Three times a year in Australia, we are permitted to replace the VK prefix with AX. One of those is Australia Day on 26th January.
I waited for midnight and had a listen on the 20m band and heard some very strong signals from the Middle East. They appeared to be having a private QSO so I tuned across the band and found Kamal S79KW mobile in the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. Kamal was a strong 5/8 and gave me 5/9.
I then decided to call CQ DX and soon had a pile up from Europe. I ended up logging about 60 stations from the following parts of the world:-
- Northern Ireland
This year a new contest was announced…..the Australia Day Contest. The aim of the contest is for amateurs in VK, ZL and P2 to contact other amateurs in VK, ZL and P2.
The contest started at 2200 hrs UTC, but I had a sleep in and did not get started until just before 0100 UTC.
The 10m band was absolutely humming with lots of activity. I worked a total of 56 stations on 10m. You can see below from the waterfall on the VK2OB kiwisdr that 10m was busy.
Unfortunately by the evening, the static crashes had become strength 9 and plus at times due to all of the storms around Australia. It made it extremely difficult to hear the lower down stations on 40m. The map below shows all of the lightning activity and explains why it was so noisy. The 80m band was unusable due to the noise.
The contest wrapped up at 1000 UTC. I ended up with a total of 242 QSOs in the log on 10, 20, & 40m SSB.
The map below shows my contacts on Australia Day, including the DX and the QSOs I made during the contest.