by Chris VK3QB
Four radio amateurs (3 of whom are CW FISTS members and two are EMDRC members) activated Norfolk Island from the 1st through 14th April 2019.
The stats: In spite of the low sunspot count, the team made 9,441 contacts, of which 4,481 (47.5%) being Morse code, 4,154 (45%) being digital (FT8) and apologies to the SSB operators with only 806 contacts. All Time New One (ATNO) contacts (DXCC) made up 20% of all contacts. At least two operators reported their contact with VI9NI gave them their DXCC Award!
Two new radio amateurs join the ranks of “Dxpeditioner”. Patrick VK2PN and David VK3BDX made a great contribution and took to the pileups like ducks to water.
The pileups and conditions were largely as expected, but, unlike years gone by, openings to the DX were less frequent and much shorter. This is reflected in the overall QSO count.
Luke and Chris have visited Norfolk Island on a number of occasions, and for the first time we set up two beverage receiving antennae which made a noticeable difference on 160m. A total of 721 contacts, of these 572 were CW. The receiving beverages made a huge difference to reception and this is something we’ll most certainly do again. The transmitting antenna was a quarter wave inverted L, the vertical section being about 21 metres high.
160m band openings were infrequent and challenging. Early morning (sunrise) gave the best results with one morning seeing about 60 contacts (mostly EU and some JA) over a 90 minute period. Over two sunset openings, we made about 140 Qs, mostly into JA and NA.
DXpeditions are a lot of fun for CW operators and provide a fantastic opportunity to hone skills, work weak DX signals and, of course, connect (albeit briefly) with radio amateurs from all around the world. For those chasing the DX, it provides an opportunity to gain a new set of receiving skills, listening to the pileup and working a strategy to get in the log.
The “Cause”: VI9NI was a Special Event Callsign to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the signing of the Norfolk Island Act, and to recognise the plight of the Norfolk Island people in restoring Self Determination.
“Abolishing Norfolk Island as an autonomous territory may not seem to matter
much in the grand scheme of things, but for an international order that cherishes self-government and proclaims the right of self-determination of people it is a regressive and unimaginative action, an example of the inability to tolerate democracy and difference.”
– Geoffrey Robertson QC
THE NORFOLK ISLAND PEOPLE FOR DEMOCRACY (NIPD) IS A MOVEMENT WITH OVER 1000 SUPPORTERS FIGHTING TO RESTORE THE NORFOLK ISLAND PEOPLE THEIR RIGHTFUL HERITAGE AND TO HAVE NORFOLK ISLAND INSCRIBED ON THE UNITED NATIONS LIST OF NON SELF-GOVERNING TERRITORIES
The VI9NI Team support their objectives and thank the people of Norfolk Island for their hospitality and generosity.
The VI9NI team also thanks the Gippsland Gate Radio & Electronics Club for their support with the special event callsign. Norfolk Island is a stunning island and a visit is highly recommended. If any members are considering a visit and want to include a radio activation, please feel welcome to contact me with your questions and for planning advice.
73, Chris VK3QB (EMDRC Member, FISTS #9085) on behalf of the VI9NI Team.
Excellent article Chris, thank you. Regards Ed.