July 6-8th, 2018, NJ4Y, N4ESS, and KE4AL will venture to Fort Jefferson on Garden Key, in the Dry Tortugas island chain. Our main purpose for the trip is to activate EL84, one of the maidenhead grids with the least land area of any in the CONUS, on satellites and 6m.
We are scheduled to arrive around 11am (1500z) on July 6th, and stay through 3pm (1900z) on the 8th.
We will have two complete satellite stations, with capabilities on all current amateur satellites. Emphasis will be especially on the larger footprints of AO-7 and FO-29, but we will work as many passes as possible during our time on the island. With two experienced satellite operators who have activating nearly 80 combined grids on satellites in 15 different states, we think we've got a pretty good chance of success in getting EL84 in the logs of anyone who needs it! This includes Europe and South America - if you are in the outer reaches of the footprint between EL84np and your location, let us know ahead of the trip so we can plan some possible low elevation pass skeds!
The 6m station will consist of a 2 element 6m beam at ~20 feet, an FT-857 100w transmitter, and capabilities on SSB, CW, and digi modes, emphasizing the JT suite - FT8, JT65, and possibly some MSK144 if conditions allow. We will be there in peak E skip season, so keep your fingers crossed for some great band openings!
We will also operate on HF as time, band conditions, and battery power allow. This is secondary to the 6m and satellite ops, with no hard planned schedule, so keep your eye on the dx cluster for K4R if you need EL84 for the ARRL international grid chase. As on 6m, we will have capabilities on CW, SSB, and digi.
We will be communicating largely via twitter.com/K4R_EL84 while on the island, using a Garmin InReach messenger to post information about frequencies, modes, and pass schedules. This is an open, public twitter page, so you can view it even if you don't have a twitter account. If you do have an account, be sure and follow us before the trip so you can stay up to date! We are also working out details on a pilot station who can relay sked requests and information to us via the satellite messenger - stay tuned here for more details on that as the trip approaches.
All logs will be uploaded to LOTW as soon as possible after the trip. Cards will also be available upon request