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TI9A Cocos Island Costa Rica

TI9A Team will be active from Cocos Island, IOTA NA - 012, Costa Rica, 2 - 8 February 2020.
Team - TI2JV, RA9USU, UA3AB, SM6LRR.
Recent DX Spots TI9A
They will operate on 160 - 10m, CW, SSB, FT8.TI9A Log search
QSL via UA3DX, ClubLog OQRS, LOTW.
Ads for direct QSL:
Nick I. Averyanov, Cvetnoj bul, 9-130, Vlasikha, Mosk. obl., 143010, Russia.
Information received from Jorge Aguila, TI2JV.
QTH Locator - EJ65ln.
QTH - Chatham Bay, Isla del Coco, Costa Rica.

TI9A Cocos Island News 16 February 2020

We are, despite very clear information and instructions, still getting several persistent requests to “correct logging mistakes”...

A correct and valid QSO is that where the following minimum information is correct:

Both call signs (TI9A and yours)

Time of QSO (with small tolerance added)

Band

Mode

If the operator at TI9A made the “mistake” of not hearing your callsign correctly, he would have sent the non-correct call to you, followed by the report.

It is YOUR obligation to then let the operator be aware of the wrongly received call, so he can correct it, send it again and complete the QSO.

We do not take into consideration if the operator does not know his call in CW (maybe using decoders)....

A DX operator on CW SHOULD be proficient enough to know CW in a way that ensures that he understands if the DX transmits the correct call - if if this call needs to be corrected. This procedure happens at the time of the QSO - not by email several days later.

I hope I now clarified for the last time, that TI9A is an operation that encourages high standards for logging and QSO accuracy.

Thank you!

73 de Mats on behalf of the TI9A Team

TI9A Cocos Island News 10 February 2020

Four exhausted but happy operators arrived safely back to San Jose after the nine day DX adventure (including 2x36 hours boat transfer) to Isla del Coco.

We managed to work 28000+ contacts during 6 days of operation, and considering the challenging circumstances we are very happy with the results. Low Bands were kicking and we managed to work almost 2000 contacts on Top Band, with huge amounts of EU and other DX in the log. 80/40/30 were brilliant as well.

As with all expeditions, there will be people who are very happy, and others who expected more. We are humble enough to acknowledge that any expedition has their successes and less excellent parts.

As we did not have any internet at all during 9 days, we could not get any help from the cluster or from kind hams sending emails. We had to rely on our own belief, what was best for the DX community.

Some issues we would like to clarify:

The initial plan of having a CW/SSB camp on the hilltop above Chatham Bay was a good one. We wanted to separate those modes from FT8, with interference as main reason, and antenna space as the other. Chatham Bay beach location is not intended to accomodate all antennas, due to the jungle terrain.

However, the "road" from the base camp to the hilltop (600 meters of walking and 150 meters of vertical elevation difference), had completely deteriorated and we soon realized that we would not be able to in an energy-economical way transport 2 x 100 kilo generators, 500 litres of petrol, antennas, equipment, food etc there. If we would have decided to do so anyway, we would have lost approximately 2-3 days of the limited days we already had due to licence limitations.

The decision was made to combine CW/SSB with FT8. As you all can understand, this is not ideal due to the planned amount of stationed we intended to launch at the same time. and a VERY narrow and difficult jungle terrain all the way to the beach.

Nevertheless, we managed to get up fullsize antennas for 160-12 meters. All of them proved to work excellently to almost all directions. The only direction with really a drawback in signals were VK/ZL. Sorry for that, but we worked some VKs via Long Path anyway.

Complaints have been raised on our CW focus. The explanation is easy: Our fellow TI9 colleagues (TI9C) had announced a very focused effort on SSB, as they do not seem to operate CW. As we did not encounter them on the vessel to Cocos Island, as expected, we decided not to cannibalize their opportunities for a future SSB expedition. Contradictory to our own assumption, that TI9C would perhaps not appear at all, one well-known and respected source of daily DX information, insisted few days before our operation, that he was assured through a personal call from that group, that operation still would take place.
Due to the uncertainty of that other operation, we took the decision to lower the priority for sideband operation.

Nevertheless, we indeed spent quite some efforts on SSB when we felt conditions were good enough for that, and when we maintained acceptable rates on SSB. When we felt the rate was not at a good level, we simply went to CW to ensure that people could get a chance to at least work us there.

Regarding the FT8 issues we had, what we would like to make people understand that working this mode from a remote island without ANY internet at all, is very different from sitting in the cozy DX corner at home, with broadband Wi-Fi and all other commodities. We had a portable GPS-2-USB device to ensure the synchronization. That procedure needed to be repeated with a few hours of intervall, as we understood gradually. With the extensive use of RF in the place, the GPS signal was heavily affected, and this eventually had a very serious consequence, as our drone, to be used for attaching a 160 meter Inv L wire, started to operate and move without our control. The propeller of the drone unfortunately in high speed hit the finger of Jorge TI2JV, with the result of lots of blood all over... The paramedics in the Ranger team on the other side of the island needed to appear on a Zodiac vessel, evacuate him to the paramedic station and make three stitches on Jorge. It could have ended much worse.

Other comments are referring to the promised 24/7 hours of operation - or what appeared to be a "failure to comply with that promise"... We did indeed take a few small naps in between (on average no more that 2-3 hours per night and person). This was necessary to recover from a very intense antenna setup and walks up to the hilltop in order to evaluate the feasibility to at all work from the hilltop location, made us simply exhausted. Sorry for that guys. However, very few hours were unattended overall and we did utilize the time on the air as much as we could.

More details will follow, but this description should "kill" most of the speculations, and understand a bit better why we did like we did. At last but not least, remember that this island is quite challenging with climate, tidewater, insects, rats (not the small ones you are used to), screaming wild pigs appearing directly at the camp, destroying antennas and whatever. AND, those rats were not only outside our abandoned ranger hut. They were our nightly friends in Cocos Island "Hilton Hotel".

TI9A Cocos Island News 9 February 2020 Logs

We already start receiving questions:

“Please check the log on Feb xx at xxxx UTC. Could you see if there is a call “similar to XXXXXX”, and if possible correct it?

Sorry guys, only correct CALLS within the acceptable time limits, are QSOs.

NO changes!

TI9A Cocos Island News 9 February 2020

Finally back to Puntarenas after a great DX Expedition experience!

Thank you ALL for making this a lifetime experience!

This is the first small update, giving you some overall statistics. More to follow gradually.

QSO numbers only show CW and SSB. The total number of contact was close to 28000, including DIGI mode...

We are happy to have found a good balance between the closer NA and further away locations. Europe and NA are almost equal - not a bad score for being geographically where we were...

73 from all TI9A Team and THANK YOU again!

TI9A Cocos Island QSOs

TI9A Cocos Island News 8 February 2020

Dima, RA9USU informs that the team safely returned to the Okeanos Aggressor on Feb 7 around 14:00 local. They had to stop operations unexpectedly because the zodiacs came for generators first. He says they are exhausted but happy, and made around 30k QSOs in total with almost 1,800 on 160m and over 3k on 80m. More later upon arrival to mainland Costa Rica.

TI9A Team News 28 January 2020

TI9A Cocos Island Team finally on its way... Moscow-San Jose

TI9A Cocos Island DX Pedition Team UA3AB, RA9USU, SM6LRR
UA3AB, RA9USU and RM2D (SM6LRR)

TI9A Cocos Island News 21 January 2020

Instead of spamming various DX groups with TI9A updates, we decided to create a group for those really interested in the activation.

We won’t have either internet connection or time to update during the operation, but until we depart from Puntarenas on Jan 30:th, we will use this group for updates. Also when we are back on the 9:th of February (preliminary).
Information from RM2D/SM6LRR.

TI9A Cocos Island News 19 January 2020

Team will focus on Low Bands.
They not sure if they will be able to have online log or upload logs when they will stay on the Island because there might be problem with internet.

TI9A Cocos Island Costa RicaCocos Island, Costa Rica. Author - Greyingnomad.

TI9A Cocos Island Costa Rica DX NewsCocos Island, Costa Rica. Author - Shakil Conde.

TI9A. Where is Cocos Island located. Map.

TI9A Cocos Island Costa Rica. Sunrise 04-05-2020 at 11:43 GMT sunset at 23:57 GMT
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