Callsign: ZD9W

DXCC: Tristan da Cunha & Gough I.

IOTA: AF-029

Dates: September 29 - October 22, 2023



November 6 - QSL info and future plans

Yuris successfully arrived home on late evening of November 3rd. In a week he will start the next DX-pedition to VK9XY and VK9CY.

Printing of ZD9W QSL cards is ordered and will be ready in November. OQRS direct QSL requests will be replied after the return from VK9 trip. LoTW will be uploaded around Christmas time. Again, thank you all for the QSOs and support.

October 31 - Yuris is in Cape Town

After 7+ days on the ship Yuris has reached Cape Town, South Africa. Should be back in Latvia by tomorrow evening.

October 22 - QRT

The DX-pedition is over. Over 70k QSOs are in the log. Last QSO was made today, October 22. Tomorrow will say goodbye to local people, express gratitude for their kindness and help. Thank you all for the QSOs and support!

October 20 - update

The weather is bad. Yuris is using the remaining DX-Commander antenna to work on the air. The chances are slim that he would fix the low band vertical and would appear on 160/80m bands in the remaining nights. Ship is scheduled to depart on Monday, October 23, if the weather will permit. Yuris plans to pack the day before - on Sunday.

October 18 - update

Evening update: Spiderbeam also broke again.

In the afternoon: today wind got stronger again and the forecast for the remaining days is not too promising. Low band vertical broke again. It will be repaired if the weather permits. Spiderbeam is still holding.

October 16 - update

Evening update: All antennas are restored.

Below video of EA2EYJ completing QRP QSO with ZD9W on 10m band SSB (actual QSO starts from 4:14)

Earlier morning update: From all the antennas only DX-Commander survived the night. Other antennas are now damaged and Yuris will try to repair them.
Wind seemed to calm down yesterday afternoon, so Yuris raised the antennas. But later in the evening wind again got stronger, and this is the result

October 15 - Update

In the evening Yuris reported that he has repaired Spiderbeam and raised up all antennas. First QSO on 6m band in the log.

October 12 - Update

Wind got stronger again and broke one leg of Spiderbeam despite it was just slightly elevated above the ground. It is repairable. But this will have to wait until wind calms down. Right now only DX-Commander vertical remains up, other antennas are lowered. Weather forecast promises quite strong wind gusts whole weekend.

October 12 - Update

Evening update: Low band vertical is up again and ready for the night.

Early this morning Yuris had to lower the main antennas to prevent damage due to the strong wind. He was going to raise them back up when the wind calms down, hopefully later today.

October 11 - Update

Evening update: Low band vertical is repaired and also 6m band yagi installed.

Yesterday low band vertical broke, this is why there was no low band operation last night. Yuris hopes to fix it today when it stops raining. It probably will be 10 cm shorter.

October 8 - Update

ZD9W shack is in the kindergarten building which is on the edge of the village. Kindergarten has 5 children, 3 employees. Yuris has been given a room where he lives. Most antennas are installed by now, and the routine operation can start. Next week he will install also 6m band yagi. He has tried to put BOG antenna to improve signal reception on low bands, but it wasn't very effective, probably due to the volcanic soil on the island. There is about 5-10 cm of soil followed by volcanic rock. Yuris initially had issues with installing aluminum guy wire supports which he had with him. The owner of the building gave him iron rods, which could penetrate the rock beneath.

Yesterday first 70 CW QSOs on 160m band were done. Managed to get in the log the fellow HAM from his own home town. Also EY8MM got his #319 new DXCC on 160m band in the log. Will continue to operate on the low bands in the coming days too.

The propagation is fantastic. Noise floor is low, especially on the higher bands.

More photos have been added to the Photos section

October 4 - Update

Yuris has found alternative location with more space for antennas. He installed low band vertical and Spiderbeam.

October 1 - Update

Very strong wind on Friday (Sep 29). The wind got twice as strong on Saturday (Sep 30), plus it started to rain. DX-Commander antenna broke. Yuris lowered the remaining antennas for the night. Today (October 1st) he fixed the DX-Commander antenna and continued operation on the air. It is sunny today, but the wind still remains strong. Notice bending DX-Commander on the left side of the below video, it might look like just another piece of vegetation initially. More videos and photos added in the Photos section.

September 29 - ZD9W QRV

Yuris got in touch late evening to say that today around lunch time he finally got on the island (article on the island's webpage about MFV Lance arrival). All went without accidents. He has managed to install the EFHW and DX-Commander antennas already and made about 200 QSOs so far. Internet is available in the village, not directly in the place of his stay.

Strong storm is approaching the island and will hit it tomorrow.

September 27 - Approaching the island

Message from Yuris 19:10z: Today we are approaching the island. Some 20 miles left. Tomorrow after the breakfast, weather permitting, we will get ashore.

September 25 - Another storm

Message from Yuris 19:30z: the latest forecast for arrival at ZD9 is Wednesday (September 27), due to strong winds. He feels ok - seasickness has passed after the 1st day.

25.sep 19:00z: MFV Lance is currently inside another storm. According to the weather forecast storm might subside by midday September 26. About 300 km left to the destination.

September 23/24 - Passing through the storm

MFV Lance is maneuvering during the passing storm. Another possibly stronger storm is forecasted on the path for Monday.

September 20 - Evening update

Ship's position at 20.Sep.2023, 20:00 UTC - approximately half of the way completed.

Yuris felt seasickness during the first days of the trip. Now he feels OK. Internet is available for short text messages every 2nd day for a short time.

September 19 - Travel update

Evening update: In the evening Yuris wrote short message confirming the potential delay - ship captain's latest forecast for reaching ZD9 is September 26th, subject to change depending on the actual weather conditions. Lance's location at 20:00 UTC, September 19, 2023.

Midday update: Free user account plans of vessel tracking websites do not show details of vessels which are obtained using SAT-AIS system, but looks like Lance (the ship) progresses towards ZD9 a bit slower than anticipated. In 4 days ship has managed to do about 1050 km, with approximately 1750 km still left to go. And the speed of it is about 9 .. 11 13 kmph. Weather forecast websites show headwind on the path. It seems like it might take a day or two longer than expected for the ship to reach ZD9.

September 15 - The ship to ZD9 departs

Yuris is on the ship and waiting for its departure at 12:00 PM UTC.

Captain of the ship says that it will take 9 days to reach Tristan da Cunha (ZD9). So arrival should happen on September 24.

Some photos are added to the photos section.

It should be possible to follow the ship using this live vessel tracker (Update: no ship details shown without paid account after ship leaves coastal waters and uses sattelite AIS system)

September 11 - The journey starts

Today (September 11) Yuris will fly from Riga, Latvia to Frankfurt, Germany. From there he will take the evening flight to Cape Town, South Africa. He will spend there 3 nights waiting for the ship to Tristan da Cunha (ZD9). It takes the whole week for the ship to get to ZD9. Arrival to ZD9 is scheduled for September 22.

At the moment luggage weighs 63 kg - transceivers, power supplies, power amplifiers, 6m beam with the mast. He will pick up extra 30 kg in Cape Town - Spiderbeam and low band vertical.

August 24 - Testing the new 6m antenna

6m band yagi is ready and being tested at home. It weights 2.6 kg, plus 3 kg of 8 m high Spiderbeam 12m HD fiberglass mast without 4 top sections.

The previous 6m beam was left as a gift to Indian friends during VU7W expedition.

August 15 - Initial announcement

Yuris/YL2GM will visit Tristan da Cunha and do one-man operation on the air as ZD9W from September 24 to October 22, 2023.

ZD9 is #44 in Clublog's DXCC Most Wanted List as of August, 2023.

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