VP6D Ducie Island 2018 DXpedition Team Under Way aboard the Braveheart


After 18 months of intensive planning, the 14-member international VP6D team now is en route on the long voyage to Ducie Island from Mangareva, French Polynesia, aboard the MV Braveheart. The team rendezvoused in Tahiti before flying to Mangareva and set sail on October 16. The DXpedition is scheduled to begin on October 20 and continue until November 3. VP6D will use DXA to post contacts on a near real-time basis. Logs will be uploaded daily to VP6D (there is no leader board) and, ultimately, to Logbook of The World (LoTW).

VP6D will be using FT8 protocol (WSJT-X version 1.91) as a “fox” on all bands except 16 meters where DXpedition mode will not be used. The team has posted FT8 operating guidelines on its website. Software should be configured in “hound” mode. Operators hoping to work VP6D on FT8 must add the DXpedition’s frequencies to WSJT-X.

“Your only email route to VP6D is through the pilot team,” a DXpedition release advised this week. “The pilots do not have the logs. Please don’t ask them about NiL, busted calls, skeds, etc. Do send them helpful suggestions.”

In a first for Ducie Island, VP6D will be active on 6-meter moonbounce.

Among its goals, VP6D has listed conducting extensive digital operation, logging as many unique call signs as possible, and offering a contact to as many as possible, including all-time new ones and band fills.

Stu Phillips, K6TU, has developed customized propagation prediction tools, available on the VP6D website. Stations may take advantage of these forecast tools to predict conditions for working Ducie Island based on your location and your equipment.

“There will be at least three DXpeditions operating from the Pacific during October/November,” the VP6D news release pointed out. “Ensure you are in the correct pileup for the DX you are trying to work. If you see your contact on VP6D’s DXA, that contact is in our log.”

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