The 76th running of the
Oceania DX Contest
will be held on:
SSB: Saturday October 2nd
CW: Saturday October 9th
both starting at 0600z
The rules for 2021 are now available and have been posted here!!
See you all on the bands!
Congratulations to all the winners in the 2020 Oceania DX (OCDX) Contest and thank you to everyone who participated in this 75th running of the event, which was originally initiated by the WIA and NZART in 1935 as the VK/ZL International DX contest.
We had an amazing turnout despite the mediocre conditions and lack of DXpedition activity due to COVID travel restrictions. A total of 1603 logs were submitted, consisting of 897 Phone logs and 706 CW logs, which is 300 more than the previous record of 1303 logs in 2017. So this was the biggest OCDX party ever and a great way to celebrate the 75th anniversary!
Participation was up across most continents and countries, including new records for the number of logs from Indonesia and the Philippines in both the Phone and CW sections, North America in the CW section, and Japan and West Malaysia in the Phone section. The increased participation can probably be attributed to a combination of the following factors:
- Greater awareness of the contest due to increased publicity from the Contest Committee and an article (authored by our historian Mike VK4QS) about the contest in the September 2020 issue of CQ Amateur Radio journal.
- COVID travel constraints meant that more contesters were at home and with more time to participate.
- More activity from Oceania by bringing the contest period forward by 2 hours.
Although solar flux levels continued to be depressed, geomagnetic conditions were quieter than in recent years and there was also less QRN than usual from lightning storms in Oceania.
It was great to see the contest attracting new faces to have a go at HF contesting, even if only to make a one or two QSOs. David VK3RU says “I only made one contact, but this was only my second CW contact on HF ever and certainly my first CW contest” and Ben VK6NCB says he “struggled with local noise but made my first DX SSB contacts”. Congratulations David and Ben and we hope to see you again in 2021!
Not surprisingly, the lack of sunspots along with the ability to claim 5 points per QSO meant that most of the action was on 40M. The next busiest band was 20M, followed by 15M. The few QSOs on the 10M band were generally limited to contacts between Oceania stations and with Asia. The 80M and 160M bands were hard work during the Phone section but played reasonably well during the CW section, including a good 160M opening to North America. K5ZD reckons he has “never heard VK so loud on 160M” and K1GQ sums it by saying “Amazing low band conditions, awful high band conditions but still fun after 50 years!”
As expected, the COVID constraints on travel meant that most of the Oceania activity was limited to the more common Oceania entities, i.e. Australia, Hawaii, Indonesia, New Zealand, and the Philippines. However, logs were still received from some of the rarer countries such as Brunei Darussalam, East Malaysia, Guam, and New Caledonia.
Team 9M2SDX @ World Leader Phone Multi- One
See the 2020 OCDX contest charts for a detailed analysis of the participation and conditions in the 2020 contest and trends over recent years.
LINE SCORES, WINNERS AND NEW RECORDS
The detailed line scores for all the entrants in the 2020 contest, including information about the equipment and antennas used and soapbox comments, are presented here:
There were plenty of impressive efforts and scores achieved in the 2020 contest. Summaries of all the winning entries, and those which also set new records, can be found here:
Dave KA6BIM and Igor RT0F deserve special mention for winning the SO ALL HP category in both the Phone and CW sections – for North America and Asia, respectively. This is the second year in a row that Dave has achieved this feat.
Dave KA6BIM @ Continent Leader Phone and CW SO ALL HIGH POWER
The following entrants also deserve a shout out for their achievement in setting new Continent and World (i.e. outside Oceania) records:
New Phone records
9M2SAF PH SO ALL LP World record
JH7UJU PH SO ALL QRP World record
JQ1NGT PH SO 20M QRP World record
RT0F PH SO ALL HP World record
LZ6Z PH SO 40M QRP Europe record
RV3FF PH SO 80M LP Europe record
UA4M PH SO 40M HP World record
US0LW PH SO 80M HP Europe record
W3LL PH SO 40M LP North America record
4F9KA PH SO 10M QRP Oceania record
VK1POP PH SO 80M QRP Oceania record
VK3IO PH SO 160M HP Oceania record
VK6IR PH SO 80M HP Oceania record
YB2BOB PH SO 80M LP Oceania record
YB9YBB PH SO ALL QRP Oceania record
New CW records
BG7SSK CW SO ALL QRP World record
E21YDP CW SO 40M LP World record
JA6FCL CW SO 20M LP Asia record
JG1LFR CW SO 40M QRP World record
JH3SIF CW SO 15M QRP World record
JK7DWD CW SO 20M QRP World record
RT0F CW SO ALL HP World record
LZ4UX CW SO 40M QRP Europe record
SN3A CW SO 40M HP Europe record
UW5ZM CW SO 40M LP Europe record
UY5ZZ CW SO 20M LP World record
YL7X CW SO ALL HP Europe record
N3HEE CW SO 160M LP World record
N6RO CW SO 40M HP World record
VK/VE9BK CW SWL Oceania record
YC0VM CW SO ALL QRP Oceania record
YF8HYV CW SO 20M QRP Oceania record
ZL4TT CW SO 40M LP Oceania record
PY5AMF CW SO 40M HP South America record
The history of all the OCDX scores and records since 2001 can be searched here:
2020 PLAQUES AND TROPHIES
Congratulations to all the winners of the plaques and trophies in the 2020 contest. The winners of the plaques are listed here.
The Australia Club plaque is awarded to the local club from Australia with the greatest number of member stations making at least 50 valid QSOs in the Phone or CW sections in the contest. The Eastern Mountain and District Radio Club (EMDRC) is the 2020 winner of this plaque after managing to wrestle it away from the Geelong Amateur Radio Club which had previously held the plaque for 7 years in a row. Both clubs had 3 eligible entries, but the EMDRC achieved a higher total score. The EMDRC entries were from VK3TZ (PH and CW) and VK3AVV (PH).
The New Zealand Club Competition plaque is awarded to the local New Zealand NZART Branch, DX club, or contest group with the greatest number of members making at least 50 valid QSOs as a single operator in the Phone or CW sections of the contest. Unfortunately, there were no organisations with enough eligible entrants in the 2020 contest.
Note: Australia and New Zealand entrants are again reminded to use the Cabrillo log CLUB: field to identify their membership of a relevant organisation for the purpose of awarding these plaques. Most Australian and New Zealand logs for the 2020 contest did not identify membership of any organisation. See the AUSTRALIA Club Plaque rules and NEW ZEALAND Club Competition Plaque rules for more information about which clubs and organisations are eligible.
Newcomer plaques are awarded to the highest scoring new entrants from Oceania in the Phone and CW sections. The rules define a newcomer as an entrant who has not previously entered the relevant section (in any category) more than twice since the 2001 contest. Eligibility is limited to entrants who have not won any other plaques or trophies in the same section (either in a previous year or the current year). Congratulations to Ross ZL1N for winning the 2020 Phone newcomer plaque and Lars ZL1IF for winning the 2020 CW newcomer plaque.
Note that plaques for the 2020 contest have been awarded in accordance with the new 12b rule, i.e. if an entrant is eligible to receive multiple plaques in a hierarchy, they only receive the plaque for the highest level that they win. The plaque inscription will include the details of any lower-level plaque categories that they have won. The lower-level plaques will be awarded to the runner-up entrants in those categories and the inscription on those plaques will state that they are being awarded to the runner-up.
The ongoing sponsorship of plaques is also important for maintaining and growing interest in the contest. New sponsorship offers are always welcome and anyone who is interested in becoming a sponsor should contact the Contest Committee. The cost of sponsoring a plaque is currently AUD 50.00 per annum to cover the expenses associated with the manufacture and delivery of each plaque.
2020 & 2021 New Plaques
This year a new plaque was kindly sponsored by Diane Main VK4DI and Bill Main VK4ZD for the highest scoring YL “young lady” entrant from Australia in any of the single operator Phone categories. Congratulations to Catherine VK7GH as the inaugural winner of this plaque.
We are also grateful to the Australian Ladies Amateur Radio Association (ALARA) for sponsoring two new YL plaques in the 2021 contest and aimed at further promoting YL activity. The new plaques are:
- The Florence McKenzie (Mrs Mac) Award – to be awarded to the YL Single Operator entrant from Oceania with the highest combined Phone and CW score
- The Austine Henry Award – to be awarded to the YL Single Operator entrant from outside Oceania (i.e. rest of the world) with the highest combined Phone and CW score
Certificates are awarded to the top scoring station in each category for each continent and country. Additionally, each station that participated in the contest and made one or more valid QSOs, is awarded a participation certificate identifying the number of valid QSOs made. This year the certificates include an emblem to reflect the 75th anniversary of the contest. The certificates are available online for downloading and printing from the Certificates page
Larry 4D3X @ Country Leader + Country Record Phone Multi-1. Also, Continent Leader CW SO 15M High Power.
LOG CHECKING REPORTS
A log checking report is produced for each entry in the contest (except SWL entries). This report provides details about the calculation of the final score including identifying any QSOs that are duplicates (no penalty), calls that are copied incorrectly, exchanges that are copied incorrectly, QSOs that are not in the other log, and calls that are unique and not in other logs (no penalty).
Entrants can obtain their reports from the OCDX log checking reports page . Any entrant can enter their callsign on this page to have a copy of the relevant report sent to the email address used to submit their log. Anyone having difficulty downloading the report (e.g. due to a change in their email address) should contact the contest committee at email@example.com .
9W2XTK Mohd @ World Leader Phone SO 40M LOW POWER
In the 2020 contest we trialed the bringing forward of the contest start and end times by two hours (from 08:00 UTC to 06:00 UTC) to give stations in the Eastern parts of Oceania (e.g. New Zealand and Eastern Australia) more time on Sunday afternoon to pack up and travel home (for those operating portable stations) and to recover from their efforts, noting that the next day (Monday) is also a working day for many entrants.
The earlier start and end times seem to be appropriate as 2020 participation was well up on previous years and we have not received any concerns from entrants about the change. Given this outcome, the Contest Committee has decided to continue with the earlier times and the 2021 Oceania DX contest will be held over the first two full weekends of October at the following dates and times:
- Phone Section: 06:00 UTC Saturday 2 October to 06:00 UTC Sunday 3 October 2021
- CW Section: 06:00 UTC Saturday 9 October to 06:00 UTC Sunday 10 October 2021
The 2021 Oceania DX Contest rules will be released in the next couple of weeks. We hope to see you all on the air in October! Any queries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Andrius LY7Z @ Country Leader + Country Record Phone SO ALL High Power. Also, Country Leader + Country Record CW SO ALL High Power.
The successful running of the OCDX contest is a large team effort involving contributions from around the world. The log uploading, log checking and certificate production processes are now largely automated, but committee members and others still contribute many hours of effort each year to manage these processes along with writing up and publishing of the annual results, administering the sponsorship and distribution of plaques, and promoting the contest.
The support of the following individuals and organisations is acknowledged and greatly appreciated:
- Ken K1EA for supplying and maintaining our log checking software.
- Mike ZL1AXG for hosting and providing technical support for our web site over the past 20 years. These services were transferred to the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group (AREG) earlier in 2021. Mike is still providing the OCDX Contest domain name and email server.
- The Amateur Radio Experimenters Group (AREG) for picking up the hosting and provision of technical support for our main web site from 2021 onwards.
- Bruce WA7BNM for providing and managing the web portal for the uploading of logs, delivering certificates and log checking reports, and the provision of his on-line web form for converting non-Cabrillo logs to Cabrillo format.
- All the plaque sponsors.
We also take this opportunity to welcome Grant VK5GR to the committee as our new Webmaster. Grant and the AREG team have already done a fantastic job of rebuilding the web site, including updating the content and making it more accessible with a fresh look and feel (thanks Grant!). At the same time, we thank Gary ZL2IFB for all his valuable support as our Webmaster and Marketing Manager since 2015. Gary had to step back from the committee and these roles in 2020 due to other priorities. In the meantime, Martin VK7GN, one of our existing committee members, has kindly agreed to pick up the lead for coordinating our marketing work.
Finally, and most importantly, thank you again to everyone who participated in the 75th contest and made it such a huge success. We look forward to seeing you all again, along with more new entrants, in the 2021 event.
Oceania DX Contest Committee (Mike ZL1AXG, Geoff ZL3GA, Lee VK3GK, Phil VK4FH, Brian VK3MI/ZL1AZE, Tony VK3TZ, Mike VK4QS, Grant VK5GR, Martin VK7GN, Karsono YB0NDT)
Dej E21YDP @ Country Leader + Country Record Phone SO All LOW Power. Also, World Leader + World Record CW SO 40M LOW Power.
Tack JG3XDR @ World Leader + Country Record Phone SO 20M LOW Power.
Martti OH2BH @ Continent Leader Phone SO ALL HIGH Power
Station LY2XW @ World Leader CW Multi-one
W8AJT @ Continent Leader Phone Multi-One
The following abbreviations are used in the description of the entry categories for the OCDX results:
160M = 160M band
80M = 80M band
40M = 40M band
20M = 20M band
15M = 15M band
10M = 10M band
ALL = all bands
CK = check log
LP = low power (total output power no more than 100 Watts)
HP = high power (total output power greater than 100 Watts)
QRP = reduced power (total output power no more than 5W)
M1 = multiple operators and single transmitter
M2 = multiple operators and two transmitters
MM = multiple operators and multiple transmitters
MS = multi-single
SO = single operator
SWL = shortwave listener.
Note: the M1 and M2 categories replaced the MS category in 2010, the LP and HP categories were introduced in 2010, and the QRP categories were introduced in 2014.
The Oceania DX Contest committee is proud to announce the creation of two new plaques for the 2021 contest. The Australian Ladies Amateur Radio Association (ALARA) have sponsored two new awards within the Oceania DX Contest aimed at promoting YL activity on the air The new awards are:
- The Florence McKenzie (Mrs Mac) Award
- Awarded to the YL (“young lady”) Single Operator entrant from Oceania with the highest combined score in the Phone and CW sections
- The Austine Henry Award
- Awarded to the YL (“young lady”) Single Operator entrant from outside Oceania with the highest combined score in the Phone and CW sections
These new awards will make a prestigious addition to the existing stable of plaques on offer to competitors in the Oceania DX Contest! The committee welcomes this initiative from ALARA aimed an encouraging more women into Amateur Radio contesting!
Florence Violet McKenzie OBE (nee Wallace) A2GA/VK2FV/VK2GA
Probably the best known lady amateur operator in Australia is Florence McKenzie (nee Wallace). Born in 1891, she became Australia’s first tertiary educated female electrical engineer, and opened a wireless/electrical shop in Royal Arcade Sydney in 1921. In 1925, Florence obtained her amateur licence and the callsign A2GA. Florence obtained her amateur licence and the callsign A2GA in 1925, our first known licenced lady amateur.
During 1922 Florence was involved with starting the Wireless Weekly magazine, along with three other people. This magazine later morphed into Radio and Hobbies and later still, Electronics Australia. The 1948 call book lists her as VK2FV which lapsed about 1959. Regaining interest in amateur radio in 1979, Florence again became 2GA, this time VK2GA, which she held until her death in 1982.
In the mid 1930s Florence established the Electrical Association for Women which appears to have been formed mainly to teach women how to use electrical appliances in the home; she also wrote a cookery book for electric stoves, when none were available.
When Florence realised that war was imminent, “Mrs. Mac” as she was fondly known, became acutely aware of the need for radio communications as part of our defence, and the need for people trained in Morse code. She established a no-charge training school in a loft near her shop. Her students were initially predominantly women and the school became known as the Women’s Emergency Signaling Corps. (W.E.S.C.) During 1940, in response to a newspaper advertisement by the Navy, appealing for trained amateurs to enlist as telegraphists, she offered her trainees. The Naval Director of Signals and Communications recommended to the Naval Board that they be employed at shore establishments and fourteen selected applicants took up their duties at the Harman Wireless Station in Canberra. From this beginning the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) was established in 1941. It grew to a peak of 105 officers and 2,518 ratings during the war.
Mrs. Mac trained the women to teach the thousands of men who wanted a skill to offer the Services. She could also see that if there were women in the services, who were competent in communication, it would free the men for other duties. In her valedictory published in Ditty Box, the ex WRANS magazine for June 1982, she was reported as being “eventually responsible for training more than 12000 servicemen”!
American servicemen who were based in Australia were sent to Mrs. Mac for refresher courses. Initially skeptical, they were soon won over by her training methods. Continuing after the war, she trained many QANTAS pilots in Morse code.
Florence McKenzie was awarded an OBE in 1950 and became a SK in 1982.
Austine Henry (nee Marshall) VK3YL
An Australian lady amateur who became well known world wide, was Austine Henry (nee Marshall) VK3YL. She was born, Mary Austine, on 11th June 1913, in Brighton, Victoria. Austine received her first radio (a crystal set) as a small child, and promptly pulled it apart to see how it worked! She later graduated to building valve sets.
Tutored by her then boyfriend, later husband, Bill Henry, Austine passed her experimental licence exam and was issued with an Amateur Operator’s Certificate of Proficiency number 619, dated May 14th 1930, and the callsign VK3YL. Only the third woman to obtain an amateur licence in Australia at that time, she became a very active VK3 operator and a great ambassador for amateur radio world-wide.
Austine continued to build much of her own equipment, including a very large, high-power, crystal controlled transmitter, which won first prize in its class at the Victorian Wireless Institute of Australia’s public display in the Melbourne Lower Town Hall in 1933.
On September 6th 1933 Austine became the first woman admitted to the Royal Australian Air force Wireless Reserve and was enrolled as No.R.20 A.C.2 Marshall M.A. in the Wireless Section. She was very upset that they would not send her to the war zone as a radio operator, just because she was a woman! Despite her official commitments during WWII, she spent a lot of her spare time at the WIA, on a voluntary basis, teaching Morse code to service personnel and others.
Austine was a member of the WIA for 54 years (in 1985), having the distinction of holding the longest YL membership to that date. Other notable achievements included, being a foundation member of the YASME Foundation and winning certificate no.7 in the prestigious YASME Award. She was made a Life member of the Society of Wireless Pioneers, and her entry into the DXCC Honour Roll was as the first Australian YL using CW. She was the first to gain the WAC-YL and certificate number 22 for the YL-DXCC from Canada (hand printed in gold) and the first VK YL to gain the Australian Ladies Amateur Radio Association (ALARA) award. Austine became a member of the ARRL on April 14th 1930, had over 30 years of membership in the RSGB, and other organisations to which she belonged included, New Zealand Amateur Radio Transmitters (NZART), Radio Amateur Old Timers’ Club (Australia), RAOTC (USA), Young Ladies Relay League (YLRL USA), Young Ladies International SSB net (YLISSB), Women Amateur Radio Operators (WARO NZ) and of course ALARA.
Austine died unexpectedly, at the age of 81, on September 9th 1994; the words “Silent Key” being most fitting for this internationally known YL ambassador.
Website Upgrade Complete!
The Oceania DX Contest committee is pleased to announce that a long planned upgrade of the contest website is now complete! The committee wishes to thank the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group, Matt VK5ZM, Mark VK5QI and in particular Grant VK5GR who have together donated hosting and web services and undertaken a rebuild of the system, including porting all of the content from the old site. With the new platform and web engine now in place, we hope to bring further improvements and new features to the site into the future.
Thank You to our Volunteers
At the same time, the committee wishes to thank Gary ZL2IFB, who has managed the original website for many years now, for all of his efforts. Thank you also to Mike ZL1AXG for his hosting and technical support of the previous system.
We also want to welcome Geoff ZL3GA and Grant VK5GR to the web editorial team!
Would you like some more Good News?
Now that the website project is complete we can also advise that the results of the 2020 contest are now not very far away. Stay tuned as we prepare to load them into the new server!