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Five Things to Know About the South Orkney Islands 2020 DXpedition

The 2020 VP8PJ South Orkney Islands DXpedition (February 20 to March 5) is only a month away. If you’re like us, you can practically hear the squawk of winged South Orkney denizens like black-bellied storm petrels and kelp gulls circling overhead.

As a proud sponsor of this huge undertaking, the team at DX Engineering is honored to have our equipment (from radial wire kits to phased array quarter wave tuned cables) making the trip to the northeast tip of the Antarctic Peninsula along with the Perseverance DX Group. We’re also excited to work this rarely activated DXCC entity—an All Time New One for many of us at DX Engineering. To get you in the mood to fight the pileups, we’ve compiled five facts about the DXpedition.

  • The South Orkney team brings years of experience to the operation, including participation in a number of high-profile DXpeditions: 2014 Mellish Reef, 2018 Ducie Island, 2012 Campbell Island, 2013 Clipperton Island, 2016 Heard Island, and many others. In 2004, team member Hans-Peter, HB9BXE, recorded 52 QSOs from atop Kilimanjaro, Uhuru Peak—believed to be the first successful DXpedition from Africa’s highest mountain.
  • Helping the on-island team and DX chasers will be a group of eight experienced pilots handling the needs of operators in North America, Europe, Russian speakers, Japan, South America, Oceania, and Africa. Please note that these pilots will have no access to the logs and cannot confirm a QSO or perform a “log check.” Not sure what a pilot does? Click here.
  • The team will be operating in CW, SSB, RTTY, and FT8 employing Elecraft K3S transceivers and
    Elecraft KPA-300 amplifiers. They will be QRV from Signy Island in a spot that has an over water path to Europe. Here’s a look at the VP8PJ band plan.
  • The South Orkney team will always be operating in split mode unless otherwise reported by the operator. They encourage you not to call unless you can hear them. Per the VP8PJ website, “wait until propagation and conditions favor your QTH for one or more of the Bands/Modes.” For a complete list of hints on working the DXpedition, click here.
  • This marks the first major activation of South Orkney Islands since VP8ORK’s “DXpedition of the Year” undertaken in January/February 2011. For more details about VP8PJ, visit the team’s official website. As of December, South Orkney Islands was the  16th Most Wanted DXCC entity in North America per ClubLog.

Need to get your station ready to bust through the South Orkney pileups? You’ll find everything you need at DXEngineering.

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