VK9MT – 2014

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The VK9MT Mellish Reef DXpedition went QRT on April 5, 2014 (local time) after successfully placing slightly more than 40,000 world-wide QSO’s in the log. Although our trip was cut short due to Cyclone Ita, our team was so very fortunate to have been able to place this much wanted entity “on the air.” I have been wanting very much to chronicle the DXpedition, much like I did the ZL9HR Campbell Island 2012 DXpedition, but with several magazine & internet articles forthcoming from other persons I decided to wait prior to publishing anything on this blog. Many thanks to the QST staff & Bernie McClenny W3UR for profiling the DXpedition in the July 2014 “How’s DX?” magazine column. Also, many thanks to Gene Spinelli K5GS for penning the article for the QST magazine.     Enjoy the pictures here accompanied by a simplified timeline of the DXpedition. 73, Glenn KE4KY


June 2013

  • DXpedition planning initiated
  • DXpedition team formation begins
  • DXpedition Management Team: Pista/HA5OA, George/HA5UK, Les/W2LK, & Gene/K5GS
June/July 2013
  • The core of the team is established with the commitments of Dave/K3EL & Glenn/KE4KY
  • Management / Financial aspect of team solidified
  • Logistical assignments/tasks spread throughout the existing team
September 2013
  • Landing authority is obtained from the Australian Commonwealth Marine Reserve Operations Department
  • EVOHE is selected as the vessel to transport the team to Mellish Reef
  • VK9MT license and callsign issued by Australian Communications and Media Authority
Team Postions
  • Commitments obtained for the international team from the months of August, 2013 to January 2014
  1. Pista HA5AO
  2. Les W2LK
  3. Gene K5GS
  4. George HA5UK
  5. Dave K3EL
  6. Glenn KE4KY
  7. Luke VK3HJ
  8. Norbert DJ7JC
  9. Heye DJ9RR
  10. Mike WA6O
  11. Luigi IV3YER
  • Pilots selected in September of 2013
  1. NA-Ralph W4HK (Chief Pilot)
  2. EU-Col MM0NDX
  3. SA-Luciano PT7WA
  4. AF-Andre V51B
  5. OC-Stan KH6CG
  6. VK/ZL-Lee ZL2AL
October 2013
  • The license for VK9MT and a letter from the Australian government agency that oversees Mellish Reef were submitted to the ARRL DXCC desk for DXCC accreditation of the Mellish Reef 2014 DXpedition
October 2013
  • The all important dates for the DXpedition were finallized – March 28, 2014 to April 9, 2014
March 18, 2014
  • Advance Team arrives Mackay, QLD, Australia
  • All Team members arrive by the 24th
March 25, 2014
  • Departure from Mackay, across the Great Barrier Reef and into the Coral Sea
Port of Mackay, QLD Australia, departure date March 25, 2014
Prior to setting sail, March 25, 2014
Sailing the Coral Sea
Our transport to the reef from the EVOHE
Radio operations commenced on March 30, 2014
Mellish Reef light and power
Op tents (green), rest tent (orange)
The daily view…
Grey footed masked booby
View of op-tents from the EVOHE
The EVOHE anchored off the reef
The now famous DX World banner
Team photo (Thanks to the NCDXF for their support)
Radio operations ceased April 5, 2014. The weather from Cyclone Ita was impacting the operation and safety concerns became the foremost issue.
Thanks to all of the international support from foundations,organizations, and from the DX community at large!
Click here for the VK9MT Support page
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