- Created on Thursday, 17 April 2014 21:00
For Immediate Release:
Final Press Release Mellish Reef 2014
April 17, 2014
VK9MT Mellish Reef was activated on 30 March at 04:34z with ZL4PW first in the log and went QRT on 4 April at 1353z with JL1MTY closing the log.
Our decision to leave the island didn’t come easily; safety was always the first priority. Just as the last QSO was made it became clear we could not remain on the island another day. It was 01:00 (local) when the rain began. The wind was blowing at about 35 - 40 knots; we had water infiltrating the operating tents and the antennas were taking a severe beating. Over the 6 days we were on the island the weather grew progressively worse each day.
After a short meeting the on-island operators decided to QRT and begin packing the equipment in pelican cases for protection. We spent the next several hours packing equipment using head and hand torches.
When the Zodiac arrived for the 6AM shift change we began taking down the antennas and tents. Once the storm was officially declared Cyclone Ita there was no question we made the correct decision.
Our 10 day goal was 80,000 QSOs and as much RTTY as possible. In 5 days we made 40,000 Qs which put us on track for the original target.
ClubLog QSO summary:
- Europe 36.1%
- Asia 29.8%
- North America 29.1%
- Oceania 3.4%
- South America 1.2%
- Africa 0.4%
- CW 61%
- SSB 30.5%
- RTTY 8.6%
All Time New One:
- All modes 26.1%
Unique Calls: 32.1%
The team of eleven operators and five boat crew worked well together. The measure of success isn’t how well one follows the plan but instead how we react to the unplanned. The weather required significant plan changes. Until we arrived at the reef the skipper was unable to determine if nighttime travel to and from the reef was possible. As it turned out, because of the many coral heads, the reef could only be travelled during daylight hours when the underwater coral was visible.
We watched Mellish Reef weather for weeks before leaving but Cyclone Ita required us to improvise, adapt and overcome. We knew things would get worse as reports of death and destruction came in from the Solomon Islands.
While disappointed, we are happy to have given ATNOs, band fills and to have put people on the Honor Roll and Top of the Honor Roll.
We appreciate the support from the corporate sponsors, foundations, clubs and the individual donors. When the books are closed we’ll provide an accounting to the clubs and foundations.
The team received many e-mails from the global DX community; we thank you for your concern, kind words and understanding.
Logs, QSLs and LoTW:
Our QSL manager Tim M0URX reports he’s made great progress with busted and missing calls. ClubLog is up to date with the most current logs, and is updated as problems are resolved.
LoTW will be uploaded at the time this Press Release is distributed.
It is estimated that the actual QSL cards will be in the mail by the end of July.
Those donating $50USD or more do not have to request their QSL; Tim will handle this for you.
Upcoming Hamfest Season:
Several members of the VK9MT on-island team will be attending the Dayton Hamvention and the Friedrichshafen Ham Radio - International Exhibition for Radio Amateurs, as well as local ham club meetings and conventions.
73, Team Mellish 2014
- Created on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 15:30
The QSL card for GS0NWM / GM5N Isle of Arran DXpedition has been designed and will soon be ready for delivery after Easter.
- Created on Saturday, 05 April 2014 21:50
Just to make it 100% clear! The QSL Policy below is the same for ALL call signs managed by M0URX.
It does NOT matter if you make 1 or 25 QSOs with VK9MT the cost is the same as below.
DIRECT & BUREAU QSL INFORMATION:
ONLINE QSL REQUEST: OQRS
DIRECT QSL INFORMATION:
LOTW (LOGBOOK OF THE WORLD)
- Created on Thursday, 03 April 2014 04:57
Due to the ever worsening weather associated with an impending tropical storm, the team decided in the interest of safety to end the operation early.
The last night on the island was extremely difficult. With continued heavy rain and wind, radio operations were nearly impossible. We have set sail for the Australian coast and seek a course to keep ahead of the storm that caused us to leave the reef. Expect 2.5 - 3 days of sailing prior to reaching our port destination.
While the team is disappointed, we realize that you are even more disappointed.
We gave one elderly ZS amateur his last one for Top of the Honor Roll, a PP1 his Honor Roll position and many all time new ones. Based on the logs there were many band fills.
We would like to acknowledge the generosity of the clubs, foundations, individual donors and our corporate sponsors. And a special thanks to Steve Kafka and the Evohe crew for their endless runs to the island, help with every logistical task during the trip, and the strong backs of his young crew doing the heavy lifting.
73, Team Mellish Reef 2014
April 4th 2130 local
1. The winds continue to be very strong.
2. We experienced antenna damage and are reassessing the antenna situation, we have alternatives.
3. We are running 4 stations tonight due to antenna damage.
4. The generators and radios are doing well.
5. The KPA-500 Power Amplifiers are doing well.
6. The operating tents are holding up well, but the break tent is damaged.
7. We are on a different operating plan, with frequent breaks because of the weather. You will hear us QRX for up to an hour, then return.
8. We are receiving requests for specific geographic / band operation. Under the circumstances these will be almost impossible to fulfill.
9. The skipper will assess the weather situation throughout the night and decide if it's safe to remain at Mellish Reef.
10. At the moment we're on the island and operating.
Team Mellish 2014
The wind continues to blow very hard.
We will remain on the island for at least 18 more hours.
The skipper is watching the weather maps throughout today and into the night.
He'll reassess the situation tomorrow morning and make a decision.
The tents are holding up well, but with the wind noise and flapping of the tent walls is quite noisy we're having some difficulty with the noise.
The antennas continue to play well, however they are somewhat bent over by the high winds and need continual maintenance.
The team is holding up very well, other than one cut finger, no other
We're working on the logs and will send an update shortly after this
bulletin goes out.
We're making about 7,000 Qs a day, propagation drops out several times a day. The productive bands are the usual HF frequencies.
The Pilot reports are coming in on a regular basis and we review at each shift change.
Team Mellish 2014
April 3, 1535 (local) Update 2
The weather continues to change. Last night there were torrential downpours and high winds.
The antennas survived with no damage, the break tent took on some water through an open window. The operating tents maintained their integrity and no equipment was damaged. Today it has been hot and humid, with high winds.
We removed non essential equipment and several antennas, including the 160 antenna, from the island. Tonight we will try to keep at least 3 stations on the air. Tomorrow morning we will remove all remaining equipment from the island and head towards Australia.
We do not yet have a destination identified, it will depend on the winds and sea conditions. Eventually, we will return to Mackay.
Even if the storm subsides it is unlikely we will have enough time to return to the island.
Team Mellish Reef 2014
For immediate release: Update 1
The skipper is monitoring a tropical depression several days north of Mellish Reef. This severe weather has the potential to disrupt operations. We have at least 24 hours before any decision is made on how to proceed, we have plans to deal with the situation.
At 0700, April 3rd (local) we plan the following:
1. All unnecessary equipment will be removed from the island, leaving just the operating tents, radio equipment, generators and antennas.
2. Depending on the intensity of the weather we may be forced to terminate the operation early. Another alternative is to temporarily leave the island and return when safe.
3. Any decision to modify or terminate the operation is at least 24 hours away. The safety of the DX-pedition team and the crew is the first priority.
4. To better use the time on the island we ask that band fills be suspended and only people that need Mellish Reef for and All Time New One call us.
5. For at least the next 24 hours we will focus our attention to those bands that drive highest rates to maximize ATNOs.
As news develops we will send out additional information. The only source for VK9MT Mellish Reef information will be these bulletins
Team Mellish 2014
- Created on Wednesday, 02 April 2014 20:31
MS0OXE direct QSL cards have been posted for the activity last week from Isle of Tiree EU-008. The team reports making 10,200 QSO's on this trip and also did well in the CQ-WPX contest with 3,711 QSO's with a total of 11.1 million points.
The team have arrived home in the Black Country and are looking forward to meet up again soon for a curry night.
- Created on Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:24
1. We know of the recent earthquake in Chile. The boat has an on-board tsunami alert system that tracks our position against the event. The skipper informs us that we are not in any danger whatsoever. However, he did say if we see him running, we would best be right behind him.
2. We've had some e-mail server problems but they now seem to be resolved, we are sending and receiving e-mail. The logs were sent to our
QSL manager. If you get duplicate e-mails please delete as necessary. I don't have the time to fix the distribution lists.
3. The team is now well into a daily operating routine, which, weather permitting, we will follow for the rest of the expedition.
4. The equipment continues to work well. We are aware there was a CW keying issue with one of the stations, this should now be resolved.
5. The 160 antenna is installed and should get a workout tonight.
6. The pile-ups continue to be energetic and fun. We're getting good cooperation from the DX community, although at times things can get chaotic when the pile-up attempts to control the operator. We know our call sign, please don't repeat it to us.
7. We want you in the log, so please follow the op's instructions.
- Created on Monday, 31 March 2014 08:58
1. After 2 full days of setting up equipment - 5 stations opened for business at 2:40PM local time, March 30th.
2. The boat is at anchor 500 meters from the reef.
3. Because of the coral heads that surround the island we can only transit to Mellish Reef during daylight hours, 5:30AM first trip and last trip of the day at 5:30PM.
4. Teams will alternate operating through the night.
5. We opened on 10, 15, 20 on CW and 12, 20 on SSB, working energetic but courteous pileups from Japan, Korea, Europe, South Africa, and the USA.
6. The temperature is in the 30s(C) during the day, with continuous 20 - 30 knot winds that required us to reset the tents and guys first thing this morning. There are no trees on the reef, no shade.
7. No antennas were damaged during the high winds.
8. Only the 160 meter antenna and low band receive antenna remain to be installed.
9. The team is in good spirits and happy to finally be on the air.
10. There are many sea birds nesting on the reef, they don't seem to be bothered by our presence. We are not bothered by any other local wildlife.
11. As with their other DX-peditions, the crew of Evohe is very helpful, bringing over all the equipment, doing all the heavy lifting, and keeping the team well fed.
12. We do have a problem with the computer used for the satellite terminal, we're working on a solution. We will start log uploads as soon as possible.
We are NOT monitoring personal e-mail accounts.
Next update in a few days.
Ed: Logging issues should be directed to M0URX. Please do not email pilots with logging issues. Either work the slot again or ask Tim, M0URX to check log.
- Created on Friday, 21 March 2014 09:47
Some Outgoing Bureau feedback. OE7PGI, Philipp, reports receiving PJ4DX, OY1OF & EA6/G4MKP QSL cards already. Requested on 25 January 2014 using OQRS. Posted to the Austrian Bureau on 3rd February. Excellent service.
Remember all Bureau cards are posted DIRECTLY to World Bureaus every 3 or 4 months, posted using Air Mail service for fast shipment. So by using my OQRS you can receive your Bureau cards quickly.
Thank you Philipp for the feedback! Bureau does not have to be slow!
- Created on Thursday, 20 March 2014 19:39
208 letters were posted this afternoon for 8Q7BM and V73MW.
Also posted 396 Bureau cards to ARI Italian Bureau.
- Created on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 12:38
It is very important to remember that if you need a QSL sent through Bureau please always use OQRS http://m0urx.com/oqrs/
If you send a QSL via Bureau you MUST write "QSL Via M0URX" and highlighted, in larger text than the DX station P3J for example.
Writing the QSL Via on the QSL card, does NOT always mean that the QSL will be routed as you intended.
A good reason to use OQRS instead.
Remember for most DXpeditions or contest stations and many DX, your QSL will NOT be needed. It is very important to save Bureau costs and use OQRS ONLY.
- Created on Monday, 10 March 2014 19:59
The QSL cards for the recent DXpeditons 8Q7BM and V73MW are now at the printers and will be ready to be posted out by the end of March.
- Created on Saturday, 08 March 2014 19:14
As postage costs rise year on year, we are at that threshold where $2 barely covers costs outside Europe for a QSL, let alone covering other QSL expenses. So how can IOTA and DXCC DXpeditions be self sufficient? handle their own QSL management and cover all the costs like printing, labels, postage and bureau expenses?
Many QSL managers have chosen to increase QSL costs to $3, $4 or even $5. That is NOT our choice! There are two options that I would like to put to you, full QSL management and Independent QSL management. Both of these options include using Royal Mail's Online Business Account for posting your QSL cards. Some years ago I negotiated an International Mailing Contract with Royal Mail that was designed especially for posting QSL cards from DXpeditions with UK based QSL managers.
Remember, using stamps is the most expensive way to post QSL cards. With this contract we have a licence for a Postage Paid Impression for the envelope while the QSL manager accesses the account through the www.royalmail.com website.
Full QSL Management.
Both myself Tim Beaumont, M0URX and Charles Wilmott, M0OXO have facilities to handle all IOTA and DXCC QSL management to provide full QSL services, free QSL printing, postage costs, free outgoing Bureau. OQRS and FREE LoTW handling.
Our QSL costs are: Direct QSL: $2 - OQRS: €2 and Bureau: Free.
You can find out more by going to either of our websites www.M0URX.com or www.M0OXO.com
Independent QSL Management.
If you want to handle your QSL'ing yourself but need to lower postage costs then we can give you access to the mailing account so that you can handle your own cards.
You also have access to our Outgoing QSL Bureau at £1 per 100g. We post Bureau cards to ALL World IARU QSL Bureaus DIRECT every 3 or 4 months, using Prioirty Air Mail & M-Bag products.
If you are planning a DXpedition and want more information please contact Tim Beaumont, M0URX on +44 7976 292980
For the larger DXpeditions where you are posting more than 1.5kg to a country destination then we currently have access to the most competitive International postage rates in the business.
Whether you are planning a one man DXpediiton to the Channel Islands or a major Top 10 Most Wanted, we have the two options above for you to consider.
- Created on Tuesday, 25 February 2014 14:25
Both Glen (G0SBN) & Bob (M0KLO) spent Saturday afternoon doing a dry run of putting up the 8m mast with the newly acquired Hexbeam from Ant (MW0JZE). It was more than a bit windy so it was a quick up and down in the paddock to check on guy lengths. The second Hex is going up on a 12m Clark mast so hopefully that will be a bit more straight forward.
We used the Hex in 2012 for GB5DX and it was a good performer which encouraged Glen to make the plunge. The latest Hex from Ant is a lot lighter and has evolved a great deal and we are looking forward to giving it a good run out.
This week will see the testing of the 40m, 80m verticals and also the beverage RX antenna. We hope to be QRV on 160m which will most likely be an inverted 'L'. The following week is a dry run of the shack and networking on Wintest which should leave us enough time to minimise 'murphy!'
The three stations are going to be Kenwood 590s with bandpass filters fitted and running 400w from two of them and barefoot on the third. There will also be a Kenwood TS480SAT which will be configured for data mode operations.
Lots of lessons are being learnt during preparation and we can see why many operations opt for a waterside location and verticals. Its no easy feat wheeling around a Clark mast but hopefully it will be worth the effort!
We've recruited two extra recruits - Max and Jed who are Bob's Border Collies. They came with us on GB5DX in 2012 and people seemed more interested in knowing what they were doing than about the station so they're back on the team.
Cheers, Bob, M0KLO
- Created on Friday, 14 February 2014 11:52
Stan Fraley, WS5K will be QRV as PJ4F operating from Bonaire, SA-006, from February 7th until March 9th 2014.
QSL Via M0URX - OQRS Preferred
- Created on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 14:02
N6MW Bill has now confirmed that his forthcoming DXPedition to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, February 25th to March 4th as V73MW will be QSL Via M0URX. OQRS preferred.
Focus on Club Log's most needed bands/modes – 160/80/30 CW and 20 for RTTY (not in contest), maybe some SSB and 17, while accepting the unfortunate 24 hours/day limitation.
Equipment – K3/KPA500/KAT500/ Laptop. Antennas – Inv L/T/Vert for 160/80 with elevated radials using a Spiderbeam 18m fiberglass pole plus a 20m VDA and 30 m VD on a second fiberglass pole. Nightly efforts on 160/80. Freq 1820.5 for 160, UP. Always UP! 20m RTTY for some low brain needed time, with a focus on EU.
Bill will be operating from Majuro Atoll, IOTA Reference: OC-029
You can find more information on Bill's webpage N6MW
Thank you to DX-World for your assistance in this partnership.
- Created on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 16:56
GS0NWM will be the call sign of the Tynemouth Amateur Radio Club's IOTA activation of Isle of Arran, EU-123, from March 26th - April 2nd 2014.
The team will enter the CQ WPX Contest (29th & 30th March) as GM5N Multi Op.
Three members, G0SBN, Glenn, G8YFA, Tony and M0KLO, Bob will be QRV on SSB CW & RTTY.
Equipment will consist of 3 x Kenwood 590, 2 x Kenwood 480 Transceivers with an Elecraft KX3 for QRP skeds.
Spiderbeampoles at 18m & 12m.
2 x G3TXQ Hexbeams at 12m.
40m & 80m Verticals.
- Created on Sunday, 09 February 2014 17:05
9th February saw us test build the shack, everything except the antennas and amps. Pc’s, rigs, networking and log programme all tested.
We will have one station on at any one time and two stations at higher rate times.
Scotland GM is not the most sought after DXCC by a long way but looking at clublog there are one or two bands/mode that are low on the worked percentages. These are, 160 and WARC on RTTY. So we will put some effort into these slots.
With other dxped’s QRV at the same time, no QRG’s announced, search the bands or keep an eye on the cluster for MS0OXE.
During the CQWW WPX SSB weekend (29/30 March) we will be QRV on WARC and 160 RTTY.
The team will arrive on Tiree Tuesday 25th, via ferry and air. Notwithstanding, Murphy, we should be QRV on 30m/40m by dusk.
On Wednesday 26th/Thursday 27th and Friday 28th cw will take priority as NO cw or very little over the weekend 29th/30th.
Keep an eye on our twitter feed for the latest upto date news, @bcdxcg_m0oxe .
See you all in the pile ups. 73 de MS0OXE.
- Created on Monday, 03 February 2014 12:17
QSL cards have been posted to all World Bureaus today, Monday February 3rd 2014.
This mailing is a joint mailing between M0OXO Charles and M0URX Tim
I would very much appreciate feedback from you when the QSL cards start arriving at World Bureaus.
Total amount of QSL cards 7,586
Total Weight 34,715g
- Created on Sunday, 02 February 2014 09:30
Here in the UK we have the best facilities to provide your DXpediton with the very best in QSL management.
We have a team of QSL managers ready to work for you and the deserving.
We have dedicated OQRS systems.
We have our own Outgoing QSL Bureau for the fastest Bureau shipments.
We have an Online Business Account for all our International mailings so your DXpedition gets the most competitive postal rates.
We have high quality QSL designers ready to put their mark on your QSL card.
For more information contact Tim Beaumont, M0URX, or Charles Wilmott, M0OXO.
- Created on Sunday, 02 February 2014 08:09
January 26, 2014
Mellish Reef DX-pedition is scheduled for March 28, 2014 to April 9, 2014.
We are on schedule and will soon be on autopilot. Team members booked their travel to Mackay, Australia, local contacts in Mackay are established, as well as suppliers to assist with logistics. Generators were ordered and will ship later in February from Sydney, Australia. One of the biggest logisticalchallenges will be purchasing 1,400 liters of petrol. The skipper of Evohe, Steve Kafka, agreed to handle the sourcing and take delivery of the petrol removing from the team this task.
Antennas from SteppIR, coax / accessories from DX-Engineering and folding hex beams from foldingantennas.com will be air shipped to Australia in early February from the USA. Another shipment from Hungary is also scheduled for February, some equipment will be hand carried. Joining the antennalineup is a 4 Square provided by Norbert DJ7JC.
Update to the QSL Policy:
We are happy to announce that any individual donating $50(USD) or more to VK9MT will automatically receive their QSL for all QSOs, free of charge. These donors will not need to request QSL cards or take any action to redeem the QSL. Our QSL manager, Tim Beaumont M0URX, will post the cards to all $50+ donors as soon as the cards are ready, thank you Tim for this wonderful service.
Global Pilot Team:
The pilot team will manage all DX community communication between the island team and DXers. Prior to sailing we’ll update the web site with process details and e-mail addresses. While on the island we will not be checking personal e-mail accounts. Please direct operational suggestions to the pilot designated for your region.
Like all DX-peditions to rare and semi-rare DXCC entities, donations are welcomed through vk9mt.complease use the Donate Button on the web site to insure your name is automatically added to the donor list,or by check / money order in US dollars to:
Mellish Reef 2014 DX-pedition
Gene Spinelli, Treasurer
PO Box 189
We appreciate the generosity of the foundations, clubs and individuals who have already made a donation or a commitment. At the completion of the DX-pedition a financial summary will be sent to all club / foundation donors.
And, of course, good luck to the FT5ZM team that is now QRV.
73, Team Mellish 2014
- Created on Sunday, 26 January 2014 07:40
I have a VERY important message for you today. For those of you requesting Bureau cards this MUST be done now ONLY by requesting using my OQRS service which will remain completely FREE.
There is a problem developing caused by those who ignore my OQRS system and send cards Via RSGB incoming Bureau. Incoming cards cost the RSGB and myself money.
It is simple. If you want a FREE Bureau service you must use my OQRS. If you continue to keep sending incoming Bureau cards that have not been requested then it will come to a time when we must start charging for Bureau cards. Times are changing and you must pay attention. Thank you.
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