News #7 (Feb, 24 – 2017)
XX9D will be QRT on February 26, 24 UTC. In the last 12 hours until our sunrise on Monday we will be QRV only on 17 m CW/SSB/RTTY, 160 m CW and 40 m CW/SSB/RTTY for everybody with two stations. Please no dupes!
No 160 m on the weekend because of CQWW 160 m SSB Contest.
Thanks to all our sponsors and all of you for joining our low budget and light weight DXpedition.
News #6 (Feb, 22 – 2017)
We are now in last days of our DX-pedition. With 32.000 + QSOs we hope to reach our goal of
40.000 QSOs soon. Most of the QSOs were in CW and RTTY. We have nearly 1800 US QSOs in our log. For SSB-QSOs in the future Bom, XX9LT, as local ham is QRV with beam and amplifier.
Most of NA-sigs are extremely weak. Some US-hams were complaining about our team and operation manner. We still see no reason to accept their arguments. All the team-members do their best, day and night, and will not forget that North America is in our special focus. Please remember that we are in a hotel resort and faced with not ideal receiving circumstances. We don’t have separate receive antennas. Signals from NA are often deep in the noise and it is very hard to pick up these signals out of the noise especially on 80/160 m. This noise is not caused by EU or JA-stations. Last night we had a lot of QRN and a thunderstorm.
This DXP gives us some new experiences : It is possible to work with 3 stations with 5
antennas mounted closed together and having almost no interference between the stations. As
the operation-site is very closed to the antennas we have a lot of RF in the shack. Most of
the computers were affected by RF, the backup K3 was lost. We got a great support from Elecraft. They sent us a spare part for our KPA500 via US Postal Service. It has not arrived yet but we hope to have it installed soon.
160 and 80 m-operation will be changed from night to night.
News #5 (Feb, 16 – 2017)
We arrived well and completely in Macao on Sunday afternoon. Thanks for the great help to Mr. Rudy Leung, Business Development Manager from GRAND COLOANE RESORT MACAU , who is also a ham, and the excellent service from the hotel stuff. We lost several hours for a correct import procedure. Mr. Iam Chi Veng from DSRT helped with new papers for import and export. The station examination by DSRT was already 24 hours after we arrived. All team members got an own short time-XX9-licence. XX9XX mailed us that the Macao ham radio band plan from 1994 is still valid. We got is also printed with our license papers. Macao is Region 3.
A special thanks to Bom, XX9LT. Without him this expedition would not have been possible.
We have 5 antennas now on a very limited space, but on top of the hotel area: 18 m high vertical for 80 and 160 m with elevated radials, 15 m high vertical for 40 m with two radials, 12 m high vertical for 30 m with two radials, 12 and 17 m band single loops on a 12 m mast, a hexbeam for 20/17/15/12/10/6 m 10 m up, only used on 20/15/10 m with a triplexer. Our technical setup works very well. Good coax cable, small and big bandfilters for each band, current baluns for each antenna and others gives only a few interferences at special band-mode-configurations. We think this hotel is one of the very few places for a low-band operation from Macao.
After 60 hours we reached the 10.000 QSO mark. Japanese stations are very strong. We think in the next days the chances for North America will be better as we have already a lot of Jas in the log. Bad news - we lost one of our three amplifiers.
Next we will start on 160 m CW.
News #4 (Jan 26, 2017)
Everything looks okay – just two weeks left before we will start to Macao.
The team is very grateful for the great sponsoring from the ham community. As written earlier, in Macao we will be faced with a very difficult situation what means antenna space, local noise and poor conditions on the higher bands. We spent a lot of money to improve this situation and we are sure that we found technical solutions for most of the problems. The generous sponsoring from DX-clubs and single hams helps to reduce these extra-costs for our team-members and enables us on the other hand looking optimistically forward to a successful DX-expedition.
We are planning to operate JT65 as a second digital-mode beside RTTY from time to time. For that purpose we will use K3 no. 4 with about 20 watts on the usual JT65 frequencies. We will practice short-QSO traffic and we are interested to see if JT65 is an option for expeditions under bad flux values. The other three 500 watt stations will operate around the clock in CW, RTTY and SSB as planned.
News #3 (Jan 3, 2017)
Our QTH will be the 5 Star Grand Coloane Resort. That is the hotel from which XX9TGM and XX9TYT have worked recently. You can find a lot of information in the story from Gerben, PG5M http://www.dx.to/dxpeditions/asia/xx9tgm-macau
The hill behind the hotel is not the property of the Resort, but would have been rather ideal as an antenna-ground. Unfortunately the owner doesn’t wish any antenna setup there. We got the permission from the hotel to set up antennas on the balconies. That means, the maximum distance between our planned 5 antenna masts will be around 40 meters and we need special constructions to fix the masts on the balconies. We have booked 6 of the 8 rooms with balconies on top floor including a separate room as a shack. For this special situation with three 500 watts stations we have optimized our technical equipment. There will be a collection of vertical and horizontal antennas, which will be used flexible. As there is no space for our spider beams we have to use a hexbeam, which we got on loan from SP7IDX. Thanks Waldi! It will be used on 20/15/10 meters with a triplexer. Our antennas have to be relative close together, so we have to take special precautions in filtering and blocking. We will have small W3NQN bandfilters between transceivers and amps and additional high power bandfilters from DG0SA between amplifiers and antennas on each band. New high quality coax cables, current baluns and common-mode filters are prepared and will be fixed on each antenna and station. Besides that we will take special care for line-noise filtering. Depending on the local situation we will see what we can do on 160 m, it is unpredictable in this moment, but we will do our best. The overall situation for all bands is a fair takeoff to the north and a very good one to the south (Long path North America).
We are planning to join the ARRL International DX Contest in CW (18./19. Feb 2017)
News #2 (Dec 7, 2016)
The DSRT has approved the call XX9D. Valid from February 10th to March 9th, 2017.
A special thank you to the Macau Amateur Radio Society ARM.
Our team is pleased to announce a DXpedition to Macau (XX9) in February 2017. It was rather hard to find a possible good QTH for a large ham radio team with antenna permission. Finally we found a hotel which allows a limited antenna setup. The team is very grateful for the great help of Gerben PG5M / XX9TGM, Andrea IK7YTT / XX9TYT, Bom XX9LT and Juergen DL8LE with YL Fumei and others. A serious operation is planned from 80 to 10 m in CW, SSB and RTTY.