Press Release # 14 - January 20
The ZL9CI Site.
We are located in Perseverence harbour which is on the eastern side of the island. The harbour is about 1 km wide and 3 or 4 km long. Mt. Honey across the harbour dominates the landscape. Beeman Hill about 500 Metres high overshadows the site. Beeman Hill is the "plug" of the volcano, as Campbell Island is actually a huge extinct volcano that died millions of years ago. In fact we turn the yagis to JA on the left side of the hill and NA on the right side of the hill. EU LP is straight down the harbour. The ZL9CI radio shack is the old meteorological office up the hill from the harbour and is about 30 metres above sea level on a ridge. The weather can change from 8C and a bit of sun to a howling gale with 60 knot winds and horizontal driving rain within an hour. The rapid changes are quite remarkable. The CW antenna site is south of the shack and the SSB antenna site is north. Each antenna field is separated by about 200 metres. It's a magnificent sight to look at the line of nine big yagis, 80M/160M Battlecreek special and 40M Four Square array on the ridge when we are on the ship. The second morning we were here, Jun and Lee saw a huge classic rainbow over the sight with the black clouds behind. It would have made a great photograph. Both of us had our cameras on the island.
This Dxpedition may go down in history as the most photographed and videoed in history. James, 9V1YC (alias Captain Video) is making the ZL9CI video which should be on sale at Dayton. We know the video will turn out well for three reasons. 1) He constantly is videoing us and our environment and appears to know what he is doing. 2) He won't let us see any of it. 3)The Sony camera is about the size of an FT1000MP but has more knobs and controls. The camera sits on a tripod, that if disassembled would have enough aluminium to make a third 20M yagi.
We have been inundated with hundreds of requests such as "When are you going to be on......etc. etc. etc. Individual operators are unable to change operating schedules or QSY to other bands or modes at any time. Please realize that there are 11 operators and seven stations and it is an intricate job to obtain the maximum performance from the equipment and the operators. Operators are scheduled by the Operations Manager days in advance for the various shifts. If you have a request, please direct your request to any of the pilots around the world who will make recommendations. The individual operators are very, very tired, working long shifts. Try to think of it as working the CQWW for weeks on end! They try not to be upset with the jammers and the hecklers and the strange requests, but they are only human.
Campbell island is over 2000 km south of ZL1 and over 4000 KM south of 3D2. It is also over 4000 km east of Australia. Radio propagation is a funny thing. You may be hearing ZL1 - ZL4 very well. That has little to do with ZL9. Don't expect radio communication. There are times we can't even hear the ZL mainland! Most of us have forgotten what TV, broadcast radio and music is!
The six meter beacon on 50.110 MHz is on every day. We have worked ZL, VK and JA. We still are looking to work the USA on that band. Over 1400 RTTY QSOs have taken place and we are targeting RTTY over the next few days. There have been some excellent hour after hour 15M and 20M openings to EU the past few days which has helped us achieve one of our objectives of satisfying the EU crowd.
The last QSO of ZL9CI will take place on January 25 at 2359 UTC.
73 from the ZL9CI Team
Lee, ZL2AL - Logistics and Planning
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Last updated 20 January 1999