VK9XG DXpedition – Oct 2018. G2NF G3SVL G3TXF G3WGN G3WPH
VK9XX DXpedition – May 2021. Operator Steve Kennedy VK6SJ
VK9XSP DXpedition – Nov 2014. Lead Op. Wlodek Herej SP6EQZ
Tips for visiting DXpeditioners

VK9XG DXpedition – Oct 2018

Operators Tony G2NF, Chris G3SVL, Nigel G3TXF, David G3WGN, and Mike G3WPH, had VK9XG on air from Christmas Island for two weeks, 17 – 29 October 2018.

VK9XG 2018 QSL and promotion card

Identifying their team as the “6Gs”, the lads operated from “Sunset Lodge” and “Captain’s Last Resort” on North East point and they reported both were excellent DXpedition locations. Four separate stations were in operation, racking up 25,700 QSOs. More than 5,300 QSOs were made on FT8 which was planned to be the primary data mode.

This was one of the best prepared and equipped DXpeditions to ever visit Christmas Island. To accommodate the variety of HF antennas used, five spider poles were set up in front of the Sunset and three were set up behind the Captain’s Last Resort. All HF bands were covered and CW and FT8 modes predominated.

A comprehensive plan for the DXpedition was put together well in advance of setting up on Christmas Island and published on internet to the benefit of the team and the DX chasers who would be hoping to work VK9XG.

Antenna farm at Sunset Lodge

It was our very great pleasure to have CIARC President, Doug Haig (VK9JD) meet and welcome the VK9XG team to Christmas Island and observe their slick operation.

The DXpedition has been well documented and we are grateful to the 6G’s for their photos as used here. Check VK9XG – Christmas Is – 2018


VK9XX DXpedition – May 2021

VK9XX DXpedition – May 2021. Steve finally realized his ambition to do a VK9 DXpedition on Christmas Island in May 2021. After 40 years of aspirations, the opportunity came up to be part of the VK9CE DXpedition to Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and armed with that experience, Steve was able to follow up on Christmas Island, airing the CIARC Club callsign VK9XX as a single operator.

Steve was in the fortunate position of being able to visit CI during the difficult Covid lockdowns for a few days as part of a work related commitment. With travel and accommodation taken care of, Steve was able to find a few hours each day to activate his station and run up a little over 4000 QSOs.

Steve committed to running a light-weight operation based around his FT-857D, power supply, a SOTA multi-band dipole 80 through 20m, an ATAS 120 tunable antenna and squid pole antenna supports. Travelling light by air can save a lot of excess baggage dollars.

Light weight lap top and radio equipment meets the need
Squid poles and SOTA dipoles make simple, lightweight, easy solutions

Most contacts were made on FT8 (F/H mode is essential) and most contacts were in Asia, predominantly Japan. Steve and CIARC founding member, Mas (JA7FAS) managed contacts on all HF bands except 80 & 12m, so that goes to show some of what is possible.

Steve operated from an apartment at Poon Saan (Cantonese, “halfway up the hill”), just above the settlement at Flying Fish Cove. Grid Square locator OH29un. Unfortunately, the terrain around Flying Fish Cove is quite high, blocking signals to Australia, New Zealand and through south to the west. Steve only managed 78 contacts with Oz, so that was quite limiting. On the other hand, across the water to the north and north east, the path to East Asia and North America is quite clear.

Read more about Steve’s DXpedition in Amateur Radio magazine, Jan Feb 2022, Vol 90 #1, p50-51.

The 2021 DXpedition to C.I. managed by Steve, VK6SJ used the CIARC Call VK9XX..

VK9XSP DXpedition Nov 2014

In 2014, 17-31 Oct, Polish amateur Wlodak Helej, SP6EQZ and his team of amateur radio friends visited Christmas Island and set up their station nearby Sunset Lodge on North East Point, Grid Square OH29uo.

VK9XSP Grid Square, 2014 DXpedition to Christmas Is. Courtesy https://www.levinecentral.com/ham/grid_square.php

See SP6EQZ on QRZ.com and VK9XSP on QRZ.com

Although 2014 pre-dates the establishment of CIARC, Wlodak (SP6EQZ) and his crew (SP6IXF, SP2EBG, SP2GKS, SP9FOW, SP6FXY, SP3GEM, SP3CYY) all enjoyed Christmas Island very much, and WITHOUT our assistance. They logged 52,237 contacts in QRZ.com, with antennas at the top of the rocky foreshore. With a perfect climate, spectacular sunsets, amazing local fresh sea food, Western, Malay and Chinese cuisine and excellent beverages to keep the team primed, they had a brilliant two weeks in ‘Ham Radio Heaven’.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation published details of their 2014 visit at the time. We thank ‘Aunty’ ABC for their excellent work and sharing. See Forget the crabs, Christmas Island is ham radio heaven at ABC.net.au.

If the idea of a few days on a beautiful tropical island, with all modern conveniences, comfort, beautiful scenery, great fishing and being the center of radio DX attention sounds appealing, then Christmas Island is the certainly place to go.

VK9XSP DXpeditioners 2014 at Christmas Island. Photo courtesy SP6EQZ qrz.com

Tips for visiting DXpeditioners

CIARC has a TS870 transceiver and accessories in storage on CI. Subject to availability, this equipment may be hired by club members subject to reasonable rates and T&Cs on application. Please note, with our gear being in storage for long periods without use, we cannot guarantee its serviceability. If you want to use our gear, make sure you have a back up plan. Email inquiries to CIARC.

With limited coverage from Poon Saan or the Settlement at Flying Fish Cove, DXpeditioners should consider any options for better coverage by running their station at a site near the top of the hill, perhaps in the vicinity of the Christmas Island Recreation Centre.

Field portable operation may be an alternative too. Camping is allowed in Christmas Island National Park. However, you need to get a permit by contacting the Christmas Island National Park office on +61 8 9164 8700 or ChristmasIslandNP@awe.gov.au.

There are no purpose-built campgrounds in the park, so you’ll need to bring everything you need for camping with you.

Stay tuned for more useful links on this web site, if you are considering visiting Christmas Island and hope to work some DX.