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VK9AR VK9AR/6 Ashmore Reef

Craig, VK5CE inform, that VK5CE, Mike AB5EB and Mike AD5A will be active from Ashmore Reef, IOTA OC - 216, 7 - 10 November 2017 as VK9AR.
Recent DX Spots VK9ARRecent DX Spots VK9AR/6
He will operate on HF Bands.
QSL via home call, ClubLog OQRS.
There is no internet on the Island and so the online log will be uploaded after the DX Pedition.
Ads for direct QSL:
Craig Edwards, PO Box 2160, Goolwa, SA, 5214, Australia.
DXCC Country - Australia.
Complete budget of DX Pedition is over 14000 USD due to the remoteness, equipment requirements as per the permit and hire of suitable vessel.
For those people who are kind enough to send in donation of 5 USD or more prior to start of the DX Pedition (by November 1st), then there is no need to request a QSL card as VK5CE will automaticly send you a QSL directly if you are in the log.

VK9AR News 13 November 2017

After 3 days at sea we arrived at the Ashmore Reef Marine Park late in the afternoon on November 7 and were boarded by Australian Border Force personnel to inspect the boat and assess the permits and documentation of our operation, the bird researchers and the vessel itself. A key issue was to ensure that we had appropriate life support on Ashmore Reef and could safely arrive and leave the island based on the tides there. With 2 hours of sunlight left, Border Force Officers gave us approval to land on Ashmore Reef and build our camp and erect antennas, but it meant that by the time we were finished it was dark and they would not allow us to safely return to the boat. This scenario was ideal as it meant we could operate at times that were favourable to Europe and North America, this was the case for the first three days. The downside was that we could not operate for a fourth day because the boat needed to depart at 9am local time and the tides would have left us stranded on the reef.

AB5EB Mike, AD5A Mike and VK5CE Craig operated as VK9AR (OC-216) for 2.5 days (2 days 13.5 hours) and made 8167 QSOs. AB5EB and AD5A operated CW and VK5CE was on SSB. QSOs were Asia (50%), Europe (33%) and North America (13%) with . We would frequently ask for North America only or Europe only to maximise QSO’s to the harder to reach DX destinations such as the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and the north-east of North America. This worked well with many north-eastern W/VE, over 100 EI/UK stations and over 200 Scandinavians getting in the log.

On the return journey from Ashmore Reef to Broome, there was an opportunity for the bird researchers to do a quick 2-4 hour visit to Browse Island to do some bird watching. This presented us with the chance to do a quick activation there as well. We had no choice of the arrival/departure time or length of stay, this was purely for the birdwatchers. But considering this IOTA was activated once only in 2000 and was only claimed by 10.2% of chasers, we made the effort to get it on the air with 2 stations for as long as we could. The boat arrived at the island in the dead of night and we were on the back of the deck ready to go at 330am (1930 UTC). As Browse is surrounded with a rocky coral reef and there was a nasty swell at the reef, we could not land there during the dark. The earliest the captain could safely let us depart was 445am (2045 UTC). We landed on the steep beach and quickly brought up the tent, generator, antennas, rigs, amplifiers etc and 45 minutes later we were on the air with one station on 20m CW (300W) and the other on 17m SSB and CW running barefoot. Due to the safety issues of landing, it was unfortunately too late in the morning for Europe and only some got in the log. To our great surprise conditions on both 20m and 17m were good across the entire continent of North America (even with 100W SSB on 17m). We operated as VK9AR/6 (OC-234) for 3 hours and made 725 QSOs with Asia (72%), North/South America (21%) and Europe (1%) with 62% CW and 38% SSB.

The weather on Ashmore Reef and Browse was oppressive. Setting up these tent and generator operations in 35C and 80% humidity was incredibly tough but exciting at the same time.

The logs and OQRS for VK9AR and VK9AR/6 are now available on Club Log. For VK9AR/6, it shows the logs have not been uploaded yet, but it has been, so ust type in your call to search VK9AR/6

The story will come out later and we’ll be designing and ordering QSL cards by the end of the month.

73s Craig, Mike and Mike

VK9AR News 27 October 2017

With the VK9AR operation, we’re adding another short IOTA visit

Cheers Craig VK5CE

Browse Island OC-234

VK9AR/4 Browse Island Australia

After Mike AB5EB, Mike AD5A and Craig VK5CE activate Ashmore Reef OC-216, they will conduct a quick 4 hour operation on Browse Island OC-234 on the journey back to mainland Australia. OC-234 is claimed by 10.2% of chasers and this high speed activation as VK9AR/6 will occur around 2000 UTC on Saturday November 11.

VK9AR News 25 October 2017

Mike AB5EB, Mike AD5A and Craig VK5CE have all paid for the boat in full to Ashmore Reef, this was the most expensive component of the DXpedition. The boat has confirmed the dates and times of our journey. We depart Broome WA on the morning of Sunday November 5. We arrive at Ashmore Reef around 0500 UTC or noon local time on Tuesday November 7. We hope to be on air as soon as we can in the afternoon, please be aware there is no infrastructure on the reef and we need to bring equipment via zodiac. The biggest issue is the weather with temperatures going to be over 35C and very humid. It’ll be slow going.

We need to depart Ashmore Reef by 0100 UTC or 9am local on Saturday November 11. As we are only allowed to be on the island during dawn in the morning to dusk in the late afternoon/early evening, it means our operating times are around 2100 to 1000 UTC. See the “PROPAGATION” page on our website at to show you how to get in the log and where we will be. I spoke on the phone with the Commonwealth Government on Monday and the dawn to dusk rules still apply. If there are problems with tides or weather, then it may mean we are able to be on the island longer, but you can’t rely on that happening.

Prior to departing for OC-198 I freighted up some equipment to Broome that I didn’t need for VK5CE/8 such as a Honda Generator, Dunestar band pass filters, etc. These have all arrived now. After the OC-198 DXpedition, on the way back when I reached Alice Springs I freighted the second Honda Generator to Broome and its currently in transit. This means we can have a high power SSB station, high power CW station and 100W SSB/CW station on the air at the same time.

At the end of next week we all jump on a plane and meet up in Perth WA on Friday November 3 and we are on the same flight up to Broome later that day.

So not long now. On behalf of Mike Sr and Mike Jr and myself, we look forward to giving you another rare IOTA…….hopefully a few days after you also work those crazy rockhoppers in Liberia!!!!

Cheers Craig

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VK9AR. Where is Ashmore Reef located. Map.

VK9AR VK9AR/6 Ashmore Reef. Sunrise 07-20-2024 at 22:07 GMT sunset at 09:40 GMT
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Ed Hendershaw aka/ Eddie Money
  • Callsign: n1ejh
  • 2017-10-27 11:10:57