The FT4JA DXpedition was a success! During 12 days of operation the team worked 105.634 contacts from the top 6 most wanted DXCC, Juan de Nova Island. 45.273 of these QSOs where made on Phone/SSB using ModMic boom microphones provided by Pileup and Antlion who teamed up to support the expedition.
Read the official feedback about the ModMic from Vincent F4BKV and the FT4JA team.
By Vincent F4BKV
After our successful dxpedition to Tromelin island FT4TA in 2014, we made a feedback meeting to address things that could be improved. One of them was the mess with headset cabling. Each operator wanted to use his own headphones, some with active noise canceling for the CW operators etc. We all agreed at that we spent too much time by re-cabling the mic/phone plugs, and sometimes microphone settings, at each operator change.
Later, during preparations for the Juan de Nova island FT4JA DXpedition, I got introduced to the ModMic by my good friend Björn SM0MDG. It looked really interesting and potentially a way to overcome our previous headset cabling issues. I decided to order one to see what it looked like, and after some days of testing, both during contests and DX operation at home, it was decided that the ModMic would be used for for all SSB contacts of FT4JA.
Following some email exchange with both Pileup (our partner sponsor) and Antlion (the manufacturer of ModMic), we got a very good sponsoring offer and each station got its own ModMic. We briefed the 10 operators to bring their favorite headphones (mainly Bose QC noise cancelling and Beats models) and install the magnet base clasp to which the ModMic magnetically attach to, on to their headphones. Once this clasp is there, you can leave it forever because it is almost invisible.
As soon as operation started at Juan de Nova, each of us got to use the ModMic intensively. After some initial adjustment in the audio equalizer, we started to enjoy operating with this microphone. It was really a nice add-on to the dxpedition, just grab the ModMic, stick the boom to the headphones, and in less than a second start operating. No messy re-cabling anymore and we didn’t experience one single problem with the ModMic setup.
Initially, we thought it was a risk to use this brand new ModMic item, not very well known (yet) in the amateur radio world. Therefore, we took with us some spare headset, just in case the ModMic failed or didn’t perform correctly. I’m glad to report that the spare headsets stayed in their boxes as the Modmic didn’t failed at any time. At the end of the expedition, everyone agree it was a good idea to use the ModMic, and that we will for sure use them again at our next DXpedition.
We strongly recommend anyone that want comfortable audio headphones but still want to enjoy SSB to consider the ModMic. FT4JA made more than 45000 SSB QSO, all of them with a ModMic, so for sure it works !!
73 de Vincent, F4BKV
More information on the ModMic is found here.