1. Goals – It had been a long time since a major DXpedition visited ZL9, so our primary goal was to give a new DXCC entity to as many as possible.
2. Site – in general, the site offers a good take-off, with northerly paths being an exception. Long-path may offer better options to distant locations in a northerly direction.
Low Bands – At sunrise, we expect some possibility of propagation to EU and reasonable conditions to the western Pacific and Asia. This map shows sunrise at 1559 UTC on 3rd December (click on the map for a full-size image):
Sunset (see map for 0907 UTC on 3rd Dec below) should offer opportunities to work into the Americas and the Pacific, and openings into northern and western EU shortly before our sundown:
High Bands – Best times for propagation to a variety of countries are provided at the links in the table below. Countries are organized in the table according to their bearing from ZL9, starting north and going anticlockwise around the map. The point-to-point predictions were generated at www.voacap.com, using the following default parameters: Sunspot number: 80. TX power, 500 W. Mode: SSB. TX and RX antennas 3-ele yagis. Warmer colors indicate a greater probability of successful communication. These predictions should be good for the higher bands where we’ll be using 2- or 3-ele horizontal beams. Of course, we won’t be using a 3-ele yagi on 80 m and probably you won’t either, so go to voacap.com and make your own predictions for your own antennas, favorite mode, power, etc!
The horizontal bars at the bottom of the charts indicate the hours of day/night at ZL9 and the rx locations.
To summarize, assuming we have reasonable conditions (SSN=80):
- EU – hardest from ZL9 – should be short path openings around our late afternoon to sunset (0600-1000 UTC) to central and northern EU, and again around sunrise and in the early morning (1600-1800 UTC – but in the early morning we will likely focus more on the lower bands, if open). For southern EU, SP may be possible later in the morning. For much of EU there should be an opening around 0800 to 1000 UTC via long-path on 15, 17 or 20 m.
- NA – should be good conditions to the west coast and central US on one or more bands most of the time we are on-island. For the east coast US and eastern Canada, there should be opportunities on the higher bands (17-12 m) around 2200-0200 UTC, and around our dusk (0800-1000). Rich, KY6R, our NA pilot station, developed a detailed set of predictions for a variety of cities in North America. Rich also shows a number of comparative prediction plots for specific locations using different powers, antennas and modes which illustrates how different stations may perform (e.g. running SSB barefoot into a low dipole from the east coast will be tough, although the same station using CW would have a fair chance of being heard in ZL9).
- SA – 20, 17 and 15 m look good for most of the ZL9 daylight hours.
- JA – Should be good for much of the day, especially on the higher bands (10-15m)