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QSL Review: A Look Back at the QSL Card from Mellish Reef VK9MA 2017

Editor’s Note: Every month, DX Engineering features QSL cards from our team members’ personal collections. Usually we showcase ones from entities that are currently active or will soon be QRV. However, with so many DXers homebound these days and the number of DXpeditions reaching all-time lows, we’ve altered the rules. Until things change, you can expect a bit of everything from our stockpiles of QSL cards, including the rarest of the rare, personal favorites, and recent QSLs of historical significance.

Mellish Reef VK9MA 2017

Three years ago, the nine operators of the Mellish Reef VK9MA 2017 DXpedition were stationed on Heralds-Beacon Islet—a small, treeless cay composed of sand, shingle, and coral rubble. Less than half a mile long and resting near the center of the lagoon, the islet is the only permanent land on the reef, rising only a few meters above the high water mark in the Coral Sea Islands Territory, about 715 miles northeast of Queensland, Australia. The surrounding reefs are completely submerged at high tide.

In addition to causing pileups from Hams eager to put Mellish Reef in their log books, the VK9MA DXpedition team conducted an island cleanup, debris inventory, and ecology and animal assessment of Heralds-Beacon Islet. The venture was executed through partnership with Tangaroa Blue Foundation and the Australian Marine Initiative, in conjunction with Parks Australia and the Department of Environment.

Operating on all bands in CW, RTTY, and SSB, the DXpedition, led by Rob, N7QT, recorded 43,747 QSOs (13,918 unique) from November 4-15. Contributing to the DXpedition’s success was equipment provided by DX Engineering:

At the time of the DXpedition, Mellish Reef ranked as the 29th most-wanted DXCC entity per Clublog. As of October 2020, it stood at #36. In addition to being an equipment sponsor, DX Engineering staff actively got on the air to fill bands and record All-Time New Ones. Here’s the QSL card from the DXpedition:

Prior DXpeditions to this remote locale include VK9MT in 2014, also sponsored by DX Engineering. Mark, W8BBQ, DX Engineering customer/ technical support specialist received this QSL card after working VK9MT on 80, 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, 12, and 10M CW; and 17 and 12M SSB.
Tom, KB8UUZ, DX Engineering technical writer, reached VK9MT on 12M SSB.

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