VP2VEM British Virgin Islands DXpedition

October 2019

Operator: Jeff Martin – K5WE

The DXpedition

OP: Jeff Martin – K5WE
Cooten Bay, Tortola
British Virgin Islands
CQ 8 – ITU 11
Grid – FK78QK

Jeff, K5WE, was active as VP2VEM and Bill, N5AQ was active as VP2V/N5AQ from Cooten Bay, Tortola, British Virgin Islands beginning October 4 through October 13, 2019. Cooten Bay is on the North East coast of the island of Tortola. The British Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, along with over 50 other smaller islands and cays. About 16 of the islands are inhabited. The capital, Road Town, is on Tortola. The islands had a population of about 28,000 at the 2010 Census, of whom approximately 23,500 lived on Tortola; current estimates put the population at 35,800 in July of 2018. Following an early visit by Christopher Columbus, the Spanish, Dutch and British made attempts to settle the island of Tortola. Pirates such as Blackbeard and Captain Kidd were some of the first permanent residents.

The DXpedition team operated all bands 160 through 10 meters, mostly CW with some RTTY, FT8, FT4, & SSB. Equipment included K3 radios with 400 watt amps (BVI legal limit). Antennas included a Hexbeam for 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 meters, a Crank-IR vertical for 80-10 meters, and dipoles for 160, 40, and 30 meters. Other gear included Dunestar bandpass filters, Dell & HP laptops.

Logs were uploaded to Clublog daily. Logs were uploaded to LoTW shortly after returning home. QSL via ClubLog OQRS, or QSL VP2VEM to K5WE, QSL VP2V/N5AQ to N5AQ…

VP2VEM Update:
We arrived at our Tortola north coast QTH late in the evening on Thursday Oct. 3, 2019. My snowboard bag with the Hexbeam and mast did not make the Cape Air flight from San Juan to Tortola. The bag arrived on Friday and required a trip back to the airport to pick it up. The Hexbeam install did not get completed until about Noon on Saturday the 5th. Worked through many software and hardware issues. Had problems with RF getting into the gear. QTH was nice. Close to the ocean, very scenic. WX was hot, with very sticky humidity. Pileups were good. Total of 12,040 QSOs from the two callsigns. Made an effort to get some 160 meters and 60 meters QSOs in the logs. Majority of QSOs on CW, also significant number on FT8, FT4, and even a few on RTTY and SSB. 70% QSOs with Europe, 26% with NA, just didn’t hear many from Asia or elsewhere. Had mountain behind us in direction of stateside and JA. Clear shot toward Europe. VP2VEM had some logging issues, using 2 different front end programs, N1MM and WSJT-X, then pushing the data to DXKeeper, then out to Clublog. Actually it worked pretty good, but had a little clean up to do when I got home. So, email me if any issue with your callsign in the log. Logs are now uploaded to Clublog and LoTW. QRT at 4:15PM on Saturday Oct 12th and began taking down antennas, then packed up everything. Sunday Oct 13th, Flew back from Tortola to San Juan to Chicago to Tulsa. Got home about 11PM, totally exhausted… Tnx for the QSOs… CU from the next one… 73, Jeff – K5WE, VP2VEM