Ashmore Reef is very small and flat/low lying and so there is good take off to all locations worldwide using verticals over the saltwater.
We’re aiming to work around 60% Europe, 25% Asia and 10% North America. This is similar to the breakdown of stations worked in the similar region of OC-294NEW VK6ISL on Scott Reef in 2014 (63% EU, 22% AS, 10% NA).
As part of our permit from Commonwealth Government authorities we are only able to operate from dawn to dusk rather than 24 hours a day. This means likely operating hours of dawn to dusk will be 2100 UTC to 1000 UTC. There may be days when depending on tides that these hours could vary due to safety issues.
With these time restrictions, this means for Europe and North America the best times to work VK9AR are in our local dawn period of 2100 to 0000 UTC and local dusk period of 0700 to 1000 UTC. At these times we will be calling for Europe only or North America only and operating with three stations to maximise QSO’s. We will not be working stations in Asia or Oceania during these times.
For Asia and Oceania there will be plenty of chances to work us in the daytime period of 0000 to 0700 UTC. At this time you won’t have competition from EU or NA in the pile ups and we’ll be running 2 or 3 stations in this 0000 to 0700 UTC period. So don’t worry, you’ll get in the log.
Of course we would love to be able to operate overnight in the 1000 to 2100 UTC period and we know that these are prime times for North America and Europe. If for weather reasons we may get stuck on the island overnight. But this is unlikely. This is why we will have 3 stations running (2 stations QRO) during the dawn and dusk periods on both CW and SSB to maximise European and North American QSOs. We know it’ll be tough for some regions of the world but we’ll be listening out for you and will do all we can to be on the air for as long as possible. This is why Ashmore Reef OC-216 is only claimed by 2.5% of chaser – its damn hard to get here and to get permission to visit.
Based on propagation forecasts, here are the band openings for Ashmore Reef:
2100-0000 UTC DAWN PERIOD (3 stations on air)
40m & 30m for Europe
17m & 20m for North America (both SP & LP)
0000-0700 UTC DAYTIME period (2 or 3 stations on air)
15m, 17m & 20m for Asia/Oceania
0700-1000 UTC DUSK period (3 stations on air)
0700-0830 on 15m, 17m & 20m for Europe
0830-1000 on 30m & 40m for North America & on 17m & 20m for Europe
For quick Browse Island OC-234 operation sometime on Nov 11 2000 UTC to Nov 12 0100 UTC, we will use what we learned from Ashmore Reef to give Europe and both sides of North America a chance. You will have a chance to break the JA wall.
There will be 3 stations on the air at the same time, two stations will have amplifiers.
1/2 wave vertical dipoles for 20m and 17m
1/4 wave verticals for 15m, 30m and 40m
2 x Honda EU10i generators
Dunestar Band Pass Filters for 15m, 17m, 20m, 30m, 40m
For those people who are kind enough to send in a donation of US $5 or more prior to the start of the DXpedition (by November 4th), then there is no need to request a QSL card as we will automatically send you a QSL directly for both VK9AR and VK9AR/6 if you are in the log.