Happy Holidays!

November 27, 2015


Cozy KY6R Shack – early morning “Dawn Patrol” on 160M

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving – with 13 friends and family and fantastic food, drink and conversation. With all of the “heavy lifting” for VK0EK out of the way (as far as my “hands on” part goes), and now that I have landed the new job, I feel I can relax a bit until New Years.

I haven’t spent much time on the air this past year because much of my free time – including nights after work and weekends have been spent over at Bob, KK6EK’s house, strategizing and then getting all the gear ready. The strategic planning was intense as was the actual “heavy lifting” work. I would say that the VK0EK project really ramped up starting in about February of this year – when we started our “full court press” on Fund Raising. And man, we knocked the ball out of the park with our “multi-channel marketing” program, something that I had devised. I looked at what other DX-peditions weren’t doing, and what most businesses or startups do to raise funds, and the idea was clear and very simple. We have executed perfectly on that plan, and its something I am extremely proud of. There may never be any awards for such an effort, but the award is actually the reward of the success itself.

Now I get to concentrate on a few projects for VK0EK – but they will be done in my shack or on my laptop – so they are easy compared to the work we have already complete. Now I should savor the “run up” to the DX-peditions in 2016 and enjoy this time – which is like the days before Christmas when you are a kid.

For the month of December I am going to do all I can to get to 70 entities on 160M DXCC and towards 9BDXCC. I might have dropped out of DXCC Challenge, but for me, 160M is the shit. Of course, with two new possible ATNO’s between now and Visalia, this is fun, and I will have the time to relax and chase these buggers.

There was a portable KH0 on this morning – but just as his signal was workable, he simply dropped out of sight. There is also a PJ4 on at night – that I hope to snag. So there is some DX-citement in the KY6R shack during the “dark hours”.



November 26, 2015

Krill Day Final comp

Well, as I had hoped for, 2015 is ending on not just a good – but a GREAT note, and reminds me that no matter what trials and tribulations we might all go through, keep your eye and vision on the light at the end of the tunnel, and you will find your way. And be thankful every day.

Kat and I have been together 10 years, and today is Kat’s birthday. Happiest Birthday to the One I Love (little R.E.M reference since we listened to many R.E.M albums on the way to and from Boise a couple weeks ago – where we fell in love with that City). We have done so much together, and I am truly thankful for Kat every day.

I did land a new job – and one where I am architecting a brand new analytics platform for Blackstone Technologies – maker of Gas Pipeline Management software called Trellis. I completed my design and proposal this week and can’t wait to present it next week.

VK0EK – just a year of breathless non-stop success. The gear is now on its way, and now its only just over 3 months away. I’d also like to shout out to our “cousins”, the VP8 Team and wish them all of the best since their gear is already on the Braveheart and on its way to The Falklands. Am I excited for them, and the possibility of working VP8STI? You betcha!

I rode my bike to and from work for 10 months out of this year, and now ride to and from BART and walk in SF for exercise. I’ve also been religious about Weight Watchers – so I can skip the New Years Resolutions for 2016 – heh heh.


WOW – I am hearing EU on 40M SSB S9 +10 at 1500 UTC and that’s without the preamp on!

This is absolutely my favorite part of the solar cycle – and it repeats what I experienced on the downside of Cycle 23. I am now feeling a lot better about conditions for 2016 than I had been – especially when VP8STI and VK0EK are on the air because they will be within the last of what I expect to be “good” conditions for this cycle across many bands.


VK0EK Radio Gear Packing

November 23, 2015


Rich, KY6R and Dave, K3EL packing the VK0EK “stations in a box”

Yesterday, Dave, K3EL and I capped off all of our gear testing by packing 12 containers with our radio and network related gear – everything to support getting you into the VK0EK log technology wise.

Dave tested each station, then staged the gear on a table next to me, and I cut foam to size and packed every piece of gear. Then in the afternoon, we completed all coax measuring and testing using an Array Solutions VNA and DX Engineer crimp and solder connectors.


There are so many others on the team who have helped – and we will surely give everyone credit on the two web sites:




But I can’t tell you how great I feel after working 3 years on this DX-pedition and getting to the point of seeing the gear start its long journey to Heard Island!

VK0EK: Onward!

November 23, 2015


Our new “Drone Sponsor” Dave, Bob, KK6EK and Jim, N6TQ

A fully outfitted drone with GoPro camera has been loaned to the VK0EK DX-pedition, and we took a few minutes out from our final packing this weekend to check it out. The truck leaves tomorrow, and all systems are GO!

Stay tuned to our web sites for the press releases, and some very exciting news – (that we will finally have the time to report – now that this ultra busy and intense weekend is over (PHEW!).

Rustic Fall Colors

November 21, 2015


This years fall colors are stunning – but very different. Just as the leaves are falling off the trees, the color has come in very late – and is quite intense – much more “rustic” than in past years. Its similar to what happens when you “dry farm” vegetables or vines in a vineyard – you get a more intense color, but not a “bright” color – but something that’s hard to describe.

This weekend is a big weekend for VK0EK and it starts in a very short while. I’m looking forward to wrapping up all of the “pre-packing” work and then packing up starting late today and all day tomorrow. Then Mike, KJ4Z and I will be working on a few “top secret” but very cool projects – to be announced in the months between the container making its way to Cape Town and when the team sets sail. We will have at least one other really groovy press release regarding another exciting development – which will no doubt be the most fun for me personally in the world of DX-ing. YAY!

Stay tuned!


There’s that “buzzing on the wires” . . .


What a Week!

November 20, 2015


Hard to believe we were in Boise a week ago. What a great time, and what a great memory.

I started my new job in San Francisco, and its going great, I’m riding my bike to and from BART and then take a 1 – 2 mile walk at lunch. The weather has been gorgeous in SF, and tonight riding home from BART was especially nice – and there are a lot of nice Fall colors right now. They seem to have all just “popped” this week, and have very concentrated color.

This weekend VK0EK wraps up all gear and gets it in the truck for the first leg of the trip to Cape Town by way of Virginia.

A really big news release will happen in the next couple of weeks . . .

Good Times all the way around!



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