Pre-Trip: Setting Up & Testing Equipment

Following a successful Visalia DX Convention, the KH1/KH7Z team met in Cupertino to assemble the stations and network in preparation of landing on Baker in 2 months. The DXpedition is now in the final planning stages and this step was the last before packing and shipping our gear to Fiji.

DXpedition sponsors Elecraft and DX Engineering provided the required gear.  There will be 8 stations on Baker Island consisting of 8 Elecraft K3S transceivers -- 7 powered by KPA500s; the 8th low band station powered by a KPA1500 amp.  There will be 3 separate tents for CW, SSB, and Digital stations.  Co-leaders K6TD and N1DG, and AA7A, K6GFJ, K6MM, ND2T and N6MZ assembled the stations, activated the BGAN satellite network, interfaced the NUC computers & monitors, and installed N1MM+ in a complete on-island simulation (including generator power).   We also successfully simulated making QSOs and uploading sample logs to ClubLog via the BGAN.

Three K3S SSB Stations Tested & Ready To Go

Tower Of Power
The network was designed by our IT team led by AA7A and N6MZ and consists of rapidly deployed transit boxes containing the switches power hubs and POE repeaters.  Upon reaching the island the team will deploy these cases and run out cables from the central CW tent to SSB and Digital tents.   
All N1MM+ computers will be networked to our center administrative PC allowing 2 uploads daily via satellite to ClubLog to minimize duplicate contacts.

N6MZ, N1DG, AA7A Testing The Network The New Elecraft KPA1500:
A DXpedition First !

Although limited to 43 feet, our 80 and 160 meter antennas are newly designed AA7JV “fat” verticals, which will sit just inside the high tide mark.  The SteppiR verticals for 75 through 10 meters will also be mounted just inside of the high tide mark while four 2-element vertical arrays will be mounted away from the water for 15, 17 and 20 meters.  In this way, we can maintain a 24-hour presence on 20 meters to maximize the number of unique callsigns and enable the most ATNO contacts.  We also intend to install a multi-vertical array for 6 meters at the digital radios.

N6MZ, ND2T Testing NUC Computers & N1MM+   ND2T - A well-deserved rest
Testing the SteppIRs and our own design of vertical arrays is all that remains before cleaning and sterilizing our gear to meet the FWS Biological Protocols and sending the gear to our freight forwarder.

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