VK9M – Mellish Reef

Dates: 3 to 16 November 2017

Callsign: VK9MA

/VK9M – Mellish Reef
VK9M – Mellish Reef 2020-07-02T04:54:00-05:00

Nine hams from around the world assembled in Australia to sail to Mellish Reef.

Rob, N7QT, worked hard for 2 years making all the arrangements and putting this trip together. More information can be found about this DXpedition by going to VK9MA.com.

Hides Hotel

Here’s the group just finishing a leisurely breakfast on the second floor balcony of the Hides Hotel in Cairns. We stayed here a couple of days to get all the equipment in order and get used to being down under.


Brian, N9ADG

Dave, WJ2O

David, W5XU

Dietmar, DL3DXX

Eric, SM1ALH

Hawk, SM5AQD

Lasse, SM5GLC

Morten, LB8DC

Rob, N7QT


DXpedition Leader Rob Fanfant, N7QT, made all the arrangements for operating licensing and necessary landing permits.


5 x Elecraft K3S Transceivers

5 x Expert SPE-1.3K FA

TX Antennas
17m/20m – 2 element Vertical Dipole Array
10m-20m – 2 element SteppIR @ 10m AGL
30m – 4 square
40m – 4 square
80m – 4 square, and CrankIR modified
10-80m – CrankIR full height adjustable ¼ wave vertical
160m – full height ¼ wave vertical (CrankIR modified + box kite), and Titanex 90’ vertical

RX Antennas
80m – 4 square vertical array ~RDF 12
160m – 4 square vertical array ~RDF 12

Getting There

My trip to Australia will start in my home airport of Syracuse, NY. I will hop to Philadelphia on American Airlines where I can catch a flight across the country to Los Angeles. The Transpacific flights takes me to Sydney. The final leg gets me to the City of Cairns using Quantas Airlines.

The Boat Part

After a couple of days we will be leaving Cairns, Australia by coach to drive up to Port Douglas where the boat is docked. Then we board the boat for the 4 day journey through the Great Barrier Reefs and on to Mellish Reef. The return is the same thing in reverse.

Going Home

Returning from Australia I start with Philippines Airlines taking me to Manila, then on to Tokyo. I switch back to American Airlines which brings me to Chicago and finishes back home in Syracuse.