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Monday 30 January 2017

OC-203 operating

Random images...

Initially put up the buddipole behind one of the cottages to protect it from the winds.

One of these showed up (called a 'kaka') and showed great interest in the antenna setup.

It's very windy out there... just rescued the antenna

E51KTA LoTW certificate request

I am speechless...

Hello Dominic Baines,

Just a  reminder that you submitted a request for a Logbook of the World (LoTW) callsign certificate 30 days ago (on 2016-12-07) for the callsign E51KTA. We have not received the documentation required for us to be able to complete your request. See:  .

If you still wish to receive a Logbook of the World callsign certificate for E51KTA, please submit:

 I) a copy of the Amateur Radio operating authorization (license document) for E51KTA;


II) a copy of one other government-issued document indicating your identity, such as a driver's license or the first page of a passport.

This documentation must be sent by postal mail to:

    LoTW Administrator
    225 Main Street
   Newington, CT 06111

E-mail cannot be accepted. The envelope must be postmarked from your location.

The identity-confirming documents that you submit will be destroyed after your LoTW callsign certificate is issued.

The Logbook Team 
... so you sign a certificate request with your proper call sign and they still ask for this stuff to be posted to them ! 

ZL/M1KTA OC-203 QSO uploaded to club log

Actual qsl cards will take ages to be sorted out as I will also be sorting out nthe general ZL/M1KTA cards at same time but for those impatient you can use clublog to confirm QSO now.

It will take a while for IOTA to confirm the OC-203 trip qso are valid for IOTA confirmation but I am sure they will in time.

You should then be able to obtain that rare and elusive IOTA group.

LoTW certificate applied for, your guess good as mine as to when they will process that.

ZL/M1KTA qsl card?

Image for qsl card for ZL trip?

OC-203 JA's could hear me on 40m

*****************   2017/01/19 00:00:07 UTC  NOW!!   *****************
VK3FY/DU8    1550Z   7021.0 TNX UP1                         JG2KJU-#  
ZL/M1KTA     0918Z   7006.5 OC-203 CQn                      JP3AYQ    

qrv from oc-203 but we didn't hear you, were you there?

I just love arm chair DXers that never go to some of the places some of us mad ops do... but to explain a bit I hope.

The day after just before coming home. WX was a bit nicer now.

The plan was to be qrv on 17th, it ended up being 18th... murphy delayed qrv by 24 hrs in the end WX (terrible condx) and I wrecked my right calf on the beach the previous day pushing the RV out of the sand so I couldn't walk more that 50 yrds initially so the delay was not a huge problem. Sea was so rough they cancelled all sailings that day and even the day I was leaving too... click on the image and look at the scribbled message bottom right!

and only way on and off the island was a £££ flight and luggage was 7kg total!

Cost per qso lets not go there shall we :-) 

I was qrp or as good as anyway with bare KX3 (pa caused way too much interference) and only buddipole antenna meant working anything long distance would have been hard work but I put couple F in the log (polar path).

Bigger antennas would have been wrecked rapidly as the wx was constant above 80kmh and gusting 140kmh I had to go qrt as the worst hit at 1am local time until 5am as the wind was way too strong even if guyed ... it's not called the roaring 40's for nothing. I did take a dipole but the trees whipped it about so much that was shredded in seconds after going up.

This was the day after in a sheltered location.

I discussed condx in the days immediately after with locals and seems that day I fell into a propagation black hole, shame as would have been fun but I did manage into EU which qrp isn't bad going.

But I did activate OC-203 !

Was probably frustrating for those that wanted it but the island can be reached by flights very easily. I am sure I might have another go along with some other spots further from the mainland and a ZL9 call.

OC-203 Communications

Interesting... and advise for others going to odd/rare IOTA if you activate an IOTA you need to make sure you keep more than just the logs.... so make sure you capture a lot of info about the trip. You might get a note like this... hope I can find all the info so the program classifies the QSO as 'valid' but I suspect I have everything they need :-)

The operating location was just below the white building in the picture.

Dear Dominic,

IOTA Management has become aware you activated an IOTA group (OC-203) that is defined in the IOTA Directory as DIFFICULT. Your activation was welcome news to IOTA chasers around the world. You may or may not know that there are specific requirements for activation of a DIFFICULT IOTA operation before it is accepted as valid.

To meet these requirements smoothly, we have provided a questionnaire below. Please answer the questions as completely as possible.

If you have any questions, please contact us. We can help you understand the requirements.

For detailed guidance on the validation process, please see Annex K in the IOTA Directory at (or Section F in the Directory rules at We want to help you to have a smooth validation process.

In addition to the above, there is one more requirement we would like to mention. On your QSL cards please print the name of your island as it appears in the list of qualifying islands on the IOTA website at

IOTA management appreciated your effort to activate this interesting IOTA. We hope you had a safe return from OC-203.

Thank you and good IOTA hunting!


Bob, K3EST
IOTA Validation Team

Brief Questionnaire for activation of OC-203

(a) The date and time of the first QSO:
ME - That is in the logs.

(b) The date and time of the last QSO:
ME- That is in the logs.

(c) Total number of QSOs:
ME- That is in the logs.
(d) Call sign used: ZL/M1KTA

(e) Full name(s) and personal call signs on the operators:
Dominic Baines M1KTA

(f) Bands and modes of operation employed:

(g) Type of equipment used (rigs, amplifiers, antennas):
KX3, Buddipole. Yes NO PA... the small one created interference so did not use it.

(h) Name of the island and IOTA group:   STEWARD     OC-203
ME- Fine 

(i) Is the island already approved for the respective IOTA group: YES

(j) Rarity of the IOTA group in terms of percentage of membership which has it confirmed: 30.5

(k) URL of the expedition if available:
?? Hardly an expedition but sure was followed on blog, twitter and qrz :-)

(l) Does the access to the island require a permit? If yes, please attach a copy of the permit:
no, scheduled flight to it.

(m) Does the operation from the island require an authorization? If yes, please attach a copy of the authorization:
no was CEPT operation. But I asked the property owner for permission to operate.... was polite thing to do anyway.
(n) Please provide us with evidence of your presence on the above island, such as photos taken during your operation (preferably including identifying signs/plaques and/or landmarks), signed statements from someone in authority confirming your presence or, in the case of a boat charter, arrival and departure times and tickets:
ME - These will all appear in time but pretty sure got all this.

(o) IOTA chasers can now obtain electronic credit via Club Log. If you upload to Club Log, please use the same call as used during the operation. 

Did you upload the log to Club Log (yes or no)? 
ME - Not yet! Please be patient! Already been hassled for qso confirmations by at least 4 ops before even got home!
What was the call (name) used for Club Log?
ME - Should be ZL/M1KTA

Wednesday 18 January 2017

interesting night

30m and 40m finally came alive after sun set.... winds picked up so at 1am local had to pull antenna down... gusting 100kmh+ backup this morning though.... just grabbing rest and food.

Nothing in log so far

Nothing in log at all after 3 hours... cycling through 15/17 and 20m will try 30m and 40m near local sunset. Knew conditions had been bad but this is really painful. Knew trying to contact EU/UK would be hard but... not this bad.

Sorted a small PA but caused interference so updated KX3 software and pushing 15W instead. Not hearing anyone on the bands, and yes have tried moving and using other antennas.

WX gone from crap to nice and sunny to gone over cast again. Had 180kmh winds other day (that is > 100mph!).

Tuesday 17 January 2017

OC-203 Stewart Island what freq?

Lots have asked so for all.... see what rbn says then listen on freq listed. I expect will be working split listening up. Suspect the bands will be pretty rubbish during the day, maybe 17m & 15m in afternoon (local) an hour before sunset 40m should be busy, 30m a couple of hours before too. I expect to hear JAs from around 0700z on 30m.  No 80m don't ask!

UK if I get anyone I will call for more, decent stations please help the little guys and be quiet or relay.

All cw will be slower than most expect from DX, if looks like I am slow to confirm that is because I am listening.

Local WX is very wet and high winds so not the best.

No LOTW certificate applied for, use club log for oqrs but upload might not be until a few days after.

Monday 16 January 2017


8am flight to Steward Island OC-203 18th January (local) 19:00 17th in UK. QRV abt 23:00 UTC for 20 hrs. Sea is boiling white froth!

Should have been 24 hrs earlier but Murphy took part!

Very close now as overnight in Invercargill.

Will have tnx to ZL4TT a small PA (abt 50W)
Buddipole and wires
Staying near Horseshoe bay.
Expect CW over SSB, if I start making qso will NOT change mode or band please don't ask!