Hello brethren,

Two major DX-peditions of the year are over. It’s time either to smile with satisfaction, or to sigh with disappointment. Judging by comments public and private, one can see that K5P was praised in NA and JA, while VP8STI in Europe, Asia, and US East Coast. Geography and conditions were the key factors more than usual. K5P all-vertical outing could have been more productive say a year or two ago when higher bands were in a way better shape. VP8STI would log more QSOs with NA and Central America, had they had a different location. Could have, should have yet the reality is on the ClubLog statistics. There is now way of comparison between two if one is to speak about comfort and endurance. The Sub-Antarctic, rough-seas, drastic weather expedition beats any other by dedication, will, and bravery of the participants. Palmyra is rare on the air, yet it’s a tropical paradise in the middle of the Pacific, with perils like getting sunburn or dehydrated. Despite more contacts with K5P including one on 160 with 80 watts, my vote goes to VP8STI.

In a few days, the Penguins team should activate South Georgia, another much-sought destination for many DXers. Another ATNO for me as HC2AO and another mountain in the way to struggle with.

160 Here is a small list of daily DXs that show up on TB

FW5JJ  usually around 1819 KHz around 0530-0700 UTC

TR8CA usually around 1832 KHz around 0430-0510 UTC

Sporadical appearances YS1/HB9KNA in LSB portion, HK1MW, HK1R in CW

LU8DPM usually around 1832 KHz around 2300-0300 UTC

LU5YF  usually around 1822 his SS and SR

ZP5DBC on request


Hello brethren!

Hey ho! The bands are filled with pileups! The DX orgies are at their best! LOL. Now with VP8STI, K5P, German 5V activity and ET7L Ukranian DX-pedition to Ethiopia a DXer and DQRMer will be busy for a while. Conditions are not bad. All bands 6 thru 160 have been open to a certain extent; there had been openings to remote locations, no storms until January 20th. Then a G2 event unsettled the ionosphere and RF became scarce. All more interesting.

K5P The team solved the 80 meter problem and now 80m will be activated as well. Prior 40 meters SSB operation is not valid and the crew asked to re-work them on that band in that mode. On 160 it looks like NA and JA are getting fed and there will be a chance for the rest.

Downside. EU complains that not enough attention paid to them and the boys even are avoiding EU peaks. I have to agree that on EU sunrise K5P rarely has shown up on 30 and below.

It would be interesting afterwards to hear the team members opinion on SteppIR performance.

All in all, my personal opinion about the dx-pedition is high. I managed to work them on 80, 30, 20, 17, 15, and 12 meters with my pathetic antennas. Well done, fellows!


VP8STI The team is on the island and already logging folks. Despite troubled landing and loss of some equipment, they are in high spirits and willing to make a zillion of contacts. Good luck!

Downside. It appears that there is a volcano blocking NNE to NNW directions. I read that during VP8THU activity it was not a problem, however, I should say that I have had hard times hearing them on all bands save a few instances on 40 when they were loud. Similar reports are passed from other Central America and US West Coast stations.

      Thus far only 1 qso in log, which is good enough per se, ATNO. Thanks a million!



Hello brethren,

I hope you had a great week. Here the sun was merciless and 40C temperature kept me away from outside activities. No rain despite several mighty cloud gatherings that looked promising but were taken somewhere else. As a result – QRM and QRN remained very high on all bands making operation on the air unpleasant to say the least. Nevertheless, ZL9A was booked on 20 Phone for ATNO and JD1BMH on 17 CW for a new band slot. On low bands the spotlight was focused on Vadym, FG/UT6UD, HP3/WJ2O, Harry, JD1BMH. Ken, XW4XR back to Laos and TB gods willing will give that much desired entity to some on the other side of the globe. Not to diminish XW1IC efforts on other bands of course.

ZL9A The Antipodes Isl. The very first time activation. Small team, short stay, small pistol dx-pedition, not very co-operative conditions on all bands - I had not expected much from the beginning though needed ZL9 for ATNO. Understandable efforts to keep logistic costs as low as possible led to a minimalistic setup, antennas included. One would think that the length of stay which was very short for an entity in high demand would call for a 2-3 band 2 mode operation in hope of satisfaction as many hungry ham souls as possible. Yet the team chose to try as many bands as they could it seems. That strategy usually works to make big gun DX hogs smile and little pistol army cry. On the bands choice, I won’t say anything since I don’t know how bad was the noise/condition situation in situ. CW was not used at full. Slow rate on 12M while 30M was wide open to pretty much everywhere.  Now that all critical things said it’s time to congratulate the team for braving the distance and harsh weather and Zodiac landing and still doing a good job. ZL9 is not a sunny, warm beach, easy-to-reach place, so big thanks from HAM community for going there!


Hello brethren,

The Big Winter DX Run for DX has begun. VP8IDX signing maritime mobile are heard everywhere on their way to South Georgia Island, a stop on the way to South Sandwich. A few more days and bands will be teeming with thousands of excited callers. As for Palmira DX-pedition, its crew is already in the middle of huge pile-ups. Here on the equator, they are not as loud as T32C were but still decent signals. Usually first days of any operation are not too demonstrative – teams still adjust the antennas and equipment and it is a bit too early to make a judgment. Yet, a few critical words not too harsh though (I got them on 30,20, 17 thus far with my low height wires and low power and I can’t be too acid LOL): StepIr Verticals are cool but they are verticals, directional antennas even light-weight VDA could have been better; Japan is heard 24/7 pretty much on any band, how about giving direct area calls once in a while, even 5 minutes every hour to OC, AF, EU, SA, NA, even just to check conditions; low bands – BCS on 160 but conditions have been favorable to the US West Coast and the Mid West, elsewhere signals are not as strong as expected, on 80 signals reported even weaker, maybe StepIr is a wee bit too short. Personal remark, I was listening and calling occasionally on 15M between 00 and 05 UTC, the op was struggling, very slow rate, JA mostly. Tons of SA, NA, OC were calling. I’m curious whether they have a local QRM on 15? Oh well, first days are always tough. Guys invested a lot of $$ and their time to get there and make us happy. They are the masters and we must be patient. Good luck to the team and callers!


Howdy ho, you folks! 2016 has begun and so another round of the never-ending DX game. The bands haven’t been in a good shape so far, however, a few good 160 openings reported from EU and NA. Not much of the ongoing DX activity to talk about, the ham world holds its breath aspiring VP8s and K5P expeditions. P5/Dom has been postponed till some time in summer, so that one can be distracted from the monthly DX equation.

Bragging part. The goal of 100.000 qso’s with HC2AO was met on December 22nd. On December 24th, K9QVB informed me that I became a member of the ARRL A1-op Club. On December 24th my laptop died.

That aside HC90IARU had to be operated. It was time to use nearly forgotten pen and paper as logging tools. I made some 3000+ qsos operating casually. QSL via HC2AO, OQRS is set at ClubLog.net

Now what I discovered while running pileups (once or twice pretty nasty ones):

  1. Europeans are the worst in behavior. Calling endlessly, calling without hearing, tuning on the frequency, calling names. Running simplex if you are not s9+20 at the receiving end is suicidal.
  2. American ops are getting worse in pileups. Running simplex is still possible but not as pleasant as it used to be.
  3. Japanese are mostly well-behaved save a few bakas.
  4. Public in general. A lot of no-coder calling with software. Annoying.

Why am I writing about it? I just anticipate the craziness we all will have to deal with while trying to work the coming hard core DXs. I appeal to your senses – behave! Follow the operator’s instructions! Listen! Listen! Listen! Don’t call if you don’t hear. Don’t call if you don’t hear well. Don’t tune on DX’s frequency. Don’t police. Don’t send your call again when answered correctly! Know your propagation chances! Learn about the propagation modes! Improve your setup!

Wishing you all a great new year!



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