St. Bandon (3B7A): An all-SDR DXpedition

3B7A Antenna Layout (Source: SunSDR)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike Hansgen (K8RAT), for passing along this press release from SunSDR:

The 3B7A Saint Brandon team is now active from Saint Brandon and we are exited! This is the first major DXpedition that will be using only SDR transcievers in its setup.[…]

SunSDR2 Pro

Using past experience from their successful FT4TA expedition to Tromelin island and FT4JA Juan de Nova island Expedition, the experienced team lead by F5UFX Seb build their St Brandon setup around the SunSDR2 PRO transceiver, the SPE 1.3K-FA amplifier and ModMic attachable boom microphone.

3B7A will have 5 x HF stations on air simultaneously. Each station will have a SunSDR2 PRO with E-Coder hardware controller, an amplifier, and a ModMic. Logging is done using WinTest in network configuration and all stations will be able to operate CW, SSB or RTTY.

All 5 stations will have will have identical configuration from the keyboard to the amplifier. This will keep the operator focused on the pile-up and improve redundancy in case of any equipment failure.[…]

Click here to read the full article at SunSDR.

Note that I believe the January 2018 Bouvet Island (3YØZ) DXpedition would have also been one of the first major ham radio DXpeditions to use SDRs (FlexRadio SDRs). Sadly, due to weather and engine problems, 3Y0Z were not able to activate.

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7 thoughts on “St. Bandon (3B7A): An all-SDR DXpedition

  1. John AE5X

    Hi Thomas,

    Check out the following video at the 25″ mark – that’s a non-SDR Yaesu. Prior to that is video of some type of rig using HDSDR which is not compatible with the SunSDR rigs. Hmmmm?!

    1. Thomas Post author

      Hi, John,

      Is that from a 3B7A team member operating or someone on the RX end? You know, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the SunSDR application–I assume it’s a proprietary app and not third party like HDSDR.


  2. TomL

    Very nice to see the technology evolve to allow a professional setup using portable equipment. They must have rented the island, antennas all over the middle of it, quite a setup.

  3. Harald DL1ABJ

    Caught them on 17 m in SSB yesterday, which was quite easy from Europe.

    Thomas, you are correct concerning Flexradio and the Bouvet-Project. Furthermore, Emil, DL8JJ, was using a “classic” blackbox SDR during his H44GC activity from the Solomons in late 2016 (not a major dxpedition though).

    Btw: New transceivers such as IC-7300 are SDR transceivers too, even if they do not look like that :-). So, maybe its not that special any longer.


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