Friday, 27 April 2018

The 2018 Western DXpedition…..preparations continue

There are fifteen days left till I leave on this years version of the great western adventure and I've been pretty busy getting the van, radios, and camping equipment sorted out and ready to go.

The long range weather forecast does not look the best, but the last time I did this trip in 2014 it rained nearly the whole way, so I expect this year to be not much different.  In fact I'm expecting snow on the first night on the road.

I have my FT-897D and my FT-817ND ready to go in their Go-Boxes, along with the LDG tuner.  Power for the radio will be provided by a 12v 82 amp deep cycle battery that will be kept topped up with a solar panel.   

The plan is to operate portable each night from my campsite, and I'm especially looking forward to seeing where I can send a signal once I get out west.

Mounted in my truck I have an FT-8800, and all the repeaters along the routes I will be taking are already programmed in it.  Once again, much like in 2014 - the last time I did this trip, finding all of those repeaters took quite a bit of research as no matter what list you find on Google or Repeater Book, you'll find another one tomorrow with different frequencies, different off-sets, and totally different PL tones.  Just like last time I had to search out each local club on line and use what their websites listed, and it’s amazing how many of those club links now lead to “Error 404” messages.

For HF antennas, I'm taking three.  The first one is my portable 31' Chillycon Special, and the second one is my Buddipole system.  I've also packed a 66' long wire and a 9:1 balun.  These antennas should do me just fine in my quest for DX.

There are a few more things to pick up this week, such as my CAA package, and some Blue Cross coverage….just in case.