November 26th – PRESS RELEASE #5
All 6 operators have now returned safely to their homes after many hours of travelling. We achieved what we set out to do – and this was to put Coetivy Island on the air for the 1st time. Coetivy Island is one of the new 11 IOTA groups that was added in July 2014 at the 50th IOTA convention in Windsor, UK.
Coetivy Island is an active open prison and a rehabilitation centre for Drug abusers. It is 180 miles from anywhere and is only accessible via the IDC (Islands Development Committee) who have full control of the island. We were limited to a maximum of 6 persons and had to use the IDC private airplane charter. The last 180 miles of our project cost over $20,000!
Early on in our planning stages we began a vast sponsoring program. We needed the help of the IOTA/DX community to help to offset these high costs. Many DX Clubs and foundations gave assistance for which we are most grateful. Without the help of all individuals, this project would not have happened. We had a clear vision of what our goals were, we always intended to maximise the number of Uniques to give this New IOTA to as many as possible. 9,808 Unique callsigns were logged!!! We also realised that regular S7 was most wanted on the US West Coast where we maximised our antenna farm to empathise into this area during limited openings. In total, we worked 6,660 North American stations netting 31% of all QSOs. Special thanks to the Western Washington DX Club who was the only North American Club to help fund our project.
On Tuesday 17/Nov/15 at 18:00 UTC all 6 stations began CQing altogether. Clive 3B8CW was the 1st into the log on 17m SSB. Our stations were planned to enable us to be QRV with 2 stations per band. S79C went QRT at 02:19 on 22/Nov/15 on 30m CW with AA4BQ being the last in the log. Altogether a total of 21,541 QSOs in 146 DXCCs were worked. The team noted excellent pile-up behaviour from all Continents and maximised our QSO count on all open bands. We encountered daily electricity outages and often had to QRT to interact with prisioners and inmates.
All supporting documentation has already been submitted, so therefore, special thanks to Roger G3KMA and the IOTA committee who have already approved and validated this operation. Our logs are now uploaded to CLUBLOG and our OQRS facility is already buzzing with requests. We hope to begin the initial QSL mailing in early – mid January, just in time for the IOTA Honour Roll update. Logs will be uploaded to LoTW in the coming days once the inevitable few log errors are corrected.
Sincere thanks to all our sponsors, to the DX Clubs and Foundations listed below and to our corporate sponsors. Your help is what made our success – Tnx!
Although S79C is now QRT, our work still continues with publications & presentations and also, for our QSL manager Charles M0OXO, whose work is now just beginning! Tnx Charles.
All information is available at http://af119new.com.
On behalf of EA3NT, MM0NDX, PA3EWP, SP5APW & VK5CE, vy 73. We could not have asked for a better team!
As with all DXpeditioners, plans are already underway for yet another new one! Stay Tuned!
de Dave EI9FBB (S79C Team Leader)
November 1st – PRESS RELEASE #4
The much anticipated Coetivy Island AF-119NEW DXpedition is soon to begin. After 5 months of intense preparations, the S79C team would like to remind you that in less than 2 weeks time, Christian EA3NT, Dave EI9FBB, Col MM0NDX, Ronald PA3EWP, Jacek SP5APW and Craig VK5CE will transit through their national airports en-route to Mahe, Seychelles.
We are pleased to confirm that our requested S79C callsign has now been officially issued and all paperwork is in hand. In addition, planning and logistics are now complete.
All six operators, and in excess of 300Kg of equipment, need to fly the final 300Km to Coetivy island and land on the short 500m airstrip. This final flight is by private airplane charter and actually doubles the overall budget. Without doubt, this is a hugely expensive IOTA DXpedition and we are indebted to each and every donor / sponsor. However, we do seek additional funding support. Until November 6th, we still offer a ‘Free QSL’ for advance donors of €5 or more. Your generous contribution is most welcome and helps offset our enormous costs.
If you would like to support this unique activation, please visit: http://www.af119new.com/donate
Furthermore, the team is delighted to inform that 50Mhz will be used – a dedicated station will run 24/7 during our stay on Coetivy. Our suggested beacon frequency is 50.103.5Mhz. It should be noted that S7 is very rare on the ‘magic band’ and we are thrilled to have got this special permission!
This is our final Press Release. Next official dialogue will be whilst our team is en-route and only via our Twitter feed @af119new. Follow us for the very latest updates. (Note: some team members may also update their individual Facebook page as they journey to AF-119).
We wish all very good luck in the pile-ups and look forward to seeing you in our log!
Vy 73 de S79C team.
October 1st – PRESS RELEASE #3
During early July, plans started to firm up for a DXpedition to Coetivy Island AF-119NEW. Such was the interest in this project, our experienced team was in place within moments of invitations going out to join this exciting island activation.
In a little over 6 weeks from now, the S79C team will be on air from the South Indian Ocean looking to work as many uniques as possible. Planning and logistics are now complete and we’re confident of giving out this new IOTA group to many.
We are deeply encouraged by the level of support, both individually and through organisations who realise this IOTA activity is not a holiday style operation, but rather to a remote destination hundreds of miles from anywhere. Our aim is to work all corners of the globe using a combination of verticals and hexbeams placed near the waters edge. This November timeframe was chosen to maximise propagation paths to all geographical areas. We want your QSO!
Our most difficult path from this brand New IOTA group is to West Coast North America. Special attention will be given to this area as we realise that even regular S7 is still much needed – # 53 most wanted DXCC infact! We are puzzled, however, that to date, all groups and organisations contacted from this area have refused our funding requests. Nonetheless, we will focus on this tricky path during peak propagation times. Let’s remember the ‘forgotten West Coast’ .
Such is the extreme expense of activating this brand new IOTA, we appreciate every single donation being made. We urge those considering to donate to please do so before, during or after our DXpedition. Remember, advance donors will be rewarded with a free QSL (see https://af119new.com/donate)
Just before we leave our homes in mid-November we will issue a last minute update. In addition, twitter @af119 will be in use as we journey to Coetivy island. Please see http://af119new.com for latest information.
September 4th PRESS RELEASE 2
Just over a month ago, the S79C team released information about their plans to activate brand new IOTA AF-119, Coetivy Island
With little over 2 months before our departure, we are delighted to confirm that plans are definite and large deposits have already been paid to the relevant departments. We have obtained all necessary permits, both to visit and operate from Coetivy, and are looking forward to bringing this new one to so many island chasers and DXers around the globe.
As of last week, all individual flights have now been booked. Departing from cities such as Adelaide, Paris, Dublin, Rome, Warsaw and Amsterdam, will see the whole team meet up in Mahe, capital of Seychelles, on November 14/15th. On November 16th we leave for Coetivy.
As private airplane charter is needed to access the island, costs are terrifically high – higher than staging a DXpedition to some rare entities! We kindly urge IOTA and DX chasers to support our activation. https://af119new.com/donate/
To those who have already supported, we thank you very much, and will reward those advance donors of $5 or more with a free QSL card. Just send us your QSO details after the DXpedition. It’s our way of saying thanks!
We are most grateful to our corporate sponsors and early support from GMDX, CDXC, GDXF, Nippon, DX World and IREF.
Station design and antennas are currently being discussed. We aim to have 6 stations QRV at peak times to fulfill the demand for this first activation and will concentrate on all geographical areas. We know many of you trust us to deliver a first class island activation.
August 2nd – PRESS RELEASE 1
November 15th to 23rd will see Christian EA3NT, Dave EI9FBB, Col MM0NDX, Ronald PA3EWP, Jacek SP5APW & Craig VK5CE come together for the first ever activation of Coetivy Island AF-119 NEW.
Situated 300km south of Mahe – Seychelles, Coetivty Island is home to an active prison for low security prisoners and a rehabilitation center for drug abusers. Visitation is strictly controlled and access is only possible by private airplane charter, using the short 550 meter airstrip.
The cost of staying for just one night on the island is extortionate – we are staying for six nights! We have no choice but to pay these staggering costs if we are to activate this Brand New IOTA for the 1st time.
Using the callsign S79C, the experienced team (with over 160 DXpeditions between them) will be QRV from 40m through 10m CW, SSB & RTTY and if special permission can bE granted, 6m too!
We are calling on all DX clubs, Foundations & the IOTA / DX community to kindly consider donating to our ‘Support’ page on http://www.af119new.com where full information can also be found.
Thank you, Team S79C.