We Went

On the afternoon of Thursday 15 August, the ZS9V expedition team gathered at the port of Cape Town for a light lunch before loading all the teams radio equipment, food and supplies on to the last Robben Island bound ferry for the day.

Once the team had arrived at the accommodation for the next 4 days, they immediately set about erecting the Steppir vertical that would be the workhorse antenna for the CW team. In a little over an hour, the CW team was up and running. While the CW team had started operating, the other team members set about installing the other antennas: full size dipoles for 40m and 80m, a six band hex beam (20m to 6m), a DX commander clone for all bands 40m to 10m and an inverted L for 160m, strung from the lighthouse. The 3 element wire beam for 40m was set up on the morning of Friday the 16th to beam to North America and Australia.

SSB activity started during the early evening on 40m until the band closed. FT8 operations then began on 40m and 30m until that too was no longer possible. For the next few days the team operated on CW and SSB when possible, and FT8 when no SSB contacts could be made. Eating and sleeping were done on a rotation basis or when the HF conditions did not allow operation.

During the course of Sunday, the low band station and most of the antennas for the lighthouse station were dismantled for transport back to Cape Town on Monday morning. The CW station remained for an extra day before being closed down on Monday night after midnight.

Thank you to:

  • Marketing and Tourism Department, Robben Island Museum, for facilitating our trip;
  • Lighthouse and Navigational Services, Transnet National Ports Authority, for access to the lighthouse and related buildings;
  • Mr Peter Saaise, Robben Island Lighthouse Keeper, and his son Michael for logistical support;
  • Mr Charles Wilmott M0OXO, for QSL management;
  • our Pilot stations on the support group;
  • all the stations that persisted in order to make contact with us

Stats over the three stations:

Contacts per date:
20190815 – 586
20190816 – 932
20190817 – 1406
20190818 – 879
20190819 – 659
20190820 – 58

Contacts per band:
160m – 75
80m – 129
40m – 1443
30m – 713
20m – 1427
17m – 654
15m – 79

Contacts per mode:
CW – 3306
SSB – 802
FT8 – 412

Contacts per entity (top 10 listed)
European Russia – 466
Italy – 454
Federal Republic of Germany – 437
Japan – 416
USA – 346
Republic of South Africa – 273
Ukraine – 215
Poland – 187
France – 163
Spain – 145

Montage of 2019 expedition