NORFOLK ISLAND Grid : RG30xx23, IOTA: OC-005, ITU Zone: 60, CQ Zone: 32

A "Holiday Amateur Radio Activation" from Norfolk Island, from 23rd April 2016 to 3rd May 2016.


1st September 2017 :  the site was transferred to a folder under the VK4ADC.COM domain as the VK9NU.NET domain name will be allowed to lapse in due course. It has served its primary purpose (i.e. advising amateurs prior to the VK9NU operation ) and is now historical information only.


It was a holiday trip to Norfolk Island & not a pure DX-pedition so operating times and bands were spasmodic as my XYL and I visited at least some of the Island's tourist attractions during our stay. Nevertheless, I managed 4-5 reasonably full days of operating as VK9NU.  The antenna and gear was set up on the morning of the 24th and was available up until early on the 3rd May.



A few people have asked what we thought of NI so I have put fingers to keyboard and created a brief thoughts page here or via the menu under the "Thoughts.." topic..

Similarly, I have created a "what went right, what went wrong" page about the holiday activation, details here or via the menu under the "Summary.." topic. 


I also found the following link on JA0RUG's site to audio of some of my contacts:


A review of the DX Cluster spots after my return showed up some interesting comments so these have been extracted and reformatted and saved 'forever' !!     Link here or via the menu.


Activity update info has been moved to the Activity Log menu....



Antenna VK9NU Norfolk Island

Trapped-V covering 80M through 6M. Adjusting tails for the various bands are the protruding wire pieces.

(this is the first setup before the orientation was changed to provide best lobe positioning to around East-West.)


VK9NU station setup, Norfolk Island

The VK9NU station set up on the only real table in the place.. An EEE PC, IC-7000 transceiver, LDG Z100 tuner on top of it, 12V power supply under, headset interface on LHS, foot pedal on the floor underneath.. Software is N1MM+ for logging plus a VK4ADC/VK9NU Voice Keyer application to save the human voicebox. 



Doug VK9NU/VK4ADC hard at work on the keyboard...  The timber panelling behind is Norfolk Pine, as is the table itself.


The amateur radio station on air at VK9NU, Norfolk Island

The operating position on the dining table. Fortunately the XYL did not complain as it was there the entire time.


Doug VK9NU VK4ADC Norfolk Island

Yes, the XYL got my attention with this photo opportunity...  The more important facet to note is the extensive use of ferrites in both toroidal and clip-on form on almost every lead. If you do not have a good RF earth, it is the only way to keep RF out of the audio (particularly when using a headset).


I did have one physical visitor in the form of Neville VK5XD who had arrived on Norfolk for a Lawn Bowls competition. We had a bit of a chat plus a contact with JA7FAS during his visit. 


Notes on activity by band:  

6M: I periodically tuned to 50.110 and ran the voice keyer calling CQ a number of times without any replies. I tuned the 6M beacon segments without hearing even a single ZL or VK beacon.

10M: I only heard a few stations on this band, worked none but there was a lot of noise, local or otherwise, affecting reception right across 28MHz most of the time.

12M: I tried to work both Ross ZL3ADT and Wayne VK4ACN on this band without success. I could hear Ross right down in the noise but he could not hear me.

15M: There were a lot of stations worked from both JA and W-land with a few other countries added in. Minimal South America or Europe though.

17M: Very similar to 15M, many JA and W's.

20M: A little more variation in countries worked. This band was initially affected by a local source of noise, traced after a couple of days to the TV/DVD combo in the room.

30M: Only a single SSB contact with Wayne VK4ACN logged though many JA, W and European callsigns heard on CW. I didn't take a CW key and did not have the computer functionality to use it for CW or other digital modes.

40M: Quite a few ZL, VK, JA, W contacts plus some from Europe and South America. This band was initially also affected by the local noise source.

80M: Only a few QSOs made on this band, VK and ZL. The antenna did not tune up in the 3794-3800 DX segment (I tried it). This band was initially affected by the local source of noise but was also covered by other external noise sources making QSOs difficult.

160M: No antenna capability on this band.

Propagation was so variable that signals particularly on 20,17 and 15M would be there quite strongly one minute and literally gone by the next minute. I heard and answered a lot of stations that called but could not be logged as they disappeared before athe two-way contact could be confirmed.


0915Z @ 3/5/2016: I am now back in VK4 and the VK9NU 2016 operation has finished.


Many thanks to all who have assisted me with posts to the DX clusters and for helping along the way. It has been most appreciated.  I will be getting QSLs printed but do not rush to send me your QSL as it will be at least several weeks before I have any available, possibly a couple of months.


73  Doug VK9NU/VK4ADC


If you query whether a contact was achieved between VK9NU and you and you email me direct, the only response you get will be... 

"Refer the logbook search function on VK9NU.NET – if your callsign is there then the contact was logged."



I will add to the photos to the "Photos" page after my return to VK-land.... I took well over 700 during our stay on Norfolk so it will be a case of sorting out some interesting ones to add to the site..




Why VK9NU ?  These days it is not a necessity to take out a VK9 callsign for such visits by a VK amateur but it seemed like too good an opportunity not to miss. The "N" part of the suffix was required to indicate Norfolk Island until only a few years ago but that requirement has been dropped. A search through the ACMA database for VK9 callsigns produced a few possibilities but searches via Google showed recent-ish activations for many. VK9NU was one of the few callsigns that had minimal history in the search results. 

Google Earth location:  VK9NU.kmz


The following has been left on the page for historical purposes. In reality, I did not use frequency split at any stage.

Operating overview: I anticipate that I will work mainly 7, 10, 14, 18, 21, 24, 28 and 50 MHz SSB as propagation supports during the times of day or night that I can operate, operation on 3.5 only at night. The operating frequencies that are being targeted are on the Frequencies page, subject to some changes once operations start.

The online log lookup data is expected to be updated once daily with contact details so check it the next day rather than the day we work. If you are in the log then, you are in the log. Please don't try to work me on each band, once is enough and, hopefully, there will be enough other callers to keep me busy during my available operating time.

I do not expect to have much in the way of internet access so I won't see DX Spots or receive emails / requests. Please "spot me" if you hear/work me so others know what frequencies I am working at that time.

Local time on Norfolk is now 11 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (or UTC+11:00).

The transmitter power will only be 100W and without gain antennas at my end, you will need to listen carefully. I will only work SPLIT on the HF bands so calling me on my transmit frequency will not work in your favour.

If you want a chance to contact me, please follow the below:

Please listen, and listen, and then listen again before calling.
Please only call if you can copy me properly.
Please wait for me to end a contact before you call.
Please always send your full call sign.
Please call and then listen for a reasonable interval. Do not call continuously.
Please do not transmit when I call another call sign, not yours.
Please do not transmit when I query a call sign not like yours.
Please do not transmit when I request geographic areas other than yours.

If you miss out on working me, you will still have another chance at Norfolk Island a month later.... see below.

73 Doug VK4ADC / VK9NU

Visit my main VK4ADC web site to see what else I get up to....


For those who have commented about it :
I am aware that the 2016 WIA AGM will be happening there late May 2016 and I will have come and gone prior to that event. I will certainly have more operating time than most normal attendees to that event - however - I have become aware that VI9ANZAC will be activated during the event and that other operators will be active under the callsign VK9NT as well.

Extract from the WIA News 24/1/16, text edition: " So from VK3 to VK9 a team of 5 will activate Norfolk Island as VK9NT in May, to coincide with the Wireless Institute of Australia's Annual General Meeting and invites others on the Island to join them. The DXers, Chris Chapman VK3QB, Brenton Vowles VK3YB, Luke Steele VK3HJ, Allan VK2CA and Lee Moyle VK3GK will operate May 20 to 31.

VK9NT is to be on 160m to 10m using CW and SSB, with three transceivers feeding dipoles strung up about 25-30 metres high between majestic Norfolk Island Pines, and a Sloper antenna for 160m. "


Don't forget to visit THE forum for Australian and New Zealand amateurs.