OPDX Bulletin 1143 December 30, 2013

The Ohio/Penn Dx PacketCluster
DX Bulletin No. 1143
BID: $OPDX.1143
December 30, 2013
Editor Tedd Mirgliotta, KB8NW
Provided by BARF80.ORG (Cleveland, Ohio)

Thanks to the Northern Ohio Amateur Radio Society, Northern Ohio DX Association, Ohio/Penn PacketCluster Network, AB5K & the AR TelNet Clusters Network, K1XN & GoList, NJ1Q & W1AW, NG3K & ADXO, W3UR & The Daily DX, N4AA & QRZ DX, AD8J, K8GI, K8YSE, W8GEX & 60m News, ND9M, W9ILY, AT International, DK8JB & The DX News Letter, DK8ZZ, DL1SBF, DxCoffee.com, DX-World.Net, F5NQL, F6AJA & Les Nouvelles DX, G3SWH, I1JQJ/IK1ADH & 425 DX News, I2MQP & DX Italia News, JA8BMK, OH2BH, OZ6OM & 50 MHz DX News, Pete's DX-Newsdesk, PT7WA, RSGB IOTA Web Site, Sixitalia Weekly, SM7AED, VA3RJ & ICPO, the VHF-DX-Portal (MMMonVHF), ZS5J and ZS6KHN (C91KHN/C91C) for the following DX information.

My family (wife/OPDX's chief proof-reader Linda, son Teddy [TJ] and his wife Jessi, daughter Katie and her husband Kevin and son Lliam), and I (KB8NW) would like to wish all DXers, Contesters and OPDX readers a very "Happy New Year". Thanks to the many individuals who have provided DX information over the past year. Without them there would not be an OPDX Bulletin. Also, thanks to the individuals who sent holiday wishes to my family and me.....
73 and Have a Great/Safe/Healthy New Year de Tedd KB8NW

According to the AR-Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 22nd-December, through Sunday, 29th-December there were 220 countries active. Countries available: 3A, 3B8, 3B9, 3DA, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4X, 5A, 5B, 5R, 5W, 5Z, 6W, 6Y, 7P, 7X, 8P, 8R, 9A, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9M2, 9M6, 9Q, 9V, 9X, 9Y, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BS7, BV, BY, C3, C6, C9, CE, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D6, DL, DU, E5/s, E6, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, F, FG, FH, FJ, FK, FM, FO, FP, FR, FW, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, H4, H40, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HC8, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J5, J6, J8, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JY, K, KG4, KH0, KH2, KH6, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ5, PJ7, PY, PZ, S2, S5, S7, S9, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK, TL, TR, TT, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V3, V4, V5, V6, V8, VE, VK, VK9N, VP2V, VP5, VP8, VP8/h, VP9, VQ9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XW, XX9, YA, YB, YI, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, ZA, ZB, ZC4, ZD7, ZF, ZL, ZP, ZS, ZS8

PLEASE NOTE: The report "could" contain "Pirate/SLIM" operations or more likely a "BUSTED CALLSIGN". As always, you never know - "Work First Worry Later" (WFWL).

An "international team" of operators led by Francesco, IK0FVC, will be active as 1A0KM from the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) between January 2-7th (2014). At present time, operators will be Francesco/IK0FVC, Luciano/I0JBL, Sergio/IK0FTA, Roberto/IK0PRG, Michele/IW0BYL, Gianfranco/I0ZY, Antonio/ I0GOJ, Fabrizio/I0HCJ, Marco/IK0DWN, Giordano/IK0XFD, Gianluca/IK5HHA, Cristiano/IZ0IEN, Andrea/IZ0NRG, Rudi/DK7PE, Franz/DJ9ZB, Seppo/OH1VR, Robert/S53R and Sandro/VE7NY. QSL via Sergio, IK0FTA, and also LoTW. 1A0KM operation supports the DX-Code of conduct. Online log facility will be also available. Look for more details to be forthcoming. Also, a Web page is now up and running, but with limited info at:


Ruggero, IK2PZC, will once again be active as 5C2P between February 6-9th. Activity will will be on HF bands using SSB and RTTY. He will also be in the CQ WPX RTTY Contest (February 8-9th). QSL via IK2PZC.

"DX-World.net" reports that Scott, WA5A,will be active as 5Z4/WA5A from Ruaka starting around the first week of January 2014, until about January 28th. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands. QSL via his home callsign.

Just a reminder that Francis, F6BLP, will once again be active as 6W7SK from Saly Portudal, 80 kms south of Dakar on the coast, between January 3-31st, 2014. Activity will be holiday style using the same station as last time (IC-7000 into G5RV antenna) operating mainly CW on 80-10 meters. If possible, he also hopes to be active on 160m with an Inverted L. QSL via F6BLP, direct or by the Bureau. Logs will be uploaded to LoTW and eQSL. For more details, logs and pictures of his last operation, visit:


Ken, LA7GIA, is expected to be active as 7Q7GIA for one week in May/June of 2014. QSL via his home callsign.

By the time you read this, Mike, OE1SSS, will be in the Maldives and plans to be active as 8Q7SM. On his QRZ.com page, Mike states from December 28th to January 4th, he and his XYL will stay on the boat "SCUBASPA" for diving. After this trip, they will go to the Kandooma Resort and stay on the island until January 11th. Activity will be on 40/30/20/10 meters (depending on the conditions and his XYL). QSL via his home callsign.

Pedro, ON7WP/C5WP, announced on QRZ.com that he and Andre, ON7YK/C5YK, are or will be the only two permanent licensed hams in The Gambia for 2014 (as of now). Pedro will be active between January 11-15th, from the village Buntu (where he does charity care), and has set up his permanent base station (Kenwood TRC-80 Bush Radio and a brand new 5 band Spiderbeam). He also states [edited],

"Additionally, I will put up some traveling wave V-beam antennas to USA and EU. We will also try some low band activity, but due to poor soil conductivity I expect not too much apart from extremely low noise levels (closest electricity wall outlet is 80 km away). Between January 16-22nd, we will move to the Kololi area where we will try some serious Low Band stuff based on a sea mounted vertical, together with dipoles and the V-beam for the high bands."
See QRZ.com for QSL info.

John, 9H5G, will once again be active as 9H5G/C6A from Stocking Island, Great Bahama Bank (NA-001), between January 1-31st, 2014. Activity is usually on 160-10 meters, using SSB and the Digital modes (PSK/RTTY/JT65/JT9). He announced on QRZ.com,

"I intend to travel throughout the Bahamas during the winter and spring of 2014 activating the following groups: NA-001 Great Bahama Bank group, NA-113 36.6% South Bahamas group, NA-054 Berry Islands and NA-048 Bimini Islands. Some of these are rarer than others, but since I will be traveling by boat, I am required to validate NA-054 and NA-048 through the IOTA Committee. I also hope to activate some islands that are not on the list, even although they seem to qualify (Hogsty Reef, Melita Cay). I hope to have more infor- mation on this soon."
Watch QRZ.com for updates. QSL via LoTW, eQSL or direct to Buzz, NI5DX.

Karel, ZS6ALB, informs OPDX that he is now per- manently based in Mozambique and is active as C91KHN (C91C during contest) from Matola, Mozambiue (Grid locater KG64fa). He has been busy upgrading his station, changing the current Hygain tri-bander for a Mosley 67B 6-bander. However, Karel informed OPDX on Christmas Eve that he "will be away for the festive season and will be back in C9 country on 13 January 2014." After the upgrades, he states that he will be active on the following bands and modes:
Band Operations: 6m - 5 element Yagi 40/20/17/15/12/10m - Mosley 67B
Modes: SSB and Digitals modes PSK31, RTTY and JT65A (using Rigblaster Advantage)
QSL via his home callsign direct (preferred). Log will be uploaded to LoTW and ClubLog.

By the time you read this, operators John/ZS5J and YL Beth/2W0VOW will once again be in Ponta de Ouro and be active as C91J and C91B, respectively. John informs OPDX that their "ten day C91J and C91B DXpedition (earlier this month) was such a success (and really enjoyable) that we have negotiated with the owner of the sea-view cabin we stayed in, to go back for another ten days. We will be in Mozambique tomorrow 28th December through 6th January. We will be taking more antennas this time, specifically...resonant antennas on 40/17/12, so we will be able to use the amplifier on these bands, which we were not able to do on our last trip. So, 40 - 6 meters, SSB, CW and we will attempt the digital modes and RTTY also." Remember, you can see pictures from Beth on QRZ.com under C91B. QSL only direct to PO Box 102303, Meerensee, 3901 SOUTH AFRICA (with 3 USDs and your QSL card, and you willvget a QSL card back direct via air mail).

Bob, YV5IAL, will be active as CE2/homecall from Valparaiso between January 2-30th, 2014. Activity will be on 40-10 meters using PSK-31 with some SSB. QSL via his home callsign, by the Bureau or direct.

DL60, GERMANY (Special Event)
OV Mainz, DL0MZ, will be celebrating 60 years of activity and will be active between January 1st and December 31st, 2014, as DL60JMZ from the special DOK 60K07. QSL via the Bureau.

EA, SPAIN (via 60m News)
Javier, EA7OP, is reporting that SETSI is allowing EA stations to operate on 60m band between January-July 2014 on a channel basis. Allowed channels [kHz]: 5268, 5295, 5313, 5382, 5430 and 5439. The bandwidth to be used is 3 kHz. Power output 100W. Modes CW/SSB.

FR/T, TROMELIN (Press Release)[edited]

"Hi friends -- Most of the DXers consider entities as check boxes to tick once the country is worked and confirmed. That's the game! However, we hope to bring you a lot more than just a simple check mark as you discover our next destination... Let's talk about the 9th most wanted DXCC entity according to the Clublog statis- tics, an empty box for 75% of the amateur radio community.

Tromelin, as well as Glorioso, Juan de Nova, Europa, belongs to the ‘Eparses’, a French word to name these small islands scattered around Madagascar. These French territories are administered by the TAAF (Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises). Their access is strictly controlled and regulated in particular for ecological reasons. Tromelin is the smallest one (1 square km) and the human impact is all the more sensitive. That's the only island where there are no French military troops and only 2 agents of the TAAF are posted there continuously.

The last operation took place in 2000. A 4 men team made 50,000 contacts with the callsign FR/F6KDF/T. No authorization has been given ever since.

2014 will be the 60th anniversary of the 1st hamradio activity from Tromelin. The operator was Marc, FB8BK/T.

Today, after some successful collaborative work with the TAAF authorities, we are proud to announce that we received our landing permission and got the green light to conduct an amateur radio operation on this remote island.

We'll be active on Tromelin from October 30th to November 10th, 2014. 6 operators have been allowed to stay of the island. They have been selected for their experience and all six are ready to face the challenge. The team is made up of Seb/F5UFX, Michel/FM5CD, Flo/F5CWU, Eric/F5SIH, Franck/F4AJQ, and Fred/F5ROP.

The request is huge and we are conscious of this. For this reason, we are working hard in order to prepare our operation in depth. Some places in the world will have short openings and we’ll do our best to exploit these short moments with proper planning adjusted with the help of pilots.

The coming months will be devoted to the search of sponsors. We already have part of the equipment but partnership with equipment suppliers will be essential. On the other hand, we will contact foundations, clubs, organi- zations to request assistance to help us balance our budget, estimated at 90,000 USDs, most of which is devoted to logistic costs.

Our website is online. All details regarding the progress, plans of the DXpedition and sponsorship opportunities will be accessible through dedicated pages....

We will regularly keep updating you until our departure.

Team Tromelin 2014
Seb F5ufx, leader@tromelin2014.com "

Look for a Russian team to be active as HI8/homecall from the Dominican Republic between December 30th and January 7th. Operators mentioned are Andrey/RU4LG, Dmitry/RA4LB, Serge/UA4LGS and Pavel/UA4LL. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW, SSB, PSK and RTTY. The group may participate in the ARRL RTTY Roundup Contest (January 4-5th). QSL via their home callsigns.

AF-032. Vittorio, I2GPT, will be active as 5H1VC from Zanzibar Island (WLOTA 1080, WWFF 5HFF-003) between January 4-12th, 2014. Activity will be on 40-10 meters using CW and RTTY (20m only) for the first time (Please have patience). QSL via RW6HS, direct (see QRZ.com) or by the Bureau.

OC-042. Mike, W6QT, will be active as DU3/W6QT from Luzon Island until March 2014. Activity has been 40/20/15/10 meters, but he actually likes working the lower bands. QSL via his home callsign.

OC-139. Andy, VK5MAV, will once again be active as VK5MAV/p from Kangaroo Island (WLOTA 0869) between February 3-10th, 2014. Activity will be holiday style on 40-10 meters using mostly CW. For direct QSLs, read details on QRZ.com. If you are not in a rush, all QSLs will be sent via the QSL Bureau 6-7 months later. Free of charge! Logsearch and QSL requests are also via the ClubLog OQRS system.

SA-025. (Delayed) Operators Raimundo/PT7CG and Renner/PY7RP were expected to be active as ZX8DX from Pedra do Sal Beach on Grande de Santa Isabel Island between December 26-30th. How- ever, the ZX8DX operation was delayed. PT7CG intends to activate the island in the first two weeks of January.

The following ISWL club callsigns will be used throughout the month of January 2014:

GX4BJC/A - Operated from Great Sutton, in Cheshire, by Geof/M0BAU. (WAB Square SJ37 - England, IOTA EU-005 and WLOTA LH-1841).
MX1SWL/A - Operated from Skegby, in Nottinghamshire, by Merv/G0UJD. (/A WAB Square SK56 - England, IOTA EU-005 and WLOTA LH-1841).
ALL QSLs will be handled by Herbie, G6XOU, and NOT the individual operator. The I.S.W.L. is a member of the European PSK Club. All QSL info is on
www.iswl.org.uk or www.qrz.com or via www.eQSL.cc
. NO LoTW. I.S.W.L. Awards are available to all Hams and SWLs, see www.iswl.org.uk for full details. The eQSL.cc cards ARE welcomed for their awards.

John, AD8J, will be active as J79JG between January 29th and February 7th. Operation will be mostly CW, holiday style when not scuba diving. QSL to his home callsign or LoTW.

PJ4, BONAIRE (Update)
Bill, K9HZ, is now active as PJ4HZ (not PJ4/K9HZ as first reported) from Bonaire (SA-006) until January 4th, 2014. Activity will be on 80-6 meters using QSL via his home callsign direct, LoTW and eQSL. NO Bureau QSLs.

PROPAGATION FORECAST/REPORT (December 30th-January 5th)

 Dec/30th AN      Jan/02nd  AN      Jan/04th  BN
 Dec/31st AN      Jan/03rd  AN      Jan/05th  AN
 Jan/01st AN

    NORMALITY               GEOMAG       K Values    Alpha
   -----------------        ------       --------    ------
   AN  - Above Normal       Quiet        K=0-1       0-7
   HN  - High Normal        Unsettled    K=2         8-15
   LN  - Low Normal         Active       K=3         16-29
   BN  - Below Normal       Minor Storm  K=4         30-49
   DIS - Disturbed          Major Storm  K=5         50-99
   VRY DIS - Very Disturbed Severe Storm K=6-9       100-400
From the Offices of Santa Claus, Lapland, Finland -- OF9X SANTA WENT QRT WEDNESDAY, DEC.25 AT 07 UTC --

This year, Santa Claus of Amateur Radio fame was somewhat different than in the past. A total of fifteen (15) radio operating elves and their support personnel brought Santa and Christmas cheer to ham families in a very special way, with several added elements to highlight the Festive Season. Not only were some 21.000 QSOs uploaded to ClubLog but associated with these QSOs were many interesting occasions when Santa was in personal contact with children all across the world. Those are moments to be treasured!

Of those 21.000 QSOs, a sizable proportion were made on CW as well as on low bands, utilizing state-of-the-art remote technology of Radio Arcala, OH8X. Moreover, extensive special hardware elsewhere was employed to add to highly dedicated operators in the Far North. Everyone was determined to push their personal Christmas envelope to its limit.

Santa would like to summarize your eligibility for the Santa Claus (CW) Award which you can order by E-mail at of9x@sral.fi. You can check your QSOs at

1: You have a QSO with OF9X on SSB & CW - also 2012 Santa QSOs count.
2: You have only one 2013 QSO with OF9X - here correct passwords from the Christmas Puzzle at qrz.com would compensate.

Additionally, you can A:) order a Bureau card, B:) direct airmail QSL cards, and C:) a direct Award and QSL cards through ClubLog's OQRS facility. See again the QRZ.com re: OF9X....

Thank you for contacting Santa on many modes and bands during Christmas 2013. Hopefully we will meet again next year.

OF9X Santa Claus and his elves - OH0XX, OH1JD, OH1TX, OH2BCI, OH2BEE, OH2BH, OH2BR, OH2FPK (YL) , OH2FPX (YL), OH2KM, OH2PM, OH2TA, OH6CT, OH6KN and OH6KZP


  QSL-INFO from DB0SDX (December 29th)
  4L5O via N3SL          HC8VWT/HC1 via K8FC       SE2I via SA2BRN
  4L8A via K1BV          HK1N via EA5KB            SH0G via SM0SHG
  7X4AN via EA3GSS (d)   I6/K1FM via K1FM          SN0KDD via SP3POW
  9A/S53V via S53V       II3CW via IQ3GA (d)       SO110RAEM via SP2FAP
  9Q0AR via ON4CFC       JW/PY2SEX via DL1NX       T8CW via JA0FOX
  9X0ZM via JO1CRA       LU7YS via EA7HBC          TM400M via F1EOY
  A25CE via DK1CE        LZ867MWB via LZ1KCP       V44KAI via W5TFW
  A25DJ via DJ2HD        N4AF via RN3RQ (d/B/L)    V5/DL3DXX via V5/DL3DXX
  A25WO via DH3WO        OA2/AL4Q via DJ8QP        VK4EI via NR6M
  A61DD via EA7HBC (d)   OR1Z via ON6IX (d/e)      WH0AU via JP3WAU
  EA8/DJ9BN via DJ9BN    OT6V via ON6VI            XE1/DJ4EL via DJ4EL
  EH1NAV via EA1OK       OX3XR via PA3249 (d)      YF1AR/8 via N2OO
  EI0YOTA via ON9CFG     PJ4/K9HZ via K9HZ         YP20ARER via YO6CUF
  EX8BS via RW6HS (d)    PT5T via K3IRV            YP9L via YO9GJY
  FW5JJ via F5RXL        R2014CC via R6CC          YW0A via EB7DX
  H40TA via DK9FN (d*)   R7378TM via RM8W          ZT1T via ZS1AFS (d)
  HC2IMP via IK2DUW      S506SLG via S59DCD        ZW5W via PP5BZ

    (e) eQSL only  (d) direct only   (B) Bureau only  (L) LoTW only
    (*) With Donation for social service.
IRC REDEMPTION ETC... QSL Manager Phil, G3SWH, reports: "Hi gang -- Just a cautionary note for those of you who still use IRCs. With effect from 1st January 2014 and in common with most other UK based QSL managers, I will *NOT* be accepting IRCs for payment for return postage. They are just too much hassle. OQRS and US dollars are much preferred and easier to handle. Please take a look at
which has been in place for about six months. In that time, I have received probably less than 10 of the new, 2017 expiry IRCs.....
73 and Happy New Year to you all"




Toshi, JA8BMK, will activate two DXCC entities during the first two months of the new year. Activity will be holiday style using a HEX beam/wire antennas/Inv.Vee. Operations will be on 160-10 meters. Toshi informs OPDX that the modes will be CW and SSB, not sure about the Digital (says may be not). He will use a K2 with a 500w amp. QSL via JA8BMK, by the Bureau or direct (see QRZ.com). His tentative schedule (Starting/Ending dates are flexible) and callsigns are as follows:

January 15-30th - Callsign is XW8BM; from Vientiane, Laos.
February 15th-March 2nd (possibly 25th) - Callsign is XV2BM; from Nha Trang (eastcost of South China Sea), Vietnam.
MORE INFO FROM JA8BMK (Just before going to print!)[edited]:
"I will leave Japan for Vientiane via China on Jan. 11, 2014, and I am scheduled to receive the license at PTT office. The thing is the location to operate. Vientiane is not a exceptional, noisy city and it seems very difficult to put up a vertical antennas for low bands. I will spend a few days to find a good location for antenna installation. Also, I must explain to the hotel people about what amateur radio is. Sometime, they do not give the per- mission to visitors as they have no knowledge on amateur radio. However, I succeeded in 3D (Fiji) land by explaining about BBC which I like to listen to.

Regarding my antennas, I left them in Nepal. They are KIO Hex beam and wire/vertical and coax cable for the next operation. This time I bought another Hex beam from DX Engineering. This is a very good antenna and seems strong. But the problem is that it takes a long time and I modified it so that Airline company (China Eastern) will accept the size which is only 158cm total dimension X+Y+Z as maximum. They will accept two of 23kg per person, I got 92kg for the luggage with two persons, my wife and I. The 158cm as a total dimension is now popular. The longest length is 96cm after modifying and I made a wooden box for them(28x30x100cm O.D.).

KIO Hex beam seems cheaper and lighter, and simpler to assemble compared with DX Eng. Hex beam. For DXpedition, I like to recommend KIO.

The license fee is not cheap in XW (may be, in XV, too) as well as 9N. The fee should be calculated according to how many bands, how much power, what frequency, what mode and how many days. These factors can be multi- plied. I heard in XW PTT office that one Russian guy payed over 2,500 US dollar before!

My schedule is not sure after XW operation. But I will be in Indo-China until Mar. 28th, 2014, and will try to visit some other entity if I have time. Anyway, I am traveling with my wife, I will not be so free as I must take care of her."

T6EUPOL is the official ham radio station of the "European Union Police" (EUPOL) Mission in Afghanistan. The station is operated by Janusz, home callsign: AK4JK (aka T6/ZS5ADU). No QSNs have been listed yet on the DXCluster networks. QSL only direct to the AK4JK postal address together with the SAE plus 2 USDs for postage.

Masa, JN3MXT, will be active as T88MX from "VIP Guest Hotel" (Free Radio Room) on Koro Island (OC-009) between January 25-30th. Activity will be on the HF bands using mainly SSB and RTTY. QSL via his home callsign.

TM11, FRANCE (Special Event)
Look for special event station TM11AAW to be on air February 1-2nd, 7-10th and 14-23rd. Activity is to celebrate the 11th Antarctic Activity Week. Operation will be made by François, F8DVD, from his QTH of Mâcon in the east part of France, 60 km, North of Lyon. The new reference for WAP program is 245. Activity will be on 40-10 meters, mostly SSB. QSL via F8DVD, by the Bureau or direct (SAE + 1 new IRC or 2 USDs) to: François Bergez 6, rue de la Liberté F- 71000 MACON FRANCE. E-mail: a.pole@laposte.net a.pole@40laposte.net For more details, visit:


TY, BENIN (Update)
Wim, ON6DX (ex-ON4CIT), who was active as 5V7TH recently from Togo, announced this past week he finally received his Benin callsign TY1TT from the telecom authorities. He states, "Was not easy, took me the longest time and most expensive ever to get a callsign. Now I can plan flights and lodging beginning 2014 in Benin." No specific dates were mentioned yet. Activity will be from Grand PoPo and operations will be on 20/17/15/12/10/6 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. Wim did mention, "Clublog is a fine tool, but this year: OQRS QSL: Yes, but... But no more clublog leaderboards." Read his reason and look for updates at:


VQ9, CHAGOS (Update)
Last week we reported that Jim, ND9M, is once again active as VQ9JC from Diego Garcia. Jim informed OPDX that he arrived on the island a month ago, but he had to get his license renewed; it expired a couple days before he landed. Jim states, "Normally, I get it renewed within one business day, but this time there was an administrative hiccup that led to a month-long delay. The British military officer in charge of the island ­ called the 'Brit Rep' ­ was new to his post here. He read all the can's and cannot's of the job, and the legal info about issuing ham licenses says that tickets are signed by the Territorial Commissioner who's back in the U.K. The Brit Rep finally got the official word last week that issuing authority was delegated to the local office, and my license was signed the next day. This was the first time in the 15 years I've been coming here that anything like that had happened.

In fact, licensing had been so smooth here that in 2008, I walked in to the Brit Rep's office without an appointment and left 45 minutes later with not only a signed renewal for my regular VQ9JC license but also a special temporary license for my VQ98JC operation. I wonder if anyone else can claim receiving two licenses fully authorized without previous notice that fast!

Anyway, I'm still operating Field Day style from the covered picnic table at the park which has AC power and dozens of gecko lizards chasing the bugs. The table is about 30 feet from the wall of the jungle, and this weekend I'll try to thread a 135-foot OCF dipole through all the trees in the jungle so that I can not only leave the antenna up but also have multi-band capability. If I hoist the antenna where it can be seen, I would stand a very good chance of it being quickly removed as the 150 pound fishing line that I use to secure the antenna and the copper wire are both precious commodities here. The OCF dipole doesn't work on 15m, 30m, or 60m, even with a matchbox, so I'll put up separate dipoles for 15 and 30 and feed those two and the OCF to a switch. I don't know yet if I'll put up a 60m dipole.

The 80m OCF is going to be a big enough project just to get it hoisted to only 25 feet; the jungle's pretty thick! I'll also be putting up a 20m dipole and maybe a 30m dipole as well on the ship. Obviously, I sign /MM during any contacts made from the ship as I did earlier this year. Contacts with me as /MM aren't valid for DXCC of course, but SKCC ops can count them if my ship's QTH is near the island. The rig is an FT-857D. I'll be running 100 watts most of the time, but I'm expecting to do some QRP work from here too. Most of my operating will be CW as usual (with a cootie most times), but I'll be on SSB occasionally.

Also, I'm a rookie when it comes to digital comms, but I'm hoping to get my Rigblaster and FLDigi software configured to do some PSK and RTTY work. While on board the ship, I use an Icom IC-760 that I have set up in my service shop. I feed the coax through a helicopter control center that's directly above my shop. My shipboard antennas are about 115 feet above the water line. I don't have internet connectivity when I'm at my operating QTH on the island, so I obviously can't help with real-time QSY requests or the ever present 'EU PSE' when I'm calling for NA & SA stations."

OPDX asked Jim about the status of the club station, possibly using a special VQ prefix for 2014, activity on the satellites and if he would attend the 2014 Dayton HamVention, and he replied, "Yeah, the ham club station is gone forever unfortunately. The log periodic has been grounded and dismantled, and everything in the shack has been turned back over to the Navy. I'm here six months out of the year of course, but once Larry, VQ9LA left three years ago, there was no one reliably present during my off times. When the Navy's MWR office personnel made a routine visit, they found nobody there since I was Stateside, so they decided that the club was no longer in use and took what they thought were appropriate steps. By the time I got back to the island and worked my way up the chain of command, the deal had been sealed.

And yes, I'm working the satellites out here although there aren't many ops to work. I'll be on the birds when I get home again next year. I don't know yet if my XYL Cori (KK4CGA) and I will be at Dayton this coming May or not. We're hoping to go to New England for the ARRL Centennial in July, and we'll likely do only one trip. My assignment schedule has me returning to the ship a few days days before the national convention, and I'm trying to work things out with the guy that's here when I'm off ship for him to stay a little longer so that I can attend. He hasn't given me a firm answer yet though.....

My plan for 2014 is to get VQ94JC issued for sometime during the second half of the year. The local licensing office has no requirements toward my getting a ticket other than having one already issued by the FCC. My US license expires in April, and the FCC won't enable the renewing process until 90 days before the expiration date, so I have to wait until early January to do that. If I can get the renewed license here - actually just a scanned copy will do and my XYL will send that - I can turn that over to the local office, and they should issue me the short-term ticket. Emphasis on special. It's all legal of course, but the folks in that office are all British military who typically do one-year tours here before being re-assigned, so I can never assume that the next person will cooperate. I'm optimistic though as I've already had 7 VQ9xJC licenses plus the VQ975FOC ticket earlier this year, so the precedent's pretty well estab- lished.

When I started doing the VQ9xJC bit in 2007, I did it just for fun and I thought the WPX chasers would like it. I really didn't expect to still be doing it after so many years. Now I'm looking ahead at rounding out the decade of annual special callsigns and thinking about what special prefix variation to initiate after the 10th one!" QSL via ND9M.

Additional Bulletin for OPDX InterNet Subscribers

December 23, 2013

Richard A. Ross
President and Publisher
(516) 681-2922

CQ to Realign Publications, Launch New CQ Plus Digital Supplement Hicksville, NY (December 23, 2013) -- CQ Communications, Inc. today announced plans to realign its roster of publications and to launch an exciting new online supplement to its flagship magazine, CQ Amateur Radio.

"The hobby radio market is changing," said CQ Communications President and Publisher Dick Ross, K2MGA, "and we are changing what we do and how we do it in order to continue providing leadership to all segments of the radio hobby." CQ Communications is currently the only publisher in the United States serving the broad radio hobby, from broadcast band DXing to amateur radio moonbounce and satellite communications. CQ itself has been amateur radio's leading independent voice for seven decades.

Effective with the February 2014 issue of CQ, said Ross, content from the magazine's three sister publications, Popular Communications, CQ VHF and WorldRadio Online, will be incorporated into CQ's digital edition as a supplement to be called "CQ Plus." With this change, hobby radio enthus- iasts of all types will be able to go to a single source - CQ - for articles on the broader aspects of hobby radio, from shortwave listening and scanner monitoring to personal two-way services and Internet radio, as well as amateur radio. Richard Fisher, KI6SN, currently Editor of both Popular Communications and WorldRadio Online, will be Editor of CQ Plus.

"Our primary audience is ham radio operators," explained Ross, "but very few hams began their radio involvement as amateurs. Most of us started out as shortwave listeners, broadcast band DXers, CBers or scanning enthusiasts. Many continue to be involved in many different aspects of the radio hobby in addition to amateur radio."

"By consolidating four specialized publications into one," Ross continued, "we will be better able to keep these multidimensional readers informed on all aspects of the radio hobby while simultaneously exposing those who are not hams to all the excitement and opportunities that amateur radio has to offer. We see this as a win-win for all of our readers and our advertisers, who will now be able to reach a wider and more diverse audience."

The expanded material will be an integral part of the digital edition of CQ, and will be included as part of a standard digital subscription. Each month's digital edition will simply continue beyond where the print edition ends, offering supplemental material on all aspects of hobby radio communi- cation and will include selected columns carried over from the other magazines. The added digital content will make full use of the multimedia opportunities presented by digital publications.

Current subscriptions to Popular Communications, CQ VHF and WorldRadio Online will be converted to CQ subscriptions - and receive CQ Plus at no additional charge! Details will be posted on each magazine website.

There's no need to wait to see the great variety of articles that will be featured each month in the new CQ and CQ Plus. A preview of the February issue's Table of Contents is available right now on the CQ website at


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