Saturday, February 11, 2023

3Y0J On the Air From Bouvet

The 3Y0J DXpedition team has landed on Bouvet Island and is on the air. Team co-leader Ken Opskar, LA7GIA, reported to media officer Steve Hass, NA2J, that this is “the most extreme expedition I’ve been to,” adding that “Activating Bouvet is not like activating an island in the Caribbean. It is really windy, cold and exhausting to bring equipment up here.” Opskar added that the only way to get on shore was by floating 50 feet from the boat in survival suits while holding onto a line attached to a buoy; and that the equipment had to be floated in as well, then carried 800 feet up to the camp.

Early pileups were intense and Facebook was filled with reports of jamming and other bad on-air behavior making it difficult for hams to even hear the team’s 100-watt signals. Bouvet Island is a dot of land in the far southern Atlantic Ocean, roughly halfway between South Africa and Antarctica. It is #2 on the DX most-wanted list (North Korea is #1). For updates, please visit or the expedition's Facebook page..

Hams Respond to Turkish Earthquake - Please Keep 28.540, 7.092 and 3.777 MHz Clear

Search and rescue efforts under way in Turkey
and Syria following massive earthquake
(United Nations photo)
Amateur radio operators are actively involved in emergency response efforts following the massive earthquake that rocked Turkey and Syria in early February. 

According to the ARRL, the Turkiye Radyo Amatorieri Cemiyeti (TRAC) organization is coordinating the ham radio response in Turkey, primarily using 28.540 MHz, with 3.777 and 7.092 as backups. Hams are asked to keep these frequencies clear for emergency traffic.

IARU Region 1 (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) Emergency Communications Coordinator Greg Mosup, G0DUB, says TRAC President Aziz Sasa, TA1E, is now in the earthquake zone and is requesting assistance from the international community. However, he asks that any groups planning to come to Turkey to help coordinate their efforts through the Turkish embassy in their home countries. He also requests that all search-and-rescue groups have at least one radio amateur on their teams.

There is no information at this time on any possible quake-related amateur communications in Syria, as there are very few hams active there. The death toll from this massive earthquake is above 20,000 and climbing daily.

HRO ClosingSan Diego Store

Ham Radio Outlet is closing its store in San Diego, California. According to a post on its website, the building’s landlord informed the company in late 2022 that its lease would not be renewed. “Since that time,” said the announcement, “we have been searching the surrounding area for a new location. However, recent extreme increases in rent and non-business friendly policies by the state, county and city governments have made locating and affording a viable location all but impossible.” The San Diego store will close permanently on February 25.

Winter Field Day Heats Up the Airwaves

Another Winter Field Day is in the books, the 16th annual running of the event held on the last weekend in January. The purpose of the activity, according to Newsline, is similar to that of ARRL Field Day in June, but with the added challenge of practicing portable emergency communication skills in generally less-friendly winter weather. New for this year were a mobile/stationary mobile entry category and a 100-watt power limit for all participants. In 2022, more than 2500 logs were submitted (including those from home stations contacting portable or mobile stations). As of a week and a half after the 2023 event, more than 1900 logs had been submitted from over 1100 locations, with additional logs being accepted through March 1. For more information, visit the WFD website at <>.


Youth DX Adventure Heading to Curacao Again

Moving ahead to summer, the Dave Kalter Memorial Youth DX Adventure program will again activate call sign PJ2Y from the Curacao QTH of Geoff Howard, PJ2T, this coming July. Participation is open to licensed hams between the ages of 12 and 17; a parent or guardian must also attend. Most trip-related expenses for participants are paid through donations to the YDXA program. The application deadline is May 1. Additional information and application forms are available at <>.

Friday, February 10, 2023

DXpedition Boot Camp

Keep your ears open in the second half of March for activity from VK9/Norfolk Island, site of the upcoming DXpedition Boot Camp. According to Newsline, budding DXpeditioners will get the opportunity to learn from and operate with more experienced ops from an exotic locale between March 17 and 31. The camp, coordinated by Chris Chapman, VK3QB, plans to have stations on the air from 160 through 6 meters, operating CW, SSB and FT8. There will also be an opportunity for a SOTA (Summits on the Air) activation from nearby Mt. Bates. The camp itself is free, but participants have to pay their own travel and lodging expenses. At press time, there was no word on the call sign(s) to be used. For more information as the time grows closer, visit <>.

POTA Posts Big Activity Increase in 2022

The Parks on the Air program keeps growing by leaps and bounds. Newsline reports that the POTA organization tallied a total of 141,477 activations in 2022, a 195% increase over 2021, covering 14,818 parks in 72 DX entities, operated by 7,187 amateurs. The combined total of POTA QSOs in 2022 was more than 6.26 million, more than double the number in 2021. The POTA program encourages operations from national or state/provincial parks and preserves. For more information, visit <>.

Morse Makes a Splash on the BBC

The continued popularity of Morse code among hams was the subject of two different programs recently on two different BBC stations in the United Kingdom. Newsline reports that the current affairs program “PM on BBC Radio 4” featured Long Island CW Club co-founder Howard Bernstein, WB2UZE, discussing the ongoing appeal of Morse and his club’s instruction programs, which are available for free worldwide.

In addition, Mervyn Foster, G4KLE, a volunteer at the Radio Society of Great Britain’s National Radio Centre, spoke with BBC Three Counties Radio morning host Andy Collins about the resurgence of interest in Morse in the UK, both within and beyond amateur radio. 

At press time, both interviews were available online (but it’s uncertain how long they’ll remain posted). Howard’s is at <>, and Mervyn’s is at <>.

HAARP Thanks Hams for Help With Asteroid-Bounce Experiment

HAARP Antenna Array
(Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks photo)
The University of Alaska Fairbanks’s High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) has thanked amateur radio operators and amateur astronomers for help with its asteroid-bounce experiment in late December. Signals were sent up to an asteroid passing near Earth’s orbit.

Over 300 reception reports were submitted to HAARP researchers, according to the ARRL. The goal was not two-way contacts as hams make off the Moon or streaking meteors, but rather efforts to study near-Earth objects and defend our planet from large asteroids with the potential to cause significant damage.