Association des Radio Amateurs de Nouvelle Caledonie (ARANC), the amateur radio society of New Caledonia, is pleased to report that the Chesterfield Islands DXpedition remains on target for the window of 15 March through 01 April, 2000. A more detailed schedule will be announced in future press releases.
The New Caledonian telecommunication authorities have issued the distinctive call sign TXØDX for this multi-national expedition.
The DXpedition vessel M/V Night Crossing, an Australian registered 75-foot cruiser, will depart from Koumac, the northern port city of New Caledonia. The Night Crossing made its maiden voyage in July, 1999. It cruises at a speed of 10 knots, comfortably handles up to 16 passengers in addition to the crew, and is fully equipped with all the latest in navigation, communication, roll stabilization and safety gear.
The Chesterfield landing permission requires that the ship be cleared through customs at Port Koumac; requested direct entry to the Chesterfields from Australia was denied. This caused the DXpedition team to make several logistical changes, all of which are now succesfully completed.
The TXØDX team will operate from two sites, far enough apart to allow simultaneous CW and SSB operation on the same band. Four HF stations, each equipped with Yaesu FT1000MP transceivers, will provide for plenty of activity on all bands, as well as RTTY operation. A separate station, equipped with a Yaesu FT655, will be dedicated to six meters. TXØDX will have a total of 16 kW of AC power available, thanks to JA2JPA at Suzuki.
The TXØDX web site can be found at http://www.n4gn.com/tx0dx/. Additional information regarding the TXØDX DXpedition will be added during the coming days and weeks.
Because the Coral Sea typhoon season is still very active during March, weather is likely to play a major role in this expedition. Several special arrangements have been made in this regard. You can follow the weather in the Chesterfield area by using the links from the TXØDX web site.
OH2BN has been added to the list of pilots who will maintain communications with the Chesterfield DXpedition team. The pilot team now consists of F6AJA, FK8CR, JH1KRC, K6GNX, OH2BN and VK3EW.
TXØDX will have two QSL managers:
Jarmo Jaakola, OH2BN - for HF QSOs ONLY
Kan Mizoguchi, JA1BK - for six-meter QSOs ONLY