News and Updates
May 24, 2019: Yesterday marked another major logistical waypoint in the Pitcairn Island DXpedition. After verifying that we had all our equipment packed, our container was locked and a U.S. Customs seal applied. A crane then lifted the container on a truck for transportation to a Chicago railhead. From Chicago, the container will go by rail to the East Cost and from there by container ship to Tauranga, New Zealand where its contents will go aboard the RV Braveheart in mid August.
Images of the container loading are in the slider below.
Container Shipping Day: May 23, 2019
This is it. Everything going to Pitcairn has to be in the container. You see it fully packed with our Flex radios and computers up front in their Pelican cases.
The crane moved into place, attached rigging to the container, and began its lift.
Spin It Around
Line It Up
Lock It Down
Good To Go!
The container is off to the railhead in Chicago. From there it will go by rail to the East Coast and then by container ship to Tauranga, New Zealand.
The contents will go aboard the RV Braveheart in early August and we’ll meet up with them in Mangareva on October 15.
May 13, 2019: Nine of the VP6R team had a very productive weekend in Peoria, Illinois. You can read about our progress and view some images in the slider below. The next time we lay hands on this gear will be when we off-load it from the Braveheart and take it ashore on Pitcairn Island.
Marching to Peoria - May 10, 2019
Nine of us (N4GRN, W8HC, N9NW, K9CT, WB9Z, W0GJ, K0PC, W0VTT, and K0IR) spent the weekend in Peoria, IL We removed all the needed items from the 40 ft. sea container that traveled from the U.S. to Chile; to Bouvet (never landed or unpacked); to Cape Town, SA; back to Chle; and finally back to the U.S. We inventoried the needed items, tested them, and repacked them in our 20 foot sea container bound for New Zealand.
Lay It All Out!
In short order we had equipment spread all over the adjacent parking lot. Aluminum masts, PVC tubes filled with beams, rolls of coax, reels of radial wire, components of a 90 foot 160 meter vertical, Spiderbeam poles, power supplies, amplifiers, Pelican cases containing complete stations, EME equipment, and dozens of crates of small parts lay in front of us.
Plan The Repack
There’s a lot to think about. Cargo hold openings, weights, fork-lift access, top loading, balance, customs access, tight packing, and order of importance to name a few. But, after talking it over, we had a plan and began packing the new container.
List and Inventory
The contents of each crate, box, barrell, or bundle were recorded on packing slips and in a master inventory list for customs.
Queue Up and Palletize Items
Heavy things on the bottom, light-weight items on top, with efficient use of space — think everything through.
Repacking the Amplifiers
Jerry, WB9Z, and Mike, K9NW, removed the ACOM 1500 amplifiers from their cardboard packing and placed them into our specially constructed plywood cases for added protecton during their long journery.
Steady As She Goes.
With the steady hand of K0PC, our fork-lift operator, we got everything accurately positioned inside the new container.
The Die is Cast.
Here’s George, N4GRN, completing the documentation. We are packed, locked, and loaded. A crane will place our container on a truck on May 23rd and the DXpedition gear will begin its journey to Pitcairn Island by truck, rail, and sea.
May 5, 2019: Here’s an update on our progress. Our newly acquired 20 foot sea container has been set in place next to the 40 footer we used for the Bouvet attempt. Our laptops have all been updated, loaded with appropriate software, and tested. Our Flex stations have arrived, all packed in Pelican cases and including in each a Flex 6700, power supply, foot switch, Radiosport headset, and necessary accessories.
Members of our team will arrive at the staging site in Peoria, IL on May 10th and begin inventorying everything being shipped to Pitcairn, testing the gear, doing some pre-assembly, re-packing the needed gear into the 20 foot container, and documenting everything for customs.
Our container will be picked up and trucked to a railhead in Chicago on May 21 to begin its journey to a container ship bound for Tauranga, New Zealand.
The inland freight cost, customs and agency fees, and ocean freight costs represnet a significant and current expense for us. If you have supported financially, we thank you. If not, this would be a great time to consider a donation to help us.
— The Pitcairn Island DXpedition Team
April 30, 2019: Our 20 foot sea container arrived in Peoria, IL today. On the weekend of May 11-12, members of our team will assemble there to transfer our Pitcairn-bound equipment from the old 40 foot Bouvet container to the new 20 foot container. There will be lots of counting, testing, re-packing, and customs documentation to do.
After we finish, we continue on to Dayton and hope to meet many of you there.
We plan to have the container packed and on a railcar headed for a container ship by June 1. It has to be in New Zealand by August 1.
Our 6-meter EME gear is tested, locked, and loaded. Look for a future website page detailing moon data and other information to help you make that coveted 6 meter EME QSO with Pitcairn Island Another first for you and for us.
April 13, 2019: Cardboard boxes can be the curse of a DXpedition. The boxes are typically bulky, easily torn or damaged, and if they get wet they are a useless sloppy commodity. Jerry, WB9Z, and his nephew just completed construction on 9 plywood boxes in which to ship of ACOM 1500 amplifiers. There are strict import restrictions on wood, so the boxes had to be entirely constructed of plywood.
These boxes will go into our 20 foot sea container during our inventorying, testing, documenting, packing, and blocking container party from May 10th through the 13th in Peoria, IL.
The container should be on its way the New Zealand by June 1.
Mar. 28, 2019: During the last two days, Mike – W0VTT (left and right), and Hal – W8HC (below), have been hard at work in Peoria, pulling EME equipment out of the Bouvet container, assembling it, testing it, and making it ready for 6 meter EME. Their work has paid off; they have a functioning 6 meter EME system.
Mar. 20, 2019: The die is cast. We have crossed the Rubicon and are beyond the point of no return. Each team member has deposited approximately 50% of their total financial commitment, we have paid our initial deposit to the shipping company, and our contract with the Braveheart is signed.
To those of you who have already supported us, thank you very much. Your support was key in allowing us to meet our financial obligations so far. Our next major outlay will be expenses relating to purchasing a 20 ft. sea container and paying the customs and freight fees to ship it to New Zealand by June 1.
Tell your friends about us. We’d love their support. And, we’d enjoy having them join us in having some fun.
Feb. 18, 2019: We’ve gotten more serious about our fundraising lately since, financially, we’re a bit behing where we had hoped to be. We recently sent out some requests to clubs, asking them to consider supporting us. Perhaps your club received one. If so, we hope you’ll encourage your fellow members to personally review our application.
Pitcairn is not super rare, we understand that. But hopefully we can reward you with a new achievement by adding some new band-modes, and especially low band digital QSO’s to your log.
Your help would be great, but we’ll do this no matter what. Work us. Let’s have some fun!
Jan. 26, 2019: We’ve had another team change. Due to circumstances beyond his control, Lou – N2TU, had to drop out.
Mike, K9NW, will be joing our team. Mike is a well-known DXpeditioner and we welcome him to the team.
Jan. 21, 2019: On January 23, 1790, the HMS Bounty was lit on fire. The ship had arrived eight days earlier and after the mutneers and their fellow travelers removed provisions and other usable items from the vessel, she was set ablaze and sank in the waters of Bounty Bay after burning to the waterline. With the vessel gone there was no escape and the risk of detection minimized. A new society was born on Pitcairn Island.
229 years and 267 days later our DXpedition team will arrive on Pitcairn Island and meet the descendants of those who arrived on the Bounty. Our goal is to contact as many of our amatuer radio friends as possible and put their calls in our log.
Support us if you can. Above all, give us a call when you hear us and LET’S ALL HAVE SOME FUN!
Jan. 19, 2019: With 14 team members involved and over the course of a year, it was likely that a member may have to change his plans. This has occurred, AA7A – Ned, had to withdraw from the team. We will miss him.
N9TK – Jim will be filling that slot. Jim was with us on the Bouvet trip, has been on many prior DXpeditions, and is a great team member and operator. We welcome him to the team.
Posted Jan. 10, 2019: Key dates of Pitcairn Island DXpedition have been established. See below.
Aug.1, 2019 — Our sea container, with all our equipment, must be landed in New Zealand, cleared by customs, and ready to transport to the Braveheart for loading of the container contents. The Braveheart will sail within a few days.
Oct. 7, 2019 — The Braveheart will arrive in Moorea after completing the charter prior to ours After provisioning and refueling, the Braveheart will sail to Mangareva, arriving there on Oct. 13.
Oct. 15, 2019 — Our team will fly from Tahiti to Mangareva, board the Braveheart and sail for Pitcairn that evening.
Oct. 17, 2019 — We will be at Pitcairn Island at dawn and begin offloading our equipment as soon as possible. The Braveheart will depart that evening.
Oct. 18, 2019: We will get stations on the air as soon as possible. We have 14 days at the island.
Our first payment to the ship is due in 60 days. Thank you for the support you have given us.
Dec. 10, 2018: Six of us spent last weekend in Peoria, IL doing preliminary staging of our DXpedition equipment. This involved unloading the ill-fated Bouvet DXpedition sea container; sorting items for disposal, sale, or use on Pitcairn; and then re-loading the items we will take to Pitcairn Island. Those of us participating in the exercise were N4GRN, K9CT, W0GJ, N9TK, W8HC, and K0IR.
We will return just after the Dayton Hamvention to inventory our equipment, double check it, and then repack it in a smaller, 20 ft. sea container. The container will be shipped to New Zealand in June so its contents can be put aboard the RV Braveheart in early August. The gear will come ashore with us on Pitcairn in October. See the photos below.
Our DXpedition dates are looking more and more like the last two weeks of October of 2019.
Nov. 8, 2018: It’s getting busy, as it always does in DXpedition planning. The foundation of the website is in place and our Facebook and Twitter outlets are up and running. We are waiting to get our exact sailing dates from Mangareva so we can schedule our air travel. Our budget is coming together as is our operational plan.
It appears we can incorporate EME into our operation and we have begun to plan accordingly. 60 meters is also on the agenda and we are committed to DXpedition mode FT8 operation.
Hopefully next month several us will meet to begin equipment sorting and staging for container shipment.
WOW! Some of you have already sent us a contribution and the Long Island DX Association has become the first club to support us. Thank you, thank you.
Again, LETS HAVE SOME FUN WITH THIS!