VK9MT, Mellish Reef


Mellish Reef
CQ Zone: 30
IOTA: OC-072
Locator: QH72wo
Of all the reefs in the Coral Sea that fall under Australian jurisdiction Mellish Reef is the most distant, being located approximately 1150km NNE of Brisbane the capital city of Queensland, 1080km East of Cairns, and 1100km West of Port Vila the capital of Vanuatu.

Mellish Reef takes the form of an unusual boomerang-shaped platform around 10 km in length and 3 km across. The surrounding reefs, which enclose a narrow lagoon, are completely submerged or awash at high tide. Near the centre of the lagoon is the only permanent land of the reef — Heralds-Beacon Islet. The island is a small cay measuring 600 m by 120 m, only rising a few meters above the high water mark. It is composed largely of sand, shingle and coral rubble. In the north is a narrow and elongate drying sand bar.

The reef is home to thousands of nesting seabirds of all species, a large population of nocturnal hermit crabs and a myriad of sand flies, ticks and lice.

Prior DX-peditions from Mellish Reef include:
2009 VK9GMW
2002 VK9ML
1993 VK9MM
1978 VK9ZR
1972 VK9JW

References: http://oceandots.com/pacific/coralsea/mellish.php http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coral_Sea_Islands

The Mellish Reef DX-pedition now scheduled for March 28, 2014 to April 9, 2014.

Estimated 6 days sailing (Round Trip)
Planned 1.5 day setup / teardown
Planned 10 days on reef operation

Why Mellish Reef?
ClubLog’s recent DXCC Most Wanted List:

Number “ 25” most wanted globally
Number “24” most wanted Europe
Number “12” most wanted Data globally
Our plan is to operate from Mellish Reef in April 2014 for 10 days, setting up and running 6 stations 24/7 by 10 skilled and experienced DX-pedition operators, with RTTY as a priority
Active on 160-10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY

Offer ATNO to as many as possible
Provide as many band fills as needed
Extensive RTTY operation
QSO target of 80-100k QSOs
Secure and quick QSL confirmation
Immediate LotW upload
Having fun for all

Preliminary Stations Setup:

– 6 Elecraft K3 transceiver
– 6 Elecraft KPA500 linear amps
– Vertical antennas w/auto tuners
– N1MM Logging on laptop computers
– 2 operating tents
– 1 tent for breaks
– Sleeping and meals on boat
– 2 teams of 5 operators per shift

…. more details will be added.

Operating guidelines

We want you in our log, so please help us by following these guidelines.

Our goal is to give as many as possible an “All Time New One”

1. If you cannot hear us – please don’t call. Wait until propagation and conditions favor your QTH for one or more of the Bands / Modes.
2. Unless you hear otherwise from the Operator, we will ALWAYS be operating in SPLIT MODE throughout the DXpedition.
3. Listen to the Operator for RX frequencies (e.g., “up 5 to 10”, or “listening on 7.155”, etc.)
4. You have two ears and one mouth, so please try to listen more, talk less. Be patient.
5. During SSB pileups, please use common phonetics, do NOT call continually without listening or call over a station being worked.
6. During ALL pileups, listen for YOUR call on the comeback. Trust that we have two good ears.
7. We’re not impressed by those who add to the QRM by constantly calling out of turn.
8. Please do not Tune Up on any of our TX frequencies or any of our RX slots!
9. If we ask for “EU” only or “QRP only” or any other specific request, please QRX.
10. Resist those “insurance” QSOs. We want to maximize unique QSOs, not Dupes.
11. Whenever possible, we will try to listen in the General portion of the band.
12. Do not repeat our call sign, we know it.
Remember: We want you in our log. Please help us get you there.