Archive - April 2024

IOTA-60 Dinner in Friedrichshafen on Friday, 28 June 2024

The following has been copied from the IOTA website. Thanks to the IOTA management team for arranging this along with Ric in Germany for doing the legwork and speaking with the restaurant. 

IOTA-60 Dinner in Friedrichshafen on Friday, 28 June 2024

To celebrate 60 years since the founding of the IOTA programme, an anniversary dinner will be organized on Friday, 28 June 2024, between 19:00 and 23:00, at the V2O Bio Restaurant in the Zeppelin MuseumFriedrichshafen. The event offers an opportunity for chasers and activators to share time together, chatting about topics of common interest, such as past and future expeditions, technology trends, and goals.

The dinner itself will consist in a three-course menu at a price equivalent to £38, excluding drinks, which includes a starter, main course, and desert, with a choice of two different main courses, as follows:

Starter: creamy parsnip soup with puff pastry;

Main course: Option #1 – Braised roast from Hohenloher pasture oxen cooked at low temperature for 18 hours with market vegetables and homemade spaetzle;
Option #2 – Thai red vegetable coconut curry with bamboo shoots and basmati rice (vegan);

Dessert: Chocolate cake.

Drinks, including still and sparkling water, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, will be additional, and paid by each guest, as ordered.

IOTA Ltd. booked the venue and will sign a contract with the restaurant, on behalf of the guests. Those interested to participate need to indicate their menu option and pay for it by sending £38 through PayPal to, by no later than May 31. Please type “IOTA-60 Dinner” in the subject line of your PayPal submission! We will confirm each payment received prior to deadline, following which you’ll need to visit the IOTA booth on Friday morning, June 28, to pick up your dinner tickets. There will be no on-site availability to join the dinner and/or pay for it. Note that we will reach out to everyone who has already expressed an interest to participate. Meanwhile, everyone else who wishes to join in is welcome, providing that he/she follows the procedure indicated above.

IOTA Management, 21 April 2024

Upcoming school contact with ISS

Something to listen for on Wednesday peeps. Tune your 2M rigs to 145.800 FM, and listen. This will work on any handheld/fm radio with or without the external antenna – yep even with your handhelds rubber antenna. Just do not transmit.

VK5FIL Expedition to OC-261

More DX info from Charles. Lets hope the conditions are good and we can work them over here in the UK.

VK5FIL Expedition to OC-261/VKFF-0175 DX News
Update from Grant (VK5GR);
”Its not long now and we will be off on another adventure! Our 6 man team is in the final throws of preparing to depart Adelaide and head to Flinders Island off the coast of Eyre Peninsula! Almost all of the planning is complete and gear is being packed ready for the crossing in the barge. Lets hope for good weather!
If all goes to plan, VK5FIL should be on the air by ~0800z 14th April from IOTA OC-261 & VKFF-0175. We will have 4 stations operating at the homestead and a number of the operators are also bringing their portable parks equipment as well to activate VKFF-4307 and VKFF-1717 in the days that follow while we are there.

2023-2024 Mailing Costs and Statistics

Following on from the Bureau Returned post below, the following is copied from Tim’s (M0URX) website just to show how much the costs are for sending out the QSL cards for the 2023 to 2024 year.

As the 2023 – 2024 financial tax year comes to an end, it is time to take a look at how our mailing facility has worked over the last year. Overall 28,936 items of mail were posted at a cost of £26,359.90. We post QSL Direct cards, bureau parcels and magazines using the various products as shown in the table below. With 13,751 more items posted this year, with Solar Cycle 25 this last 12 months providing much increased propagation on HF.
DX’pedition QSL costs are very competitive as always and we welcome talking to DX teams about mailing your QSL cards in the future.

The past 12 months though have been financially very challenging, postage costs up 10%, pulp paper costs up 15% and Customs charges across the board on QSL bulk shipments in and out through customs have hit us very heavily. We have tried to keep our QSL charges down to the lowest we can.

Standard postal rates have increased significantly in most countries worldwide due to the dwindling number of letters posted globally as people use electronic technology which has largely replaced the postal system in recent years. This means that the postal costs are spread over much lower volumes both nationally and worldwide and THIS is the driver of increased postal costs. In our hobby we still use the mail system to ship our QSL cards and therefore we must expect that increase to hit us. As an example, Royal Mail letter volumes in the last 12 years have dropped from 14.3 bn down to 7.3 bn per year.

While most people use OQRS (Thank you) we still get a number of incoming direct letters. The problem being is that most of the incoming letters do not include the correct QSL costs, because most fail to read either my QSL policy or the DXpedition QSL policy. This increases our costs further and also costs us time as we have to email to let people know that they failed to QSL correctly. My advice is use OQRS ONLY!

More customs charges on Bureau shipments outgoing continue, many Bureaus refuse to accept the shipments and we will not guarantee any cards requested using the IARU Bureau system. Customs demand a recipient name on these shipments but the IARU refuse to provide this for GDPR reasons. Well, this will inevitably close the Bureau system as we know it going forward. Someone has to take responsibility for this if the Bureau cards are to be securely sent and received by the IARU Bureaus. It is now completely out of our hands. If you want a QSL card use the direct option on OQRS is the only advice i can give.
Enjoy your DX! We as a team promise to provide you with a QSL service that works for both the DX’er and the DXpedition Team.

Bureau Boxes Returned

The following are both taken from Tim’s (M0URX) website. Both these have been returned this week, this is not because of BREXIT but because of the International Customs Union not allocating a commodity code for “used postcard” so they can freely pass through the borders. The one from URE is a silly one as there is a customs declaration to the right of the sticker they have attached in Spain (the pink label).

Both Tim and Charles (M0OXO) have said it is now getting to the point where they will not accept cards through the bureau and they will soon be considering to not send out through the bureau due to the expensive costs – I will post a full update from Tim with the cost breakdown.

DARC Bureau Box Returned

One of the two Bureau parcels that we posted to DARC German QSL Bureau back in February has been returned endorsed as “Non Reclaimed” 
We are currently working with DARC to have this shipped back to Germany soon. Sorry for the delay this has caused. 





URE Bureau Box Returned again!

It is with regret that i report that the Spanish URE Bureau Box failed to get through customs for the second time. Endorsed “Missing Customs Declaration” I have reported this to URE. At this time we will not be sending this again.

Can anyone in Spain help?

We will now have to seriously consider if we are able to continue to accept ANY bureau requests in future?