Bulletin 15

31 March, 2000

The TXØDX operation went QRT on Wednesday, 29 March shortly after 0000 UTC. In six days of operating, they completed 72,654 QSOs. The majority of QSOs were on 21 MHz SSB and CW, as per the original strategy to provide the maximum number of DXers their first-ever Chesterfield contact. However, other complimentary bands and modes were activated sporadically, including 50 MHz with more than 2500 QSOs and RTTY with some 800 stations in the log.

All the Yaesu radio equipment and Suzuki generators performed well under very severe weather conditions. The daily temperature regularly exceeded 38° C (100° F) and heavy rain was experienced often. The five FinnFet beam antennas were all at heights of 25 feet. The CW site was placed at the South end of the island, while and SSB sites was located at the North end, providing 300 meters of physical separation. The Comtek 20-meter four-square performed exceptionally well.

On the way to the Chesterfields, the TXØDX group made a slight detour to the area where intervening reefs are indicated on some older maps. The team was able to confirm the French Navy's documentation that the claimed islands simply do not exist. Thus, the 350-kilometer open water separation between New Caledonia and the Chesterfields is assured, and the concerns expressed by some in the DX community can be put to rest. With the recent decision to admit ARANC--New Caledonia's amateur radio society--to the IARU, the way is now cleared for the Chesterfield Islands to be added to the official DXCC List, and no further complications are expected in this process.

The TXØDX log search will be operational in approximately one week, since some of the QSO were logged on paper as the result of two computers succumbing to the elements. No QSO data was lost; every made QSO is safely in the hands of the group.

The TXØDX operating team of FK8GM, FK8HC, JA1BK, N5KO, N7NG, OH1RY, OH2BC, OH2BH and OH2RF are pleased to be safely back in Noumea, New Caledonia, and they wish to thank the following organizations and individuals for supporting this undertaking: Yaesu Musen Co., Suzuki Co., FinnFet, Comtek, INDEXA, GDXF, F6AJA, FK8CR, JH1KRC, JK1KRS, N4GN, OH2BN, K6GNX, W5IZ, W6OTC, VK3EW and all their family members back home.

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