Dxing.Today Issue 13, 19th January 2018
Editor: Nick VK2DX Co-Editor: Dragan 4O4A

*** The best DX present - ever!

Imagine you just woke up one morning only to find that your 'Urban DXer' 3-band vertical with just a couple of lousy radials is gone! Instead, someone, literally overnight, has instead installed a brand new, shiny 18m tower and on top of it: a 3el stepper yagi! Your XYL is smiling, while handing over a mug of coffee. "Good morning Darling- looks like 17m is open and the Caribbeans are booming in. You play with your new beam; I'll leave you in peace! Have a GREAT day".

Yes, in your dreams. But actually, when you think of it- you, and I and everyone else just got those 10 magic decibel of extra gain. It was a present from K1JT - and Joe's gift to us was completely free. Thanks to JT modes, your lousy vertical all of the sudden performs like a yagi; and your small tribander works as good as six over six stack! Thanks to JT modes, Urban DXers residing in even the most challenging locations can work DX like never before.

Here is just a quick list of DX stations heard or worked in the past couple of days: a juicy DX from Africa, Alaska, Caribbeans, Pacific - from all over the world. At the bottom of the solar cycle, all decoded in a noisy suburb of Sydney. This is the kind of DX you too could expect to hear and work almost every day of the week, 365 days a year. In the entire history of amateur radio, DXing was never easier than it is today, thanks to JT modes.

We got free 10dB but we should use this gift wisely. We should be smart about it. Avoiding the use of excessive power. Avoiding not just deliberate QRM but any kind of QRM by checking the quality of our transmitted signal. If the band looks overcrowded -it probably is - so calling CQ may not be the best idea. Instead, the better strategy could be what we used to call 'search and pounce'. Or even better - moving to a less crowded band. Keep in mind that band is here to be shared - so when a newcomer 'takes over your frequency - just smile and click away. We got a great gift and even greater responsibility to keep our 'DXing' in order, to keep it 'fun for all'.

While the technological advancement in communications is easy to assess, the long term social aspect of digital modes is much more unclear. The last thing we want is to become a bunch of 'clickers', insulated and asocial. Digital modes have stripped the nature of two way contact to bare bones. But digital QSO is much more than an exchange: follow it up with an email, share your 'DX' story with your FB friends (or even better your REAL friends), continue to work on your hardware setup and set your DX goals - and continue to exchange real paper QSL cards :-)

There was never a better time to be alive and to be a DXer. Go for it!

*** Past Week on 80m FT8

If there ever was a country which embraced JT modes more than any other, then it has to be Indonesia. On Thursday night there were no less than 10 YB's on 80m band. My only explanation for such high activity: a National Day or at least a public holiday. Turns out it wasn't. This season I've managed to log 27 unique Indonesian calls on 80m band. Simply amazing. If you are looking for a beautiful color card to add you your collection, then YB0MWM is the one to chase and confirm. Har is located just outside the capital Jakarta and he is active on 80m almost daily with a very respectable signal.

XW4XR from Laos is no other than Bruce, ex AA4XR who a few years ago decided that after 50 years living and DXing from Florida, he wanted to start a new life on the other side of the world- so become a DX himself! He now travels between Laos, Vietnam (XW1B and 3W3B) and Thailand (HS0ZCY). Bruce appeared briefly on 80m FT8 and we hope to see more of him soon. Best time to look for him is from 14 UTC onward. Bruce is a very patient and curious operator and I only made into his log thanks to his persistence. He is not very loud so you would have to wait for the band to peak in your direction. But it's worth it - Laos is a big deal on any band, and especially so on 80m. Note: John, KB4FB s also in Laos until March; he is active as XW4FB (guest operator).

Once again, Japanese had fun chasing ZF2LC, 6Y6J, CO3LT and HK3W. TR8CA, XT2AW and C93PA had no problem exciting a horde of European callers. VU2IT, VU2NKS and AP2AM are regular on 80m band as well as A71AM, A65DR, 9K2MU and EX7DY.

Central / East Asia: if you need zone 23 then JT1BV is still your best bet. BG0BWG form a 'rare on air' province of Uygur (XinJiang) made a cameo appearance and was worked by UA0 and JA only. What a stunning DX! Equally attractive: BG3PJT from HeBei who has not seen on any other band but 80m.
Further north: another firework of activity from Alaska! NL7S, AL7TC, KL7J, KL7BK, KL2R and KL7HBK were all easy copy in Australia.

Closer home things were but quiet. Apart from 3D2AG, WH6HI and KH6U activity level from zones 31 and 32 was rather modest. VK6HZ and VK6WE are more of chasers than CQ callers; VK6KWX only appeared briefly- so Zone 29 is still highly wanted.

And despite all the summer QRN and Chinese Matrix, EA8PP and EA8AKN were easy copy in Sydney around local sunrise as well as EA6VQ and EA6AJ. Loud and clear, booming in, to our delight.

All in all, this was a busy week for a dedicated 80m band chaser with many adding at least one or two new ones to their JT totals.

*** DX Reports

by Branko, YU1FW

HC1MD, Ecuador
Rick, NE8Z will be again active as HC1MD from 20 JAN to 10 FEB 2018 from several different provinces:
- HC1MD: Tumbaco, Provincia de Pichincha,
- HC1MD/2: Punta Blanca, provincial de Santa Elena, and
- HC1MD/7: Papallacta Vlocano.
He will operate with FT-857D, 100W and Windom ant 40-10M, all modes.
QSL via K8LJG.


J88PI, St Vincent
Brian, GW4DBV will be active from Palm island as J88PI, from 21 JAN to 27 JAN 2018, mostly SSB 40-6M.
QSL via homecall.


RI1ANA, Antarctica
Nikolai, RW6ACM started with operations as RI1ANA, from Molodyozhnaya base in Antartctic. He’s QRV mostly during his spare time, all HF bands, CW, SSB and DIGI modes.

Molodyozhnaya (Russian: Молодёжная - “Youth”) station was opened in 1962 and used as a launch site for suborbital meteorological sounding rockets, as well as for other meteorological research.

By the end of 1990 about 1100 research rockets were launched from the base. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the base was closed from 1990. In 2006 the base operates on a seasonal basis, mostly during summer. Nikolai will remain active till the end of Feb 2018.

QSL via RN1ON, also via LoTW, direct or buro.

V5/DK7PE, Namibia
Rudi, DK7PE will be active at the end of JAN from Namibia as V5/DK7PE. Rudi was QRV from more than 100 DXCCs, he was member of many DX-peditions and he is an avid CW operator.

It is not known how long Rudi will stay in Nambia, he will be active on 160-10M, with special attention to 160/60M as well as CQ 160M Contest (26-28 JAN).
QSL via homecall



3DA0AY, Swaziland
Since the beginning of JT modes, especially FT8 mode, Braam, 3DA0AY is exclusively QRV with these modes. You may find him on 14074 or 21074 kHz.


3Y0Z, Bouvet island

While Chilean ship “Betanzsos” sails to this “the most remote island on the Earth”, let us tell you something about this island.

Bouvet island is an uninhabited volcano island and dependency of Norway located in the southern Atlantic. It is considered as one of the most remote islands in the World. It is located southwest from the Cape of Good Hope, and its closest continent is Queen Maud Land on Antarctic, which is about 1700 km away. The island has an area of about 49 sq km (about 19 sq miles). About 97% of the island is covered by glaciers, the highest peak of the island is about 780 m/asl. Because of its position, very harsh climate, steep ridges and ice-bergs floating around the island, Bouvet is isolated from the rest of the World.

The island was first spotted on 1 January 1739 by Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier, after whom it was later named. He recorded inaccurate coordinates and the island was not sighted again until 1808, when the British whaler captain James Lindsay named it Lindsay Island. The first claim of landing, although disputed, was by American sailor Benjamin Morrell. In 1825, the island was claimed for the British Crown by George Norris, who named it Liverpool Island. He also reported Thompson Island as nearby, although this was later shown to be a phantom island. The first Norwegian expedition landed on the island in 1927 and claimed it for Norway. At this time the island was named Bouvet Island, or "Bouvetøya" in Norwegian. After a dispute with the United Kingdom, it was declared a Norwegian dependency in 1930. It became a nature reserve in 1971.

Here are recorded ham radio activities from the island:
LH4C, NOV 2016, op W4BPD
3Y1VC, 3Y3CC, 24 FEB 1977, LA1VC, LA3CC (operated only 2 hours, made 50 QSOs)
3Y5DQ, DEC 1978 – JAN 1979, LA5DQ
3Y1VC, JAN 1979 – MAR 1979, LA1VC made about 2000 Qs
3Y5X, DEC 1989 – JAN 1990, LA1EE, LA2GV, JF1IST, F2CW, HB9AHL made about 47500 QSOs
3Y2GV, 22 FEB 1990, LA2GV was QRV for 3 hours
3Y0E, DEC 2007 – MAR 2008, ZS6GCM made about 1400 QSOs

Current DXpedition – 3Y0Z comprises 20 experienced, highly skilled operators from several countries: EY8MM, HA5AO, K0IR, K4UEE, K9CT, JR4OZR, LA6VM, LA9DL, N4GRN, N6HC, N9TK, NM1Y, PA5M, SM5AQD, VE7KW, W0GJ, W6IZT, W7IV, W8HC, WB9Z.
Most of them were members of many other DX-peditions: Heard isl, Petar I isl, South Georgia, Kure isl, Palmyra isl and many other Top 30 DXCCs, where they made about 4.6 million QSOs. As with any other Dxpedtions, this one is very carefully planned and the team will try to justify all funds invested into it – more than 500,000 USD. Team members gathered in Punta Arenas, Chile by 10 JAN 2018, and all of them went through short security training. Recently, the team spotted some icebergs in waters around King George Island which caused them to change plan – the team will sail to Bouvet directly from Punta Arenas. The ship carries two helicopters which will be crucial in disembarking of people and equipment. Expected time of arrival to Bouvet Island is 12 to 15 days after departure from Punta Arenas.

More about frequencies, current conditions, mode tips and donations can be found on Dxpedition web site: http://www.bouvetx.org




5X2S, Uganda
Sadao, JA1PBV started unexpectedly with operations from Uganda on 4 JAN 2018 as 5X2S. He operates mostly CW and FT8, 30 to 15M. It is unknown how long Sadao will stay in Uganda.
QSL via homecall.

9X9PJ, Rwanda
Peter, HB9DVG can be often heard SSB during afternoon hours about 1400 UTC on 14210 or 21210, and during evening hours on 7160 kHz. He operates with Elecraft KX3 and HLA300 PA, buddipole antenna. Peter will remain in Rwanda for two years.
QSL via N4GNR.

*** Who is Who ALL BANDS LISTING, JT modes

Talk is cheap. Urban or rural DXer, show the world what you're made of. Submissions: mail@DXing.Today 

*** IOTA Action

By Peca, YT7DX and Dragan, K0AP

Once again, our IOTA gurus have crunched the numbers and have done the hard work for you by separating activities into 3 distinctive categories: A - ones which simply cannot be missed because they are rarely activated islands, B - 'do your best to get them' but it's not the end of the world if you don't work them this time and C - frequently activated, well within the reach of urban DXers like ourselves. GL !


AF-061 C81G/C8X Ibu island (Claimed by 20.5% of participants)
Johhanes, C93PA and Gerben, PG5M (ex:PA0GAM & PA5NT) will operate from this island from 28 JAN till 05 FEB, 10-80M CW, SSB, FT8. The last activation of this group was by Reinhard, DL6DQW in JAN 2015.

AN-013 LU4ZS Marambio base (Claimed by 9.6% of participants)
Juan, LU8DBS/Z QRV on 10M  28.330 MHz and 40M 7.113 - 7.138 MHz - SSB. Stations from the Antarctic are mostly QRV during summer time in the southern hemisphere. Activity is sporadic, mostly during evening hours, with weak signals.


NA-025 J88PI Palm island (Claimed by 37.4% of participants)
Brian - GW4DVB will be again QRV from 21 JAN to 27 JAN 2018.

NA-062 K1VSJ Key Coloni beach  (Claimed by 29.5% of participants)
Howie will spend next month on Florida (JAN-FEB 2018). He is QRV on HF bands, CW/SSB


NA-001 C6AJB Eleuthera island (Claimed by 40.4% of participants)
Steve - KG4LJB will be active till 20 JAN, 17-4M. If you need this group, we recommend to check Steve's QRZ.com page, since he announces operating frequencies in real time. Good luck!

SA-003 PU0FDN Fernando de Noronha islands (Claimed by 49.3% of participants)
Marenga is a novice operator and active mostly on FT8.

NOTE: RI1F and VK9AR cards are on their way. Most probably you will get them by end of JAN 2018, when is deadline for 2018 IOTA Honour Roll.

And more about Bouvet... Being claimed by 36.2% of participants, Bouvet is not 'the most wanted' by IOTA chasers. However, the following story shows what an avid DXer and IOTA chaser is capable to do, to get "a new one".

41 years ago Tom, 9A2AA (ex YU2DX) spent several days at the end of FEB 1977, chasing 3Y1VC from Bouvet Island. Namely, it was announced that the Norwegian scientific team will stop by Bouvet on their way back from Antarctica. Now, put yourself in 1977, no Internet, no DX clusters, no DXing.Today... Imagine yourself sitting there and spinning your dial, looking for a possible 3Y1VC signal, produced by Atlas 210X and a dipole antenna... And then, suddenly, 3Y1VC appears, you hear your call, and you are one of maybe thirty lucky fellows who were in the right place at the right time...

EU-117 Maly Vysotsky Island or Malyj Vysotskij Island (Russian: Малый Высоцкий, Finnish: Ravansaari) is an island in northwest Russia, that was leased to Finland. It is located in Vyborg Bay, next to Vysotsk, 12 km southwest of Vyborg.
Between 1918 and 1940, the island was a part of Finnish territory, and was called Ravansaari. It was inhabited by nearly one thousand Finns, who earned their livelihood mainly from the timber industry. During World War II, in 1940, it was annexed by the Soviet Union (along with the surrounding territory) and became a part of the Karelo-Finnish SSR. In 1941, it was recaptured by Finnish troops and returned to Finland. In June 1944, the island fell to the Red Army, and once again became part of the Soviet Union, eventually a small part of the Russian Federation. The island was renamed Malyj Vysotsky. A treaty was signed in 1963 to lease the island and the nearby Saimaa Canal to Finland for fifty years.
Because of the treaty and the island's isolation from both Finland and Russia, radio amateurs made Maly Vysotsky Island an entity of its own, much like Hawaii or Alaska. This and the fact that Alexander Stepanovich Popov did his first radio experiments in the area at the turn of the 20th century made the island an attractive destination for DX-peditioners. All such expeditions were organized by a Finnish-Russian group, the first of which occurred in 1988.
Under the new Saimaa Canal lease treaty signed by the Finnish and Russian governments in 2010, the island was to be managed again by Russian authorities. On the 17th of February 2012 the treaty went into effect, and Malyj Vysotsky was deleted from the DXCC list of current amateur radio entities.

*** WAZ activity report, 80M band, FT8 only

8 ZF2LC, 6Y6J, CO3LT
9 HK3W
13 LU5YF
20 TA2JU
21 EX7DY, A71AM, AP2AM, 4K6N, 9K2MU. A65DR
23 JT1BV
31 WH6HI, KH6U
32 3D2AG
35 XT2AW
36 TR8CA
37 C93PA
38 ZS2I, ZS1A

*** "The Year of Zayed"

A91YOZ, United Arab Emirates is a special callsign commemorating "The Year of Zayed".

“The real wealth is hard work that benefits the person and the community. It is immortal and eternal, and forms the value of the human and the nation" - The Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The year 2018 marks 100 years since the birth of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founding Father of the UAE, who passed away in 2004.
To commemorate this historic national occasion, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates has declared that 2018 will officially be known in the UAE as the Year of Zayed.

The Year of Zayed will feature a series of events and initiatives in the UAE and internationally, designed to commemorate the memory of the late Sheikh Zayed, and showcase his impact and legacy, and promote the values that he displayed throughout his life in creative and interactive ways.

Consistent with the values of the late Sheikh Zayed, it is intended that the Year of Zayed will involve people of all ages, nationalities, faiths and backgrounds in the UAE and internationally.

*** Kiwi in Quebec: VE2/ZL2JAC

Aaron reporting:

"Attached is a picture of the temporary antenna and the temporary transmitting station that my brother and I set up. FN25sb is the grid square, in St Anicet, Québec. The antenna is an 80m full loop, about twenty feet up off the ground. I suppose a picture of a wire antenna is always going to be a little hard to see, but I think you can make out not only the feed line coming back to the shack, but also the wire, both on the close side, and across the clearing where it goes around. The "shack" is my brother-in-law's garage. Unfortunately, the garage is not attached to the house, and, as you may have heard, our winter up here has not been exactly mild, so we weren't too keen on operating in the garage when it was negative 27 Celsius outside. Instead, we left my brother's laptop out next to the radio, and used TeamViewer to control it from another laptop inside the warm house. Full disclosure : the almost-QSO we had on 80m was while I was still cozy in bed with the laptop in the morning. Ha!

We put up a dipole originally when we first got to Canada, but subsequently changed to the full wave loop. We were very impressed with the full wave horizontal loop! It is a superior antenna for listening, for sure, and I think it is safe to say that we noticed the effects of the lower angle of radiation on transmit. At twenty feet off the ground, the dipole was a NVIS "cloud warmer." Not so with the horizontal loop. We were able to tune it successfully and make contacts on 80, 40, 30, 20, 17, and 15. It tuned on 12 and 10, but we were having too much fun seeing 80m go over the pole into Russia to spend much time on the higher frequencies.

In the three weeks we operated, we achieved "worked all states" and "worked all continents", mostly on FT8, but with some SSB and Psk31 mixed in too. Now we are waiting to see how many of these will QSL. Asia was the most difficult area to reach, no doubt because of our location and the lack of a good greyline path at this time of year.

I'm so happy that you emailed me and let me know that you were hearing me! My brother and I will be operating again in the summer (July), as we plan to set up a station at mom's house in grid DN17. I seem to remember that it's a regular thing to hear New Zealand on 20m up there in the summer, so perhaps we can make another contact at that point.

In Canada, I operated as VE2/ZL2JAC. My call in the USA is W2TM. I chose to operate under the New Zealand call both to make things a little more interesting, and also because on FT8 the DXCC entity is reported correctly in the computer more often when using a prefix than a suffix. Amateur operators from the USA who operate in Canada are meant to sign with a suffix, hence my brother was KD7WWS/VE2. He was a little disappointed that WSJT-X would report him as a USA station! On the other hand, I have a feeling that not a few hams were surprised to see my New Zealand call sign, because in the middle of an FT8 QSO, the prefix isn't used. I'm not complaining, though, as it resulted in some mini-pileups.

73 for now and thanks for being in touch.

Aaron - W2TM and VE2/ZL2JAC and Steve - KD7WWS/VE2 "

*** 5K6RM Columbia


The Manizales Fair is considered the largest, most important and the best Folk fair in Columbia. city of Manizales . From bullfights to Fiesta Brava, concerts, exhibitions, parades, musical performances of the National folklore- all rich and colorful.

5K6RM has hit airwaves on January 5th. Schedule: all HF bands, all modes.
Operators: HK6JIL, HK6BRK, HK6JCF, HK6F, HK6NVV, HK6J, HK6PVA, HK4D/HK6, HK4GOO/HK6, HK4LIS/HK6, HK6ERU, HJ6EAG QSL card can be obtained via email request to : 5k6rm.manizales@gmail.com

*** Zone 2 on FT8: VA2RC

Make no mistake: an Australian would kill for Zone 2! Well not literally of course, but for us down under, hearing / decoding a Canadian station from Zone 2 outside a major contest is next to impossible. For the past few months I have been patiently waiting for VA2DRK to get on air on FT8 mode. Robert is located in Sept-Iles, Quebec, just within the zone borders. We have exchanged emails, set numerous skeds, tried 30, 20 and 17m at various times- without a single decode on either side. Robert runs low power into a very simple wire antenna, so I didn't expect an effortless contact, but somehow 'no decode at all' was a bit disappointing. I've decided to keep an eye on him and wait for spring when propagation should improve.

In the mean time I continued to look for VO2 calls, especially VO2RAC. On Monday morning, just before heading for work, I saw bold traces of VA2RC on 17m. Francois was loud in speaker and I just assumed he is an ordinary VE2. Lucky I checked his QRZ page: VA2RC was actually in Chisasibi, a village on the eastern shore of James Bay, on the south shore of La Grande River. Chisasibi is one of nine Cree / Inuit villages in the region. Of course, I could not miss this super rare opportunity to work Zone 2, but thanks to his 2el Stepper, it only took one call to get into François log.

Once again, the HF is full of surprises and you never know who you will bump into.

*** V63AKB48 Micronesia

I do agree- this call sign does not make much sense. Unless, of course, you are a follower of a famous Japanese 'idol girl band' called AKB-48 ! Mr Sumio Kitsugi JI1MDM (pictured) is so enthusiastic about the music band that he made a special DX trip to Micronesia to operate as V63AKB48. By his own admission, an 8 letter call-sign does create problems when operating FT8 but nevertheless, he already managed over 150 QSOs. QSL via his home call.

I really doubt you could care less, but AKB stands for Akhikabara, Japan's best known tech/electronics suburb. I also doubt we'll see a more bizarre call on FT8 any time soon.

*** Don MIller, ex W9WNV - The most famous DXer of all times!

Don Miller is probably the most famous and most controversial DXer of all time. During the 1960s, W9WNV activated dozens of rare DXCCs. His operating techniques were legendary: the first man to operate pileups split; the first one to abbreviate the entire QSO into just '5NN'. A man who activated over 60 rare DXCC of which 12 were 'all time' new ones. In 1980 Don Miller was convicted of conspiring to murder his estranged wife and was sentenced to 25 years to life . He was released from prison in 2002
In case you have never heard of Don, "THE DON MILLER STORY AS TOLD BY HUGH CASSIDY, WA6AUD" is an absolute must.
Link : The-don-miller-story-as-told-by-hugh-cassidy-wa6aud

Last year OH2BH flew Don to Finland for his 70th birthday celebration party. Marti's interview with Don is 5 part video, available on Youtube

Recently, CQ Communications, Inc., has obtained permission from Don Miller to re-issue his classic “DX Handbook” as a special 50th Anniversary Edition.Don published the original book back in 1968. According to CQ, this classic DX study “presented critical information found in no single volume.”

According to QRZ.com, Don is currently known as AE6IY. His bio read; "Formerly W9WNV. Have finally returned to DXing. Contacts & inquiries welcome. Stay tuned & happy DXing from Don."

Happy DXing to you too, Don!

Best 73,

Nick VK2DX

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