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Friday, March 28, 2008

CW DX-pedition to SYRIA : 9-15 April 2008

Bernie, W3UR, reported in The Daily DX that next month will see a serious CW-only DX'pedition to Syria by a team of 5 British operators. They will have two stations plus amps and antennas for 9 bands. They will operate under the call YK9G and will transmit on frequencies ending in "3" and listen split, up 1-2 plus kHz. They have a minimal web site HERE.

Although they will be equipped for all bands, they expect that 40-M through 17-M will provide the bulk of their operation. QSL via G3TXF.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

It Must be Spring!

People are always watching for the first robin to herald the return of Spring. However, you can also mark that event by the return of the Snow Birds!

Bob, W8QHG, who always has his ear out for rare DX, reports that the WVDXA Vice-President and his mate have returned to their roost in Barboursville after their winter sojourn to various rookeries in the Sunshine State.

It is not common knowledge but I have been given to understand that this southerly migration is actually a training exercise. In order for this DX bird to sharpen his RF feeding skills, he makes this annual voyage in order to work the elusive DX using minimum tools - QRP power levels, single-receiver radios, and Hamstick vertical antennas. Thus, fighting his way through the pile-ups as a "Little Pistol" sharpens his DX skills to the point where he can peck through the pile-ups in record speed and store up stacks of band/slots in the DX feeding frenzies to come.

So, be warned! The "easy pickin's" we have enjoyed the past few months are now over. I just hope no one helps him put up a "Monster-L" for Top Band or my only refuge from his RF will disappear! LISTEN! Can you hear him? "Oscar Italy" is BAAAACK!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spratly Is., March 22-30

N1UR is planning a DX'pedition to Spratly Island for 8 days later this month. He will focus on the needed bands in NA and EU. This will be a small crew with light equipment (verticals on the beach) so hope for some good propagation. However, this is one very difficult country to work. Visit his web site HERE to vote for the bands and modes where you need Spratly Island. This DX tip is courtesy of The Daily DX by permission.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Glorioso Islands, FR/G, Coming in May

FR/G, GLORIOSO ISLANDS. Jean-Michel, F6AJA, editor of Les Nouvelles DX,informed OPDX on Monday last week that after many years of effort, the permission has finally been received and an operation to Glorioso (Glorieuses) Islands will take place, probably early May (possibly between May 5-9th) for some weeks. At the moment, operators mentioned are Pascal/F5PTM, Freddy/F5IRO, Stephane/F6KIN, David/F8CRS, Yves-Michel/F5PRU and possibly 3 others. The team plans to have 3 or 4 stations on the air. They are currently looking for sponsors, and if you would like to help, please contact Didier, F5OGL. Presently, Glorioso is ranked 4th in "DX Magazine's 2007 Most Wanted Countries World-Wide" in the mixed modes (EU 7th, Asia 9th and NA 4th). There is no Web page currently available for this operation, but details from the 2005/2006 planned operation Web page (which did not take place) states: "The Glorioso Archipelago consists of two coral islands: Grande Glorieuse (3 km in its larger diameter) where the human installations are, and Ile du Lys (circular island, 600 metres in diameter) which is desert. The archipelago also includes two rock islets - Roches Vertes and l'Ile aux Crabes - as well as a sand bank more or less above water at high tide. At the east and northeast of Grande Glorieuse are a series of dunes reaching a maximum elevation of 12 m. The islands and rocks are surrounded by a reef and a lagoon which is drained dry at low tide. The Glorioso islands are situated 220km northwest of Diego Suarez (Madagascar). The island became French territory in 1930. Around 1912, a French came from the Comoros and planted a fine coconut palm plantation there. Exploited until 1958 by people from the Seychelles, it is currently abandoned. There are also filaos. Fauna consists exclusively of a rather large colony of terns. The meteorological service of the French colony in Madagascar installed on the island a rather primitive weather station in 1955 which was opened only during the hurricane season from October to April. Since 1960 the the station is open all year round. The importance of this station is clear. It predicts cyclones for the North Madagascar and Comoros area. It ensures safe navigation on the Madagascar-Djibouti- Madagascar and Kenya-Mauritius-Kenya air and maritime routes. (From minister for the French overseas Web site)" ADDED NOTE: Jean-Michel, F6AJA, provides DXers with an interesting Webpage that (probably) has the most complete QSL collection (28 different QSLs) from Glorioso. Take a look at: THIS PAGE. He still needs some cards for his collection: FR5ES/G, FR5HG/G and FR5KH/G.

4W6 expedition scheduled

Announcing DXpedition to East Timor

The Union de Radioaficionados Españoles, URE, the Spanish Amateur Radio League, is proud to announce a project in East Timor to take place in June 2008.

URE's Radiosolidarity Department will organize an Amateur Radio DXpedition, combined with activities to promote Amateur Radio including the donation and setting up of a complete amateur radio station at the University of Dili. It is hoped that by operating alongside students and teachers of the Electrical Engineering and other departments it will be possible to sow the seeds of future amateur radio activity of a permanent nature in East Timor.

During the last few years URE's Radiosolidarity has been involved in projects in the following countries:

1998-TJ2RSF-Cameroun [ in collaboration with RSF] 1998/1999-Cuba [campaign of donation of material] 1999-HU4U-El Salvador 2000-HQ0R-Honduras 2001-TG0R-Guatemala 2003-ZA1A-Albania [an IARU project] 2004-7W0AD-Algeria 2004-T42R-Cuba 2005-TZ6DEL-Mali 2007-T42R-Cuba 2007-HQ2R-Honduras

This new project will take place in cooperation with the University of Dili, located in the capital of East Timor. We don't yet know the callsign that will be used; whether it will be a special one for the occasion, hopefully 4W6R, the callsign of the University (4W6UTL) or the callsign of one of the operators (4W6ERC).

The group that will take part in the activity is made up of the following experienced operators:

EA1QF Angel (team leader)
EA4DB (ex-EA4BPJ) Jose
EA4KA Eugene
EA5BWR Txema

QSLs will be via EA4URE.

A complete station (Kenwood TS690 + Mosley TA63M + G5RV + rotor) will be donated to and installed at the University of Dili for use of the students and teachers of the Electrical Engineering Department or anyone else who might be interested in Amateur Radio. Another station will be set up, temporarily, at the team´s lodgings in order to have two stations (CW and SSB) operating permanently during the 15 days of operation. Time will be spent on other modes (RTTY, etc) and special attention will be paid to operation on six meters.

The majority of this project's funding is provided by the Alicante Provincial Government and by URE. The rest of the budget, at this time, will be down to the operators although we have already received news of some small but useful donations. We would be very grateful if individuals and organisations could consider making contributions to this project at any time, including after the operation. Please bear in mind the following two considerations.

The objective of this project is to contribute to the development of a very young country and to promote amateur radio activity by East Timor nationals.

The DXpedition is part of the activity is intended to achieve 30,000 plus QSOs in spite of the limitations imposed on us. We feel able to achieve this due to the very considerable experience of our six-man team of proven DXpedition operators

Sea Level To Fall, New Entities On Horizon

Reuters News Service

By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

OSLO (Reuters) - Sea levels are set to fall over millions of years, making the current rise blamed on climate change a brief interruption of an ancient geological trend, scientists said on Thursday.

They said oceans were getting deeper and sea levels had fallen by about 170 meters (560 ft) since the Cretaceous period 80 million years ago when dinosaurs lived. Previously, the little-understood fall had been estimated at 40 to 250 meters.

"The ocean floor has got on average older and gone down and so the sea level has also fallen," said Bernhard Steinberger at the Geological Survey of Norway, one of five authors of a report in the journal Science.

"The trend will continue," he told Reuters.

A computer model based on improved understanding of shifts of continent-sized tectonic plates in the earth's crust projects more deepening of the ocean floor and a further sea level decline of 120 meters in 80 million years' time.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

TX5C, Clipperton Is., Just Days Away!

Make sure those antennas are tuned, the amps aligned and the computer clock set to WWV as the next big DX'pedition is about to fire up. 20 operators will activate TX5C for 10-12 days on all bands to fill in any holes you may still have from previous operations. One of the operators is Jay, K4ZLE, manager of the 8th Region QSL Buro and another is Arnie, N6HC, a good friend of mine who has operated my station in a multi-single effort in the 10-M contest back in 2002.

The operators are all on board the Shogun, headed toward Clipperton and operating as FO5A/MM while traveling toward the island. They have already made over 1,000 QSO's. HERE are some photos as the ship leaves San Diego. Arnie is the guy in the blue shirt with the stuffed reindeer (?) in his pocket.

You can check the "Hot News" section of the TX5C web site and follow links from there to the "Photos" section and the "Operators" section where some of the operators are posting a diary during their trip.

And, be the first to identify the WVDXA member shown HERE on Clipperton in 1985. Boy, the years have NOT been kind to this guy!