News

Team arrived back in Australia

The team has arrived safely into Perth around midnight tonight and said goodbye to Adrian KO8SCA, who flies home to New York. The rest of the team are returning to Melbourne shortly with the 200kg of equipment.

Many thanks to all those who have donated and contributed in some way, to enable us to have a successful DXpedition.

To the guys in in the pileups, thanks for testing our patients at times…. and we appreciate when asked, how the pileup stopped when we asked for other regions like Oceania, VK/ZL, Africa etc We had fun, we hope many got an ATNO…

To our NA friends, its s very difficult path and we did our best to work you on the east coast on the low bands. Conditions were often not favourable but we persisted.

Very 73 from the team until next time. de VK9CI / VK9XI

VK9CI & VK9XI now QRT!

VK9CI Team heading Home

Last word from Cocos (Keeling) Island from Luke VK3HJ – “all stations are now closed and the team is preparing to depart from the island.”

Thank you everyone for the contacts under at times trying solar conditions. Apologies to those who missed us – we really tried to reach you all – however conditions have proven very difficult indeed these past few days.

73 and Good DX de the VK9CI Team SK

VK9XI DigiModes Operations Concludes

Cliff has also confirmed that the extended VK9XI operation back on Christmas Island has also drawn to a close. He will be sending the final logs for VK9XI shortly to M0OXO for inclusion in log search for OQRS.

VK9XI on Christmas Island Continues on digiModes

For the next couple of days VK9XI will continue to be heard as well as VK9CI, although mostly on digital modes. Cliff, VK9VKL our resident Amateur Radio operator will continue operating under the expedition callsign VK9XI when he has free time until the 17th of October – mostly using FT8. Look out for him and give him a call, particularly if you missed the crew when the main station was active from the island.

This is your second chance to work the expedition call VK9XI!

CQ CQ de VK9CI – we are trying to reach you all!

Tony VK3TZ on Cocos (Keeling) Island

The team on Cocos Keeling Island has been hearing the comments from many areas about the lack of signals from VK9CI. We have honestly been trying our best, however the current geomagnetic storm has been making life very difficult. Even VK is struggling to hear us and only the paths to the north and east have been working for us.

In particular we are focused on calling for North America at the best times we have seen for that region, knowing how difficult a path it is. So far, we have found that the best times we have heard North America  are around 0000z either Short or Long Path West Coast and 1100z on the Long Path for the East Coast, with 1100z being best pick on 20m and 17m. Due to the low signal levels we are concentrating on CW for NA. Please bear with us however as signals are very weak and often only at the same level as the tropical QRN noise and static here.

We also frequently ask the strongest stations to stand by as we try calling in other less easy to work regions such as South America, Oceania and Africa. We ask that those stations in other regions respect our wishes and standby accordingly as we really are trying to give VK9C to as many stations as possible who need VK9C as an ATNO (All time new one).

Please keep trying from your end, and we will continue to do our best from VK9CI for you. We guessed there must have been a reason VK9C was so high on the NA most wanted lists and now we know, It really isn’t an easy path! The following charts from VOACAP will hopefully help identify bearings and times for you!

North America East – Long Path Bands and Times

North America East – Short Path Bands and Times

North America West – Long Path, Bands and Times

North America West – Short Path, Bands and Times

 

More photos from VK9CI

Internet access has been improved. These were just posted by Luke VK3HJ on Facebook.

The following are some more from Lee VK3GK who write:

“Arrived at Cocos Keeling island last tuesday and its pretty hot….. 28C, 80-90% humidity, 24c overnight….. Its a beautiful island and really worth a visit, plenty of tours to do and things to see.”

News Update from the VK9CI Team

The team is now fully established on the island although their Internet communications are very limited. When you do hear us please spot us as we cant easily let people know when and where we are on otherwise.

Lee and Adrian have managed to send the following photos and notes today to give you an idea of the arrangements and the station out on Cocos Keeling Island.

Arrival

We landed on Cocos Keeling Island on Tuesday having flown from Christmas Island that afternoon. The first thing we have noticed is that its windy…a constant 20-30 knot wind from the south east – 25 hours a day so far….

 

Lee VK3GK (L) and Peter Robinson (R) soon to be VK9FCKI

On the ground we were met by Peter Robinson who was keen to sit for his amateur radio licence. After dinner the first night, Lee VK3GK set off with him to his home where he conducted a remote assessment with Ron VK2DQ via Skype. After a few internet issues, we now have a new resident ham on Cocos Keeling Island. Keep a look out for Peter VK9FCKI in the near future!

VK9CI Takes Shape

This is our residence on Cocos Keeling Island. You can see the 2 x Yagi for 20/15/10 and 17/12/30 plus the 160M vertical (inverted L on a 18M long fiber glass pole) and 10 to 80M vertical in the yard. The house is locally known as “pizza house” but the official name is “My Island Home”.

Getting the 200kg of baggage to the house was an exercise itself! Once there we managed to initially erect the 80-10m vertical using a convenient “Hills Hoist” clothesline (very familiar to many in VK at least).

To get the beam antennas in the air, we then needed a couple of suitable lengths of pipe. The locals on the island suggested we take a trip to the local “transfer station” which they said should have everything we needed – a bit like the local  “Bunnings” hardware store island style! (Australian’s will be familiar with those stores – equivalents would be Lowes or Home Depot in the USA).

 

With the necessary pipe in hand, the team set about completing the antenna systems. You can see below Tony and Adrian assembling the 2 element Rippletech Yagi for 20/15/10m.

On the Air

We are very happy with the results, with a lower noise floor than when on Christmas Island and pileups such as this one on 17m up to 5kHz wide, as seen on our Icom IC7300 radios kindly loaned to us by Icom America.

We are now looking forward to Chris VK3FY and Peter VK3FN joining us this weekend for the Oceania DX CW Contest! Still plenty of time to get VK9CI in the log so hope to see you on the air, and again please spot us if you hear us as our other communication avenues off the island are limited.

First round of Logs Uploaded to ClubLog and M0OXO Log Search

Charles M0OXO also reports that the first round of logs have arrived from the team on OC-003. They are now being uploaded to Clublog plus M0OXO OQRS and Logsearch.

https://secure.clublog.org/logsearch/VK9CI

73 from the team on Cocos (Keeling) Island de VK9CI QRV 160-10m!

 

News update from Lee VK3GK at VK9CI

The team has arrived safely on Cocos (Keeling) Island yesterday and we had the 40-10m vertical running within a couple of hours. Today we have got the 160m inverted L erected and expect to be on 160m tonight (CKI time).

The 2 element 20/15/10m Rippletech lightweight DXpedition Yagi has been going gangbusters.

Conditions are up and down. Plenty of JA’s and always strong, have worked several VK’s now we have open paths 360 degrees, unlike Christmas Island. The team has been active and has been heard on 20/17 and 15m CW today in VK5 with plenty of spots from other parts of the world.

Dont forget to look for us also during the Oceania DX CW Contest this weekend!

Meanwhile, VK9XI operation continues on FT8 from Christmas Island

Cliff VK9VKL will be continuing to operate VK9XI on FT8 as well from Christmas Island through until the 17th of October, so if you missed out working the team up until now there is still time on FT8 and potentially other modes. Operation will be sporadic until Saturday afternoon (Island Time) and then he can throw all his time Sunday and Monday into it.