Congratulations to all the winners in the 2019 Oceania DX (OCDX) Contest, and thank you to everyone who participated, even if only to make a few QSOs.
The OCDX contest is one of - if not the - longest-running events in the international DX contest calendar. It originated in 1935 as the VK-ZL International DX contest although it was suspended from 1937 to 1947 due to World War II. The Committee believes 2019 was the contest’s 74th year.
Everyone thought the 2018 contest was hard going but 2019 was just as tough! QSO volumes were well down on previous years, especially in the Phone section. The solar flux continued to be at some of the lowest levels we have seen in the contest over recent decades, and this meant that QSOs on the higher bands were hard to find. 10M QSOs were generally limited to Oceania, except for a small handful with Asia and two QSOs with RK3ER in Europe. The path to North America was particularly poor as no North America entrant managed to log any 10M QSOs. 15M also struggled to deliver, although the level of Phone activity on this band was much improved compared to 2018. 20M played OK but the activity on this band was still nothing remarkable compared to previous years.
Conditions on the 160M and 80M bands also seemed poor, despite geomagnetic conditions being settled over both weekends. However lightning storms in the vicinity of Australia and North America would have made it difficult for stations near these areas to copy weaker DX signals. Only four 160M QSOs were logged outside Oceania – by R4RE, KA6BIM and K3PA in the CW section.
Thankfully 40M was in great shape. The 5 points per QSO on this band also make it attractive for maximising scores. So not surprisingly, 40M was where most of the action occurred. The number of QSOs on 40M outnumbered the total of all the QSOs on the other bands by a factor of two! This led YB3VI to set a new Oceania record in the Phone 40M SO HP category, YC0VM to set a new Oceania record in the CW SO 40M QRP category and 9W2XTK to set a new World (non-Oceania) record in the Phone SO 40M QRP category. Congratulations!
Despite the difficult conditions, there was still a good turn out with a total of 1113 Phone and CW logs being submitted. However, this is less than the 1188 logs received in 2018 and the record haul of 1303 logs received in 2017. Closer inspection of the log trend data shows further declines in the number of Phone logs received from Europe and Asia and CW logs from Asia. These declines were partly offset by increases in the number of Phone logs received from North America and Oceania and the number of CW logs received from Europe. In Oceania we were pleased to see a further increase in the number of Phone logs from Indonesia (thanks to the great promotional work by Karsono YB0NDT and other YB elmers) and the number of Phone and CW logs from the Philippines.
We are hopeful the recent decline in logs will reverse as we come out of the solar cycle minimum and HF conditions start improving again. The Committee intends to increase promotion of the contest, including raising interest by publishing articles about the history of the contest and the unique opportunities and challenges that it provides for working Oceania DX stations.
See the OCDX 2019 contest charts for more information about the participation and conditions in the 2019 contest and trends over recent years.
As well as the more common Oceania entities (such as Australia, Hawaii, Indonesia, New Zealand and the Philippines) the 2019 contest saw activity from rarer parts of Oceania (such as 5W0, A35, FK4, NH2, T88, V85 and ZK3). As always, activity from the rarer DX entities plays an important role in making the contest interesting and attractive to participants, especially for stations outside Oceania. We are grateful to those individuals and teams who travelled to activate these entities in the 2019 contest. Unfortunately, COVID-19 travel restrictions may mean there are fewer DX activations from the rarest Oceania prefixes for the 2020 contest.
As always, there were plenty of impressive efforts and scores achieved in the 2019 contest. Summaries of all the winning entries, and those which set new records, are provided on the following pages:
A big shout out to KA6BIM for an outstanding performance and the rare achievement of winning the North America SO ALL HP category in both the Phone and CW sections.
The detailed line scores for the 2019 contest are presented in the following interactive on-line tables:
These tables list the following information for each entry:
The results tables allow this information to be filtered and sorted as well as providing an option for downloading a CSV file copy of the data so it can be furthered explored in a spreadsheet.
A searchable database of all the OCDX scores and records since 2001 is also provided in the following tables:
Congratulations to all the winners of the plaques and trophies in the 2019 contest.
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 Geelong Amateur Radio Club wins this plaque again in 2019 (for the 7th year in a row!) with a total of 3 eligible logs being submitted from members VK3DJ, VK3DQW and VK3ZIB.
Note: Australia and New Zealand entrants are reminded to use the Cabrillo 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 2019 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 entrant from Oceania in the Phone section and the highest scoring new entrant from Oceania in the CW section. 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 Jayadi YB7OO for winning the 2019 Phone newcomer plaque and Theo Marinos VK5IR for winning the 2019 CW newcomer plaque.
The Committee has decided to adjust the rules for the 2020 OCDX contest so that only one plaque or trophy will be awarded per entry. For example, a station winning a Continent plaque will not be considered for a sub-area award. That award will be given to the runner-up for the sub-area. This change will help ensure that the recognition and motivation from receiving a plaque is distributed as widely and fairly as possible.
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 the plaques.
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. The certificates are available online for downloading and printing from the certificates page.
A log checking report is produced for each entry in the contest (except SWL entries). This report provides detailed information about the calculation of the score including identifying 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 that was 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.
As flagged in the publication of the 2018 results, the OCDX Committee considered bringing forward the contest start and end times in order 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 in the contest, noting that the Monday is a work day for many of us.
After reviewing the comments from entrants, the Committee has decided to try out bringing forward of the start and end times by two hours i.e. the 2020 OCDX contests will run from Saturday 06:00 UTC to Sunday 06:00 UTC. The Committee will decide whether to make the change permanent after considering any feedback from this year’s trial.
Given this decision, the 75th Oceania DX contest will now be held over the first two full weekends of October 2020 at the following dates and times:
Phone Section: 06:00 UTC Saturday 3 October to 06:00 UTC Sunday 4 October 2020
CW Section: 06:00 UTC Saturday 10 October to 06:00 UTC Sunday 11 October 2020
Please email any queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 still contribute many hours of effort per annum to manage these processes along with writing up and publishing 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:
Finally, and most importantly, thank you again to everyone who participated in the 2019 contest and made it such a success. We look forward to seeing you all again, along with more new entrants, in the 2020 contest. Spread the word about the 75th running of this longstanding contest and let’s make it a big party to celebrate the milestone!
73 from Oceania DX Contest Committee
(Lee VK3GK, Brian VK3MI/ZL1AZE, Tony VK3TZ, Phil VK4FH, Martin VK7GN, Karsono YB0NDT, Mike ZL1AXG, Gary ZL2iFB and Geoff ZL3GA)