Sunday, December 5, 2010

ZL8X Dxpedition ends - roll on Sable Island CY0 tomorrow!!

Sable Island - DXpedition begins Monday (hopefully!)
It is with mixed feelings that I write this blog. The ZL8X Dxpedition to Raoul Island (also known as Sunday Island), the largest of the Kermadec Islands near New Zealand, has come to an end. The team of operators are no doubt exhausted and I can just picture them right now, eating a barbecue and sipping wine together before they leave Kermadec for the long flight home to Germany.

Of the Dxpeditions I've worked so far, which have included Iraq YI9PSE, Palestine E4X and Togo 5V7TT, I have to say this has been by far the most difficult, with the single exception of Con Co Island, Vietnam - 3W6C - with whom I made just one QSO (but one that I am proud of!).

At the best of times, ZL8X was only barely audible. I found them easiest to work on 40m CW, a contact which only took a few minutes. 20m SSB was difficult. I didn't even know they were there until Thos EI2JD called me on 2 metres to tell me. The 30m CW contact which I THINK I made today (emphasis on I think - only 80% sure of QSO), was perhaps the most difficult. I've been trying for days. Sometimes I couldn't hear him at all, and wouldn't call. Sometimes he would come up out of the muck, only to work one of the apparently billions of hams calling him in a massive pile-up. But today, as I said, I think I worked him finally. They usually update the log at the end of each day so I might not know until after midnight tonight whether I was successful or not. If I did get through, that would be three band slots with a 25-year-old Butternut vertical and 100 watts from my trusy Yaesu FT-1000MP. I did say before it started I would be happy to get them just once - so three times would be nice. At this moment in time, only 43 EIs have made it through. That's just one more than yesterday, and the lucky one was EI9KC, Ark, a follower of this blog. Congratulations Ark, well done.

But there's no time to reflect on what's passed. We have to look forward. With all the excitement about ZL8X, I forgot to mention another Dxpedition, ZK2A, Niue Island, which is now finished. I couldn't hear them on any band slot at all, unfortunately, but they have now moved to VK9N, Norfolk Island, not far from the above mentioned Kermadec Islands, so here's hoping!! For more information see their website.

In addition to the above DXpedition is 9Q50ON, a special event DXpedition to Democratic Republic of Congo, currently on air, running from December 3rd to December 13th. Right now I am listening to him through much QRN on 40m CW working a pile-up. Again, hope is a great thing! More information about the goings-on in Kinshasa can be obtained by having a peep at the 9Q50ON website.

But it is with great anticipation that I await the Sable Island DXpedition (see main picture above) which is due to begin Monday night at 2100 UTC. Because it's in the Atlantic, east of the States, I would hope (and I stress hope!) that it will be a lot easier to bag than ZL8X. With any luck I might just nab them on perhaps 12 metres or 10 metres, so here's hoping. This is a much smaller DXpedition than Kermadec, so they won't be on as many band slots simultaneously, but we'll keep our fingers crossed that things get under way on time, especially as the event has already been delayed by a month due to a faulty plane. For updates, keep an eye on the CY0 DXpedition website.

Here are their planned operating frequencies:

1.826 up (down for JA)
1.843 up

3.523 (up or down)

3.585 up

3.781 up (and JA window)

7.023 up
7.135 up or down
7.050 up or down

10.106 up

10.140 down
14.023 up
14.130 up
14.190 (alternate)
14.080 down
18.072 up
18.145 up
18.108 down
21.023 up
21.295 up
21.089 up
24.892 up
24.945 up

28.023 up
28.450 up
28.089 up
50.090 up
50.125 (listening freq.)

It's unlikely that we will hear them on 6 metres hi hi, but one can always hope!!

In the meantime, we wish N0TG/CY0 Randy, AA4VK/CY0 Ron and WA4DAN/CY0 Murray all the best for the DXpedition and we hope they hear us in the pile-ups!

Vy 73 and best DX to all of you from Ireland.
EI2KC Anthony.


  1. Good catch on ZL8X - quite a long haul from EI!

  2. Hi Anthony. It was not easy at all ZL8X ... Probably I was one of last EI`s in their log ... Thank you and we will see what will be next ;)
    Good Luck with 9Q50ON and CY0 of course!
    Vy 73!
    Ark EI9KC

  3. Congrats for Ark, I didn't make it this time. Actually never heard ZL8X though I did notice him a few times on the cluster. I wish I had some time to work all these nice dxpeditions. Unfortenately I am on the job most of the day, and in the evening the family is more important. But I don't complain, I did have my share long time ago working great DX. And I'm shure I'll be able to somewhere in the future. Good luck working the DX. I will read about it in your blog. 73, Bas


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