Cocos (Keeling) Islands 2016

Plans for our last 2 days of operation is as follows

Today, Thursday 24th, we will be fully operational as normal. There will be a change for low band operation. The Team has decided to end operation on 160M after our SS today. This decision is taken due to lack of QSO’s and conditions. We’re sorry for the low QSO-count on 160M so far. We’ve tried to be there for many nights now -. learning a lot and having a hard time to keep awake, listening to nothing.
After our SS – we will be on 80 meters until after our SR (2330-2345z today).
Tomorrow, Friday 25th, will be a bit shorter than expected. The plane takes us to Perth early Saturday morning. Check-In at 0630 LOCAL TIME. That means we have to take down most antennas tomorrow in our daylight time. However, we will leave 1 rig (100W) and our 30M vertical operative until about 1800z – with sporadic operation only.
A final “QRT-message” will be written on this web-page

73 DipperDX

VK9CK News

Lars, LB2TB wrote this summary today about the operation so far.

The team is having a 100 percent focus on North America all the time since arriving on the Island. First 2 days was not fully operational due to a lot of antenna-work and re-work due to property restrictions. 3 man working – 1 man operating radio. He sticked to one band at a time to in order to get started.

We went on the air at approx 2330Z on the 15th of March. We worked everyone without any priority to continent for two first full days. We had to do this to get a feeling of what the condx was all about.

Since Friday, we’ve been focusing on working NA at the mentioned times. We are aware of this. The choice of bands and frequencies will vary on the higher bands, but narrows on the lower bands. We had a great run on 20M SSB deep into US and Canada on our Friday evening. Working ONLY NA, while EU was waiting endlessly.We were also QRV on 2 other bands at the same time on CW.

We were on 80M in the same window-frame. Made only a couple of West Coast QSO’s due to quite poor conditions.

Yesterday (Saturday) made problems for us. The RDXC contest was on and condx dropped considerably during our afternoon. Leaving us with bad openings to the US on the higher bands. 17M was good for a short while at about 1500z. Fortunately our low-band operator managed to get more W6/W7 in the log on 80M at around 1030-1130z. The contest (QRM from Russia) made it very difficult to even find a frequency to stay on. Working split beeing impossible because of our low QSO-rate.

On 160M we have worked very few contacts. Beeing QRV all night to meet the demand for operation on this band. One operator has been calling CQ a million times in order to get 40-50 QSO’s in the log. Even with help from the KST-chat. We are monitoring the KST-chat in order to get informed and get feedback about signal strength. 2 US West Coast in log. Nothing from East Coast. And Yes, we’ve been in close contact through the KST-chat in order to maximize the outcome. Knowing that East Coast are listening.

Regarding the message about noise on 160/80. It seemed like we had a “high” noisefloor and no signals. Our beverage did not work as expected – producing no difference in noisefloor. No way to compare other than listening to MW Radio. Our Inverted-L (mainly TX-ant) is producing nice signals. The conditions are improving – expecting even better upcoming days. Beverages on salty soil and close to the ocean is not very often a success – we’ve learned in the aftermath.

We will try to have 2 stations running during our nighttime to give a steady signal on 40/30 to more parts of the world. We will also switch to 80M more often in order to give more QSO’s

I am sure there was spots about our operations into the US. I can’t believe it was not.

We will try to be on 40/30 during night time. Please remember – we are a 4 man crew. Sleep is necessary too.

DipperDX

LB2TB, Lars

VK9CK full steam ahead

News from VK9CK Guy’s:
Had just a chat with LB2TB Lars and he could tell that they are ready for NA / SA. They have figured out the challenges with conditions and RX antennas and they use TX antenna also as RX.
He could tell that they have already run multiple contacts at 160 meters. VK9CK team have now 10,000 QSO’s !! in log.
Clublog and LoTW updates go as planned about once a day.

73s de Rune, LA6YIA
Home Team Pilot

Update 160/80

News update from VK9CK Team
They have not got RX antennas to work on 80/160, but they use TX antenna also as RX, which worked satisfactorily.
VK9CK team has been working on a plan to find the best possible time for NA / SA and tested it out during the day today. The plan worked, and they will therefore attempting to call NA / SA  during the times when it is possible.

Good Luck and good DX
de Rune, LA6YIA

Folding Antenna in the wind and rain

160 and 80 meter

Friday 19 March 2016 at 07:00 UTC
Latest news from VK9CK, they still have problems with the RX noise at 80/160.
Eventually had to stop work because of darkness last night. Local noise is still a problem, but they keep working on RX antennas.

Thursday 18 March 2016
They experience a lot of local noise at 80 and 160 meters. They’re working on it now

 

Packed and ready!

The team is packed ready for departure in a few hours. We are very excited and can hardly wait!

If any of you out there do some audio recording we would like a copy if possible, send to vk9ck-audio@dipperdx.com

Hope to see you in the pile!

Earthquake NNW of Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Earthquake NNW of Cocos (Keeling) Islands
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Earthquake NNW of Cocos (Keeling) Islands

A 7.9 magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of Indonesia. The shallow quake, which hit southwest of the island of Sumatra on Wednesday, had a depth of 10 kilometers (six miles).

The epicenter was located 849km (528mi) NNW of West Island, Cocos Islands.

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