station as well as the Oceania DX SSB Contest. We hope both of these entries will provide opportunities particularly for the RTTY and SSB die-hards.

Milestones Reached

We passed several major milestones in recent weeks including the completion and packing of our 40m and 30m 4-square arrays, testing and packing of the 6m EME and 20-10m arrays, initial testing of the beverage on ground receive antenna and an on air test of the 160m inverted L built on our Spiderbeam 12m fibreglass pole (which returned impressive results during the Remembrance Day contest held in VK last weekend).

This week we also completed the first set of payments for our freight shipment to Tonga. This first load consists of the majority of the antenna arrays. All up we are shipping ~250kg of equipment to establish 2x 500W HF stations, 1x 6m EME station and a 3rd 100W HF station. (We had hoped to have more power but alas after the failure of one of our multi-band amplifiers during the 6m EME trials in July we learned a few weeks ago that it wont be returning from repairs in time to make it on the expedition).

On Air Planning & Propagation Predictions

We are finalizing operating plans and studying propagation charts. More information can be found on our operating pages

Please note our operating strategy:

If we are calling for NA, EU or AS we politely request other regions stand by.

However if you are in OC, SA or AF we will accept your call at any time!

 

When should you look for us? The team at Voacap.com have kindly added our expedition to their Voacap DX Charts page. Just enter your grid square and scroll down to the A35JT entry. The following is a quick summary Zone by Zone of expected conditions.


A35JT Pilot Team

40m 4-square Array by Oly VK5XDX

To assist the A35JT expedition team get quickly dialled in to what bands are open from when for Tonga, we have enlisted the help of various pilot stations around the globe. The role of the pilot stations are to gather SWL reports as to when stations in their area are hearing the DXpedition. SWL reports containing the date, time, band and mode are then compiled and forwarded to the team on the island, so they will know when they are being heard and adjust their operating schedule for various continents to target them at the right time.

NOTE: pilots do not take NIL complaints, requests for certain bands or modes (wish list), etc. These will be considered only after the expedition by our QSL manager via the OQRS Busted Call Request function.

30m 4-square Array by Steve VK5SFA

Our pilots are:

  • Chief Pilot – Bjorn ON9CFG
  • North America – Steve N2AJ
  • South America – Cesar PY2YP
  • Oceania – Chris VK5SA
  • Japan – Joe JJ3PRT
  • Youth & ATNO – Jim AC9EZ

E-mail addresses for out pilots will be published shortly!

We must thank Joe JJ3PRT in particular for his help with our Japanese Web page too!


Donations Welcome

If you would like to support our expedition, please click on the donate button on our website!

Please include your callsign and indicate whether it is a general or a specific EME donation in the Paypal Note!


Sponsors

We must thank both our society and corporate sponsors who have helped greatly with making this expedition possible! As we are quickly learning, expeditions are expensive things to stage. Even modest ones like ours. The support of the DX associations and corporate sponsors is invaluable!


Frequency Plans

Our website also contains full details of our frequency plans.

BandCWSSBRTTYFT8
160m1818kHz1846kHz1803kHz1840kHz (1908kHz for JA)
80m3518kHz3780kHz3593kHz3567kHz
80m (for JA)3518kHz3775kHz DOWN 53535kHz3570kHz
40m7018kHz7185kHz7051kHz7070kHz
30m10118kHzNA10143kHz10143kHz
20m14038kHz14265kHz14083kHz14083kHz
17m18078kHz18150kHz18103kHz18103kHz
15m21038kHz21265kHz21083kHz21083kHz
12m24903kHz24975kHz24923kHz24923kHz
10m28038kHz28465kHz28083kHz28095kHz
6m50100kHz50130kHzNA50313kHz
6m EME50185kHz JT65A

Logs and QSL Information

We will be attempting (Internet access permitting) to upload logs to Clublog and to our QSL Manager daily. Thanks to Michael G7VJF our expedition also has access to the DXPedition tools on Clublog!

We are exploring a live logging feed option as well. If we can make it work we will announce it on our website!

OQRS QSL Requests

Our QSL Manager is Charles M0OXO.

LoTW will be uploaded once the team returns to Australia. If you wish to receive a direct paper QSL, please request these via our QSL Manager Charles using the M0OXO OQRS Service. The cost for a direct card is currently $3USD which covers printing and postage (only). You can also request cards to be delivered to you via the QSL Bureau network using the M0OXO OQRS. Bureau cards will be delivered free of charge.

If you wish to send us a Bureau QSL card, please send those to “A35JT via VK5GR” so that incoming bureau cards are routed to the Australian QSL Bureau system.
DO NOT send your own bureau card via your local bureau addressed “via M0OXO” as they will not be delivered. I am not a member of the RSGB bureau and they will not handle delivery of them.

Note: due to WIA (2018) Outbound member QSL policy for DXpeditions, I will reply to all received incoming bureau cards via my QSL manager.  

 


DX Trophy Awards

If you are participating in the DX Trophy Awards you will be pleased to learn that A35JT qualifies for that award.


So with 30 days to go things are looking good!

We hope to work you all from Tonga in September!

73 from the A35JT DXpedition Team!

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