The island is very small and flat/low lying and so there is good take off to all locations worldwide using verticals over the saltwater.
I’m aiming to work 55% Europe, 25% Asia and 15% North America. I will be asking Europe and Asia to stand by at certain times to give North America a chance as the openings tend to be short and not as good. There will also be some times during the European openings that I’ll be asking for “United Kingdom and Scandinavia” to give northern Europe a chance.
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 1st), then there is no need to request a QSL card as I will automatically send you a QSL directly if you are in the log.
I’m working with authorities to see when I can be on the air each as I am not able to be on the air 24 hours a day. Originally when I had discussions it was to be on the island for 24 hours per day. When I recently spoke to authorities they unfortunately had to revert back to me only being able to operate during daylight of 8am (0000 UTC) to 5pm (0900 UTC). Since then I’ve been able to negotiate operating hours of dawn to dusk which will be 5am (2100 UTC) to 6pm (1000 UTC) and have written permission now. I recently spoke on the phone and they discussed how there could be a chance later in the year to get permission for a longer stay due to possible changes in legislation which will allow 24 hours instead of dawn to dusk – so fingers crossed.
In the 2100 UTC to 0000 UTC and 0700 to 1000 UTC period I will be only working Europe and North America (no Asia/Oceania) to ensure I make the most of these shorter openings. I will use OC-198 VK5CE/8 DXpedition as a practice run to use the same bands and times of day to operate on the OC-198 DXpedition to see what conditions will be like a couple of weeks later for OC-216. So I understand some people may prefer to wait to see if they can get in the log and then send in sponsorship with their QSL request.
Here are forecasts for just after dawn and just before dusk on Ashmore Reef:
17M SHORT PATH
17M LONG PATH
20M LONG PATH
With the geographical location of Ashmore Reef nearer the the equator, the high bands of 15m, 17m and 20m should work well as well as the low bands of 30m and 40m.
This year I will be spending lots of time practicing my CW. I am hoping to spend about 10-15% of my time on CW, especially for 40m and 30m and for some of the regions of the world with tougher propagation forecasts. Trust me, it will be very slow CW!!!!