Now that the summer ended more hams migrated back from outdoors to indoors closer to their HF rigs. Several recent DX peditions attracted straight hams from the realm of reality to the dream kingdom of DXing.

VP6J Japanese outing to Pitcairn was a definite bright spot for hungry DXers. Although conditions were far from being the best, some managed to log the much-sought entity on many bands. Since last VP6T expedition the demand had grown what wasclearly witnessed by immense pileups Japanese team drew. Contitions on 30 and 40 meter, even to a certain extent on 80 and 160 were rather outstanding allowing distant signals to be loudly heard in Europe even hours after sunrise. Nice job!

CY9C A mixed Canadian/American effort from another most wanted entity. One thing to complain is that their activity didn't include night time. Otherwise a great expedition. Thanks!

Abubaker, 5A1AL is now on LoTW and approved for DXCC. He's active in his spare time on higher bands from a country in war.

More DXpeditions are coming and we shall stay tuned.



Hello brethren,

Not much going on the bands to mention save several rare entities being activated here and there and I decided to write a piece about the last CQ WPX CW.

WPX CW stands out from other world-wide HF competitions and that´s due to two main reasons: timing and serial numbers to be sent and received as the exchange.  The timing is peculiar. The end of May means short darkness periods in the Northern hemisphere and therefore lesser time for low band operation especially long-distance, besides, summer brings thunderstorms and therefore higher QRN. To encourage the use of 40, 80, and 160 in CQ WPX, the organizers offer double points and that is the key point to those, who are eager to win. A winning approach for Single Operator All Band entries is to maximize number of contacts on 40 meters, the band that pays the most (80 and 160 are less productive due to reasons explained above).  Obviously, those who happen to be located close to other continents, and/or more southwards, have advantage over folks deep into their own continent and up north. Nevertheless, if one is up to show a good score, 40 should be operated as long as possible.  Even QSOs with the stations on your own continent give you double comparing to higher bands and since multipliers are prefixes, hunting rare, far DXs is not essential. Despite having shorter nights, Northern hemisphere hams still can enjoy 40 meters fully: EU can work “close” Asia like UA9’s and even JA’s, while NA (depending on the Coast) can gorge either on EU or JAs and vice versa.

My last serious effort in CQ WPX CW was in 2013 as HD8A from San Cristobal Island, Galapagos. I had a chance to operate from the famous HC8N site (though already in decay).  I had TS590 and no amps. No internet connection was available and that made me decide in favor of SOAB LP non-assisted entry.  My tactic was simple – to run as much as I could on 40 (3 ele Yagi), sleep well, and run on higher bands. When my rate would go down, I’d go S&P. I was genuinely surprise to discover I got the best score in the world that year. This year I had been waiting for the contest with a particular zeal. Starting March, I’d been fiddling with my new sloping dipoles system for 40M and wanted to give it a try in combat. So, 40M SOSB HP had been pre-determined. I was running 500 watts and no assistance. My aim was to get as close as possible to SA record of PJ4A set by John, K4BAI in 2013 and equaled to 8,744,862 points or 1802 qso and 826. Conditions were marginal. I didn’t have any major long runs. NA was scarce. That affected my mood and I didn’t push hard. As my final score, I ended up with 5,230,000 points 1289 QSOs and 692 multiplier. However, it appears to be the highest score.


Hello brethren,

As promised, here is the report on our (R7AA and HC2AO) IOTA mini-expedition to Puna Island SA-036. Some part of it I took from my posts on QRZ.RU forum. Since it was written in Russian, the audience was limited. Now I hope more people will be able to enjoy or despise the story.

In February 2016 I received an e-mail from Vasily, R7AA inquiring about a possibility of going to some islands off the Ecuadorian Coast. He was mostly curious about Esmeraldas Province islands, which is located on the border with Colombia and facing the Pacific Ocean. I remembered having read in the local press numerous accounts of crime in the past in that area particularly assaults on fishing boats and piracy in its best. To me, it didn’t look like a nice (read safe) place to go, however, I made a few phone calls to figure out what’s the current crime situation was. My contacts assured me that the area is long safe and nearly free of crime but logistically it would be a hard task to go there – too much commuting and no solid contacts in situ to receive us. I shared information with Vasily and he asked about any other islands that could be visited with lesser stress.

The next island to be scrutinized was Islote Pelado only 3 miles away from the shore and about  20 miles away from my home. The beauty of it was that it had never been activated before and was in a new province – Santa Elena – potentially a new IOTA reference.  I did some research on logistic and it looked feasible yet somewhat challenging due to quiet unfriendly landing facilities. Before going any farther into the project, we sent a request to G3KMA about his opinion.  Roger replied, Alex, sorry to give you disappointing news but any operation from Isla Pelado will count for SA-034. I regret that we are not adding new IOTA groups to the Directory at the present time and it will be several years before we review the list again. Well, that was a game changer. If it would count for SA-034 at any rate, why should we go there and face all the grief!? So, Puna Island appeared as a new and final destination.

I had never been to Puna Island before. For a decade, I had been urging local HC folks to go there with an IOTA but all my appeals were swallowed by our dear concept of mañana. Still I had some hopes in humanity and called several active HC hams offering them to join us in this venture. A few agreed. I gathered all information I could on how to get there and where to stay, requested a special call, and began waiting for Vasily, R7AA to fly over the Atlantic to set it all in motion.

Vasily arrived and I met him at Guayaquil Olmedo airport. I have to say that it was his first time in the Americas and he was very curious about everything read asking a zillion of questions constantly. He learned a few phrases in Spanish but save for gracias, refused to use them putting the burden of communicating on my feeble shoulders and tongue. A few days we spent in Ballenita checking the equipment and waiting for final words from the possible team members. When we realized that eternity might sound like a reasonable timing for those final words to come, we decided to go ahead on our own.

The first leg of our trip was by buses from Ballenita to Progreso and then from Progreso to Posorja and went smooth. In Posorja, asking direction, we went to find boats that would take us to the island. To cross the straight appeared to be not a problem – 2 dollars a head and you will be taken to Puna in a covered boat with other 10-15 passengers. The trick was that people we asked around said there was no overnight accommodation on the island. That sounded disheartening. Then a lady appeared wearing a jacket with governmental tourist department logo on it. She told us that she would arrange a stay for us on the island right away. That was a relief. She made a phone call and assured us that we would be met on the other side.

The crossing took about 40 minutes and it was quite a ride! Approaching the island, one ventures into a maze of mangroves, a real labyrinth of green. Finally we reached the village of Bellavista. We were met by a local guy, who said that he would take us to a place we could stay. The fella didn’t look like a tourist guide at all. Rather a rogue. But it was to late to retreat and we moved along. A pickup truck fired up and we headed to an unknown destination. We drove through a very rustic scenery – shabby huts, wandering pigs and donkeys – and that made me think of a bamboo palapa with a dusty yard as our lodging.  I got tense. The tension grew when we stopped at some village and another fellow jumped in the truck. Not touristy at all. Just in case I searched for something I could use as a weapon. Soon I had a packed telescopic mast in my hand. Just in case. Five minutes later the truck came to halt in the middle of a dried-out lake or something surrounded with thick underbrush – a Hollywood place to shoot a scene of innocent tourists massacre. Igotmuchalerted. Weweretoldtogetout. Wedid. No massacre followed. The guy who got in the truck the last said that we have to walk now. He was not wordy at all. He grabbed some of our luggage and went on. We followed.  Some tem minutes later, after walking through a narrow, frying pan-hot, sandy path between fences limiting coconut palm plantations, we came out to the ocean and nice-looking beach houses compound with a pool in the middle. The ocean was some 100 feet away and not a soul around. That was cheering.

We were issued a 2 bedroom house nearest to the ocean and charged 15 dollars a piece for night by the not wordy guy. He asked whether we needed anything else and after taking our requests (FOOD and water) left. We set to deploy our station. All we had was IC7000 and a trap DL2KQ-design multiband vertical. I wished we had taken more coax to put the antenna next to the water but there was enough only to get some 90 feet away from the tide. In 30 minutes we were ready to get on the air.

The air was crystal clear, no QRM, no QRN. The noise level on 30 was at 0 with the pre-amplifier on.  HC2GRC/p was on the air.  Strong signals from everywhere from NA to JA. We ran low power and conditions were mediocre at best but there was a pileup on us once in a while.

Around 8 o’clock in the evening I was running on 30 or 40 when I felt something was wrong with my chair. I though Vasily who was sitting behind got bored and decided to have fun at my expense by kicking my chair. It was not the case. Soon the entire house was shaking. To our shame and stupidity we didn’t rush outside but instead exchanged a few stupid remarks and went on with QSOs.  Something made me worried, nevertheless. I tuned to the local net frequency on 40 and learned that the jolt was a powerful fun and brought a lot of destruction mostly in HC4 and north of HC2 including Guayaquil. Fatalitieswerereported. Thatwasalarming. We decided to cancel our trip and leave the island the following day.



Hello brethren,

It´s May already, time flies. Now that nights are shorter in the Northern Hemisphere, where the biggest clusters of ham population are, fewer long-distance contacts are made on the bands lower than 30 meters. Here on the equator the length of day and night is pretty much the same all year long and it’s lonely on 40 and 80 without EU and Asia crowds after our local midnight.  Nevertheless, at sunrise and sunset breaks in EU and JA signals are strong and activity is decent. 10 Meters is reported to be workable. I didn't listen much on 28 myself but I can assure that 12M Band is open - 9M0Z worked at 3.30 in the morning local time !!

9M0C ran by Chris, ZS6EZ and James, 9V1YC seemed to be a disappointing event. At least to me. Heard on all bands 40 through 12, boys were working mostly JAs and EUs with a very few other geographic areas in between. But I was persistent – Spratly was a new one for me on any band with this call.  I sent James a letter letting him know that they are strong on our sunrise and he had a lot of customers from NA and SA calling. It seems to work, the team began calling CQ NA/SA on their SS. I made it into their log first on 30. Then for a day or two, despite my desperate attempts to get more bands, there were no qso’s. I lost my sleep. Literally. I stayed awake for 2 days in a row and it paid off. I worked them on 12, 15, 17, and 20 meters in addition to 30 and those were remarkable QSOs.  9M0Z cqing on otherwise empty bands  (from 2 in the morning to 4 in the morning local – even on 12!!!) working JAs or UAs that were inaudible and therefore it was impossible to know where the split was.  I turned into a fixed caller, calling on one QRG for an hour.  All in all, I’m happy with 5 new band slots. Great job, fellows!

Just a friendly reminder. Abubaker, 5A1AL is all good for DXCC.




Hello brethren,

I´m sorry for being silent but I have been busy with a guest and the earthquake aftermath. On the bright side of things we, Vasily, R7AA and I managed to reach and activate Puna Island SA-034 as planned and I will submit a full-size article about the outing in a day or two. Now about DXs and DXing.

What a wonderful show was performed on HF bands by EP/UR/YL team from Iran. EP2A was heard on most bands in our part of the world and relatively easy to work. Fellows did a smart move by working fast neighbors and easy skip folks without slowing down on stubborn, hard-to-reach areas, direct calls in the beginning.  As a result, there were less DQRM from upset and mentally ill clients in EU and elsewhere. IMHO this expedition is one of the best performance-wise this year. Kudos, folks!

With no forthcoming major DXpedition, pileups grow fast and furious on resident and less-wanted DXs. Lena, RC5A and Yuri, RM0F signing 8Q7CA and 8Q7FU correspondingly are having fun on Maldives, both on the beach and on HF. There is a solo Italian outing to Zaire, 9Q0HQ/1 on the air mostly phone and RTTY. Several JD1’s are active from Ogasawara, a DXCC entity still much-sought in EU. Chris, A45XR has re-appeared on 80 meters after his mostly 60M shows. NA and SA DX crowd would appreciate if he shows up in our dark hours. XT2AW is to QRV from Burkina Faso again. Please don’t crank up your CW speed when calling him.



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The Plaque "LESOTO 2021 7P8RU". Activity of Russian DXpedition Team (RRC Club) 2021. This plaque is issued for contacts with the... Read more
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