A month to go…

Less than 40 days until ZL9HR should be on the air. I was looking today at my list of things to do at work before we depart – pretty scary. The list of dxpedition things to do is pretty long as well, but in general seems under control. We just heard that the equipment shipped from Australia has arrived in Invercargill, close to Bluff, our port of departure. This includes most of the radios, amplifiers and antennas, although a portion of the equipment will come as luggage with the dxpedition ops. I enjoyed listening to tales from the T32C team at Dayton – their equipment did a world tour without ever arriving at Christmas Island, but they still managed to pull off a record-breaking dxpedition with hand-carried equipment. It’s good to know that our gear is already at the port of departure, ready to travel with us from there directly to Campbell Island.
There was some discussion on eham hoping that we might get bad weather while on ZL9 – our landing permit restricts us from spending nights on the island, so we will be returning to our boat anchored in Perseverance Sound each night unless we cannot do so because bad wx makes it unsafe. So, the ideal scenario might be several calm, sunny days for the sail down and to set up antennas, followed by a series of late evening storms which maroon us on the island overnight to operate top band. Of course, the opposite is equally possible – bad wx delaying our departure and slowing down the setup, followed by sunshine and calm so that we have no excuse not to return to the boat at night! In a few weeks we’ll see which of these scenarios plays out. The limitation on overnight stays is the same as that the ZL9CI team faced, and it will likely significantly limit our operations on the low bands, and also our operating times for EU (there will likely be openings on the higher bands to EU during our night, which we won’t be able to take advantage of). Still, there should also be openings around our evening and morning to EU, and during the day for less distant locations – see the propagation page for more details.
Conditions on 10 and 12 have been excellent the last few days, with long-path openings into the Pacific and Asia. I was happy to make a couple of qsos with the XX9THX team – one of their members is David, EB7DX, who is the ZL9HR qsl manager. We’ll have to wait and see whether similar excellent propagation exists in December from ZL9.

QSLs received – EP2MKO

There are few amateur radio stations currently active on hf from Iran. I’d sent a couple of cards years ago for an EP2MKO contact in 1998, but no reply, probably lost in the mail.

I thought I’d try one more time, sending a direct card to UA6GG, the manager currently listed in QRZ and was delighted to quickly receive a confirmation in the mail. Thanks, Ali for the QSO, and thanks, Oleg, for the QSL!