|VK9CZ 2019 - Latest news|
ITU Zone 54 CQ Zone 29 IOTA OC-003 Grid NH87jt Local time = GMT+6.5 hrs
VK9CZ 2019 - 160m to 10m - SSB, CW, FT8
Update 13th November 2019.
VK9CZ is now active and making QSOs.
Coastal erosion since our last visit in 2017 has made installing the antennas more difficult and time-consuming
We will be active on 160m and 80m soon - the 80m antenna will be particularly difficult to install so please
Our internet connectivity is poor - worse than in 2017, so we won't be able to do any real-time logging etc, and LoTW / ClubLog uploads will only be every few days.
We cannot even update this webpage using the DXpedition wifi, so there probably will be only one more update during the DXpedition - or no updates until we get home as my amazing, lovely daughter, Carrie, is updating this for me now.
We are also unable to update any of the other webpages - sorry!
However, please keep looking for VK9CZ on as many bands as possible, on CW, SSB and FT8.
We hope to be on 160m tomorrow.
73 Chris GM3WOJ and Keith GM4YXI
Update 6th November 2019 - this is the final update before we leave on Saturday from Aberdeen airport.
We are looking forward to meeting Steve VK6VZ and Roddy VK6MH on Monday in Perth W.A. We arrive on Cocos Keeling at 1710hrs on Tuesday 12th November. With Cocos sunset at 1806hrs and the last light at 1829hrs, it is unlikely that we will be able to do any antenna installation work. However we will be able to unpack everything and set up the station equipment that evening.
Our next update will be from the DXpedition location! Please spot VK9CZ on the DX Cluster as soon as you hear us!
Update 3rd November 2019 - we've been planning our FT8 activity. This is what we intend to do - but this may change if we find it is not the most efficient use of FT8 :
160m and 80m - FT8 using WSJT-X in F/H mode. (On 160m, we will listen on 1908kHz for JA stations at times)
Other bands - FT8 using MSHV. To avoid tones overlapping, VK9CZ will TX with a low tone frequency e.g. 420Hz - callers should call with tones above 1000Hz. If VK9CZ replies to your call, your TX tone frequency will not move down in the way it does with WSJT-X F/H. We will ignore all callers who call below 1000Hz. If this method of minimising QRM to the VK9CZ signal confuses callers, we'll revert to WSJT-X F/H mode.
See below for the VK9CZ FT8 frequencies. We will probably change to FT4 to increase the QSO rates later in the DXpedition.
Update 24th October 2019 - if you are interested in using our GPS PC timing system, please click on the new button 'GPS PC timing' on the left and read the updated article, to avoid you buying a fake or non-working GPS receiver.
We've received a VK9CZ Certificate from LoTW - we intend to upload our log to LoTW every day if possible, to give you a DXCC credit as quickly as possible. We will also try to upload the DXpedition logfile to ClubLog every day if possible. Both these depend on reliable internet connectivity of course!
Update 21st October 2019 - we spent last weekend sorting out equipment and antennas and started the packing process. We have 7 bags totalling about 150kg of baggage (7 x 23 = 161kg, but the 2 Pelican cases containing the amplifiers are volume limited)
Below are the FT8 frequencies currently being used by the VP6R DXpedition. Steve N3SL is advising us, but these frequencies are *probably* where VK9CZ will operate on FT8 and (after a few days) FT4 :
Update 13th September 2019 - today we finally secured our VK9CZ licence for the DXpedition - hooray! The application process has been changed since our 2017 activation, and is no longer administered by WIA. We applied back in February, yes, 7 months ago, to the AMC which is based in Tasmania for our 'letter of callsign recommendation'. This letter is required to submit to the licensing authority ACMA, with the licence fee, to get the licence document. We received our letter of recommendation only a couple of weeks ago. ACMA were much more efficient and we were excited to be issued yesterday with a 'VL9CZ' licence, rather than the requested 'VK9CZ', but when we checked with ACMA, they confirmed it should be VK9CZ.... Why did we not just keep quiet and use VL9CZ? Simple - if anyone had complained, we would have had to correct the callsign during the DXpedition - not a good situation!!
Update 23rd July 2019 - we've been testing our VK9CZ FT8 station - see below
Update 24th April 2019 - all our flights and accommodation are now booked.
VK9CZ 2019 operators Keith GM4YXI and Chris GM3WOJ are SSB and CW enthusiasts, so these modes will be the focus of our activity. We also realise that at this low point on the sunspot cycle, we cannot expect long openings on the higher bands like 12m and 10m (although we'll make sure we check these bands for propagation regularly each day). We'll be making a lot of effort to ensure that we have the best signal possible on 160m and 80m.
We are looking forward to entering the CQ WW CW Contest (Nov.23/24) as a Multi-Two entry. In CQ WW SSB 2017, VK9CZ was the winner of the 'World Multi-Op Contest Expedition' plaque, donated by Gail Sheehan K2RED (thanks Gail, John K1AR and CQ WW)
FT8 - We know that VK9C will be an ATNO for many people on FT8, so we will run a separate 3rd station on FT8 - using WSJT-X F/H or MSHV. One limitation will be which antennas are available at any given time. FT8 can be very effective on 160m and 80m under marginal propagation conditions. We like how speedy FT4 is compared to FT8.
The internet connection at the VK9CZ QTH is not 100% reliable, so we have a new GPS-based time synchronisation system to keep our Datamodes laptop internal clock accurate enough for FT4 and FT8. Click here to read about this timing system. (By November 2019 there may be newer versions of all FT4/FT8 software of course)
We'll keep clear of the 'normal' FT4 and FT8 frequencies - I'll post a list of our FT4 and FT8 frequencies here before we leave...... see above.....
Propagation - Thanks to Jari OH6BG for his special propagation app. Click the 'Propagation' button. We have also added some extra charts to that webpage.
North Western Eu stations - we live in Scotland, so are fully aware of how difficult it can be for stations in NW Europe to work DXpeditions. We will make every effort to work NW Eu stations through the pile-up of stronger SE Eu stations.
U.S. & VE stations - we are also very aware of how difficult it is to work VK9C from North America - especially East Coast USA and the Maritime Provinces of Canada. We will figure out when we have the opportunities to focus on NA.
Click on any of the blue buttons on the left for detailed reports from our previous DXpeditions. These webpages are being updated with text and some photos a.s.a.p. - at the moment there is nothing there when you click 'ZK2V 2009'.
Finally - this is definitely not a 'holiday style' DXpedition - we need a holiday *after* the DXpedition, hi.