After not having any multiband antenna to chase DX on bands other than 12M, I finally took the plunge and bought a Sigma SE HF X-80 vertical. This arrived on Wednesday morning and with having the day off work was in the air within 30 minutes of starting. I have mounted it on a metal clothes post so the base is about 6 feet off the ground. It is a compromise antenna covering 80 through to 6M, although it does need an external AMU to allow it to be used in the recommended bands. I have found that the internal tuner of the Icom IC7300 will work and pull in the antenna on 30M to 6M, and it seems to be working well.
One of the main DXpeditions that are taking place at the moment is to Guyana by 4 young amateurs including a friend of ours, Jamie (M0SDV), and they are doing very well. They have been on all bands and have made over 24,000 contacts since starting on Wednesday (14th February 2024). Praise from all quarters as to how they have controlled the pile ups. Even my little signal has made it through the crowds, these guys are the future of our hobby and long may they continue.
This team are not the only ones at the minute. There is also a group who are on from Robinson Crusoe Island, part of the Juan Fernandez Islands group (IOTA; SA-005), using 3 calls – CB0ZA, CB0ZW, and CB0ZEW. The CB0ZEW call is one of the latest innovations within the hobby where a full station is set up so it can be operated remotely. In other words I could sit here at home and operate using the equipment on the island over the internet. Not a good way in my opinion, but again this looks like it could be the way to go for DXpeditions to some of these remote places on our planet.
The amateur radio community is mourning a true gentlemen, DXer, and DXpedition Organiser today. Last night (10/02/2024) the news came out that Bob Alphin, K4UEE, had become a silent key. Many tributes have been paid to him on social media and DX sites. Myself I can only echo the sentiments made by others. I first met Bob at one of the HF Conventions at Wyboston Lakes, he had returned earlier in the year from 3Y0X, Peter 1st Island, in the Antarctic region and gave a presentation of this expedition. We then shared a couple of beers and chatted in the bar later that evening. As I say a true gent as he regaled stories with myself and Tim, M0URX, two people who he had only just met face to face.
RIP Bob, until we meet again.
This announcement has been made this morning by the IOTA management team.
IOTA (Islands On The Air) – 60th Anniversary
This year we celebrate 60 years since the founding of our wonderful programme. In recognition of this milestone, the upcoming Ham Radio 2024 meeting in Friedrichshafen (FHN), scheduled to take place between June 28 and 30, will have as moto: “60 Years of Islands on the Air: Technology Meets Adventure!” (see more at https://www.hamradio-friedrichshafen.com)
Apart from having a booth there, we intend to organize an IOTA Forum on Saturday morning, June 29, as well as other activities, which will be announced on this website later on. We also like to use this opportunity to call for an anniversary dinner at one of the local restaurants. Please let us know at email@example.com, as soon as possible, if you are interested to participate to this special get-together event, number of seats required, and if you have a preference for a specific evening during the meeting. We will compile the results of this quick survey to book an appropriate venue.
More details will be provided in due course.
VE3LYC and the IOTA Team – 31 January 2024
Taken from Charles’ (M0OXO) website. Another new one for me and one I missed when the team went in 2023.
We’re building an organization of 25+ experienced DXpeditioners committing to and capable of executing some of the rarest and most difficult entities to activate. In the pipeline we have two exciting DXpeditions planned.
- 3YØK DXpedition to Bouvetøya January 2025 (#11 most wanted)
- We will stay up to 21 days on the island
- A team of 3 operators + support team of 4 persons + remote team
- Budget $440,000 where 2/3rd of budget is already secured
- $150,000 in support still needed
- ALL PERMITS IN HAND
We have signed a contract with a vessel owner with a proven track record in Arctic and Antarctic waters. The experienced Captain has been supporting expedition teams since 1997 and before that has been managing his own fishing trawler for decades. We’re also teaming up with Peter as responsible for landing us safely on the beach, similarly to what he did this year. We are three persons with previous experience from landing at the island. Peter’s experience, skill and determination is again an important factor for success!
We have been through some 3YØJ lessons learned where everything have been scrutinized to improve the next attempt. This time we plan 3YØK based on our previous Bouvet experience! We will go only with smaller Honda gasoline generators, and it will be a lightweight DXpedition but still with some yagis and amplifiers. Weight is reduced from 7 ton to 2 ton. Peter will be leading the support team of total 4 younger persons, that comes in addition to the radio operators.
We will also engage a remote team where AA7JV George will be involved with tons of remote experience from his Pacific trips. George will design, test, and supply the remote radio system adapted to Bouvet environment and we’re grateful for his contribution. The remote radio system will be Pelican Cases with radio and power supply, where we will taking four remote radios and 5 radios with amplifiers for the local operators. In addition to the 7 members that will be on the island there will thus be additional remote members providing you with QSOs.
Operators: Dave WD5COV, Emil DL8JJ and Ken LA7GIA
Media Officer: James Gallo KB2FMH
Visit our Facebook page and our website www.3y0k.com.
The following is taken from Charles’ (M0OXO) website. This will be a very interesting one to follow so book into the diary/calendar.
Peter I Island DXpedition 2026 preparation has started!
Peter I is the #8 DXCC in ClubLog most wanted list.
We have secured a vessel, and we’re now building a team of 19 operators that will go to Peter I Island in February 2026 and stay there for 14 days. The vessel is a proper Antarctica vessel with 2 helicopters, two Expedition leaders and with all permits needed.
We are working closely with the Norwegian Polar Institute to obtain the landing permit. A website has been created and additional information about Peter I Island DXpedition will be released shortly. Fundraising is expected to start 2024
Team leader Ken LA7GIA, Co-leader Adrian KO8SCA, Co-leader Cezar VE3LYC and Co-leader Dave WD5COV.
Media Officer: James Gallo KB2FMH.
Because we are running the two DXpeditions through the same organization (Delta-Xray Group) there exist synergies as for the equipment, logistics and resources committed to execute these.
The following is taken from Tim’s (M0URX) website. He is the QSL manager for this expedition which will be a new DXCC country for me so I am hoping I will make this contact.
Good morning from Shogun.
The fair winds and following seas were yesterday’s news, today we’re bouncing around and rolling along. We finished breakfast a short time ago, and while some team members are in the lounge, others decided to ride out the weather in their bunk with 2,800 QSOs in the log the /MM station was dismantled and packed away.
Landing on the island will be dependent on the weather and access through the reef. The skipper said he will put two skiffs in the water. First over will be several radio team members and boat crew. They’ll bring over emergency food / water and shelter, then determine best campsite consistent with access.
We will arrive Clipperton early Thursday morning.
The boat crew will begin bringing our equipment out of the holds early in the morning. The skipper will take a trip around the island looking for known openings in the reef. Initially, three team members will go to the island and, based on where we land, select the camp location.
Two team members will stay on the boat to direct the transfer of equipment, first over: emergency food, drinking water, shelters, one small generator, petrol, tools, etc. followed by all other equipment.
As equipment goes over, one or two additional team members will take the ride over. The weather will dictate how many people can (will) go over on the first day.
Once we begin this process, we may not be able to send updates until the island Starlink terminals are deployed, or possibly some people may remain on the boat Thursday night. That’s it for now. Cheers, K5GS
Happy New Year to all my friends, and family around the world. Again I have not written much or updated this BLOG for a few weeks, following my last update I was admitted to hospital with a serious chest infection, so I should outline the plans for 2024.
Firstly my aim is to lose some weight and get my health back. This I plan to do with changing my diet and the whole way I live. Yes I will still be doing my day job, but rather than be sat here at my desk on my days off I intend to get out more, some walking to build up my stamina and taking my camera to try and get some of the local bird life – along with other wild life and maybe some aircraft at the 2 local airports close to my location.
Secondly I am wanting to get my vintage radios repaired so I can use them on air, as well as get a good antenna with a mast fitted to the house. I may even look at some VHF/UHF antennas to try and get back in to the UKAC contests.
And finally I have some events and air shows planned for this year too. I will be attending the GMDX Association meeting in April, so a trip up to Scotland is on the cards for that. This will be followed with Ham Radio Friedrichshafen in Germany, looking forward to seeing some old and new friends at this one. Then it will be time for RIAT in July, the biggest military air show in Europe where I volunteer. And then in early October I will once again be travelling to Ireland for the DX Feile 2024. And if nothing clashes in October I may be at the RSGB Convention once again to end the year.
These and visits to my 2 radio clubs, Hinckley Amateur Radio & Electronics Society (HARES) and Mexborough And District Amateur Radio Society (MADARS), for some talks and presentations. So a busy boy me thinks.
As the year 2023 end draws ever closer, we like to wish all our friends around the world season’s greetings in their home language, and we do apologize if we miss yours off the list. Let’s hope that 2024 brings us all good luck, health, and prosperity.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddn Newydd
Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo
Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annèe
Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo
Froehliche Weihnachten undein gluckliches Nues Jahr
Kala Christougenna Kieftihismenos O Kenowios Chronos
Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia
Boas Fiestas e um feliz Ano Novo
Nollaig Shona Dhuit
WOW, this past few months have been a busy time for me, and I have not been inclined to add anything new to the page. I guess I should have as I have been to a few conventions and been very active on the air. One of the conventions was a trip over to Shannon in Ireland to the EIDX Club DX Feile. I have to say this was one of the best convention and meetings I have ever been to, and already I am looking forward to next years (2024) event.
There was also a trip to Milton Keynes to the RSGB Convention. This was not as good as previous years in my opinion, the talks were not as interesting (to myself and a number of others) as in previous years. The special interest group room had been split into 2, one in the usual place next to the coffee room and one tucked away up stairs. This sadly meant that the ones upstairs didn’t get the visitors as normal and felt that they had been “pushed out”. Maybe the organisers will think again and keep them all in one room or look at swapping the ones downstairs to upstairs. But I doubt it.
So now we start planning for 2024, hopefully we will be able to get a proper antenna in the air and get back on the air, not that I am off air just that I am only using a home made vertical dipole that is not performing as it should. You never know I may have some good luck one day and win a decent lump on the lottery. hahahahaha
Stay safe folks and good DX
Recently been trying a new aspect of the hobby. I have always been interested in space and had a small interest in astronomy, so while I was at home a couple of weeks ago I got my Kenwood TM-D700E dual band FM transceiver set up on my desk. Connected it to the “white stick” antenna, only on a short pole at about 10ft high that I was using for my radar and scanner, and tuned VFO A to 145.990 (with a CTCSS tone of 67.0Hz) and VFO B to 437.800 +/- 5 to 10 KHz for doppler shift. These frequencies are the uplink and down link for the repeater on the International Space Station, lots of stations heard and worked, including a none completed contact with 1A0C in the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) building in Rome.
Many thanks to all of you who I have made contact with, and to those who I have yet to meet on the air through this fascinating mode of communication. I am also looking at making an “Egg Beater” type of antenna for myself to use through some of the other satellites we are able to use before I get fully absorbed with a full tracking station and other kit.