ZD9UW, A DX’pedition to Tristan da Cunha



A DX’pedition to Tristan da Cunha, the world’s most remote inhabited island, by G3ZAY and M0VFC.
September 2012

2012-08-31: Latest news

We (G3ZAY and M0VFC) have secured places on the “Baltic Trader” travelling to Tristan da Cunha on 20th September from Cape Town. We expect to have about 7 days on the island from 27th September though this could be curtailed by bad weather. We don’t expect to have time to cover all bands, and probably will not operate on 1.8 or 50MHz. We will operate as ZD9UW.

Logs will be uploaded to ClubLog and LoTW shortly after the operation (or during, if an Internet connection is available), and cards will be handled by OQRS, direct to M0VFC, or via email bureau requests. Please try to avoid sending inbound cards via the bureau.

We would like to try and raise some extra funds for the Tristan da Cunha Educational Trust Fund, and plan to take some QSL cards to the island. Anyone willing to donate $25 (maximum of 100 donors) will receive a direct card mailed from Tristan for their first two QSOs (the rest to be posted at no extra cost to the recipient on return to the UK).

We’ll add details of how to donate shortly – check back here soon, or email M0VFC.

Welcome to ZD9UW
On 17th September 2012, Martin G3ZAY and Rob M0VFC will leave England and start our journey for Tristan da Cunha – the most remote inhabited island in the world. The first leg takes us to Cape Town, where we board the MV “Baltic Trader” and embark on a seven day journey over the South Atlantic Ocean. Weather permitting, we should arrive on Tristan around the 27th September, where we will operate from until the 4th October before returning to Cape Town.

It promises to be the adventure of a lifetime!

Latest news
Nearly ready…
With less than a week to go, it’s time for some final preparations: gathering equipment together, packing suitcases, swapping clothes for more radio gear, re-packing suitcases, and so on. Definitely a combination of excitement and slight nervousness now!

Remember to sign up for the special Trust Fund QSL card before 19th September, and get your card posted from the island.

We will be on Tristan for approximately one week only, so our main goal is to allow as many people as possible to get ZD9 in their log at least once, rather than concentrating on those aiming to work us on multiple slots. Please remember this before asking for specfic bands or modes.

Bands & antennas
We expect to operate on all bands from 80m to 10m. Our antennas will primarily be 1/4wave verticals using fibreglass poles. We’ll use an 18m Spiderbeam pole for 80m, 12m on 40m, and 10m poles on the higher bands.

There’s unlikely to be time for 160m operation, as we can probably give more people the chance to work us on the higher bands. We will have a small 6m antenna with us, and will be operational on 6m if the band is reasonably open. We may run a beacon if we’re able to.

Martin will concentrate on CW, and Rob on SSB. Rob will also be active on RTTY if time and pile-ups permit.

Note that RTTY isn’t either of our strong points, so be patient with us!

When one of the radios isn’t manned, we’ll try and run WSPR, so look out for ZD9UW on WSPRnet.

You can use Club Log’s excellent propagation tools to find the best times and bands to work us on. Go to our expedition page, then click “Geo Propagation” to see preditions between your location and Tristan.

Internet & DX Cluster access
We will not have Internet or DX Cluster access while operating. Please avoid asking questions in cluster spots – we won’t see them.

Online QSL Requests
This is our preferred method for both direct and bureau QSLs.

Direct QSLs
Direct QSLs should use the ClubLog OQRS above (with PayPal donation to cover postage costs), or be sent to:

Robert Chipperfield
13 Harlestones Road
CB24 8TR
Bureau requests
Please use the ClubLog OQRS above to request your card. There is no charge for bureau cards. Alternatively, please email M0VFC (address listed on QRZ.com). Please do not send your card via the bureau system – we don’t need your card, and it only puts undue load on the system. There is no ZD9 QSL bureau!.