Sunday, August 14, 2016

Another new VK IOTA DXpedition announced

While OC-228 is claimed by 27.1%, there has been no official IOTA DXpedition since VI5BR in 2004. It is for this reason that the 2016 IOTA Directory reports that only 5.8% of current IOTA chasers have claimed this IOTA over the past 8 years. So there are many IOTA chasers needing OC-228.

It is easy to visit and access Granite Island but the local council and state government will not allow overnight stays on the island. It is illegal to camp there, construct tents or operate generators on the island due to the conservation of the diminishing and fragile ecosystem of the fairy penguin population on the island.

It is possible for me to visit the island on many many many regular occasions as I live nearby to the island. The biggest issue is that I cannot stay overnight, I can only visit there from dawn to dusk. At this time of year it means I can operate there from 2200 UTC to 0800 UTC. This is not a tent and generator operation as both are not allowed, I would need to sit out in the open on a rock breakwater with a deep cycle gel battery.

I have gone to the expense of purchasing an expensive 125 AH 12V deep cycle gel battery. As this weighs 30 kg I have also purchased a 4 wheel trolley so that I can pull the trolley with the battery, IC7000 and basic gear whilst carrying aluminium tubing to build quarter wave vertical antennas with radials sitting in the ocean.

I went to Granite Island on Friday and found a suitable location on the granite rock breakwater which means the vertical can sit less than a metre from the salt water with a clear take off on the short and long path to Europe, short path to Asia/JA and short path to North and South America.

As I will only be able to operate 10 hours maximum, I intend to visit and operate from Granite Island until the demand diminishes. I’ll be operating on 15m, 17m and mainly 20m. I’ll start operating some time in August and will continue through the year.

It will be very east to work Asia/JA on 15m at 2200 to 0800 and Europe on 20m long path around 0400 to 0800 UTC. Working North America will be a bit more of a challenge on 15m at 2200 to 0200 and then 0600 to 0800 UTC on 20m, but don’t worry, if you are in North/South America, I’ll be visiting OC-228 at numerous times to give you a chance. For instance in August and February, conditions at 0500 to 0800 UTC to all parts of North America is possible.

So rest assured, there will be many chances to get in to the log.

More details on the first operation to be announced soon.

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