#29: NH6D/KH4 – Midway Island

There was a high profile DXpedition back a few years ago, and I thought “What’s the big deal, its only Midway Island?”. This is because there have been many contractors who have activated Midway Island as part of their work since I became a DXer in 2001 – and from the West Coast its as exotic as Hawaii – OK – maybe just a little bit more rare. But its a real “chip shot”. I worked Bill, NH6D (SK) on 10M and several other bands. Bill’s QSL Manager Dick, N6FF also is SK . . . as is W4MPY – so quite a few DXers “back in the day” are no longer with us.

K4M in 2009 was a notable DXpedition, but like Wake Island (and several others that were military bases during WWII), most of the activations have been single government contractors who happen to be hams and DXers.

OC ITU Zone: 61 CQ Zone: 31

Added to the DXCC List: on the original 1937 list. It is a US possession https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midway_Atoll


Rareness Factor: Hot stuff and hair on fire rare (for those outside of the West Coast and OC-PAC)

Current Clublog Most Wanted (as of this writing): #15 – quite rare worldwide

DXpeditions: many, and most have been small team or single person projects

Merit Badges

Hot Stuff

OC Pipeline


I think out of all the DXpeditions, I have enjoyed the small team or single DXpeditioner who are great operators the best. Sure – some places just demand it be a mega DXpedition (cost and logistics, economy of scale), but I always have the warmest memories of these smaller operations – mainly because when they come on the air – you have to be ready. They come on the air when they want and on the bands they want. They are not on 6 or 8 bands all at once operating – which then has the effect of having huge swarms everywhere 24 by 7. With smaller teams the excessive “greenie chasing” doesn’t happen as much either. It has the feel of a more relaxed DX “hunt” – and I made so many QSO’s just because I had guessed where they would be – and sure enough – I was the early bird. The best example of this was North Korea – P5/4L4FN . . . The one DXpeditioner who has given me more ATNO’s than single person or team of any size is Vlad Bykov – UA4WHX.

DXCC Entity “Vital Stats”

The QSO was made during West Coast evening and the solar conditions were close to the second peak of Cycle 23:

Cycle23 Start 1996-08 Number 11.2 Peak 2001-11 Number 180.3 Years to Rise 5.3 Years to Fall 7 Cycle Length 12.3

Important DXCC Resources

  1. ARRL DXCC Standings – http://www.arrl.org/dxcc-standings
  2. LOTW – https://lotw.arrl.org/cgi-bin/lotw_page_auth/default
  3. Clublog – https://clublog.org/index.php
  4. The History of the DXCC by (me) – History of the DXCC

BTW – I think the best DXCC List is either found at Clublog or in LOTW. The ARRL DXCC Desk and other parts of its web site regarding DXCC almost look abandoned. Luckily, LOTW and their standings lists look well kept, supported and looked after.

Parting Shots

I’m starting to see “patterns” of what I consider rare or even just those DXCC entities that I either just take for granted – and those I “covet”. Maybe after a while I’ll see enough of a pattern to know if its more emotional (i.e. anything in Middle East or Africa always gets me excited), and others, while ultra rare, don’t. It seems to be distance related – but not always. Time will tell – I hope when I’m done a few more insights will pop out.



2 thoughts on “#29: NH6D/KH4 – Midway Island

  1. Bill gave me one of my best DXing memories. It must have been in 1995, because I still had a straight key. I was calling CQ on 20 meters one day, and just about fell out of my chair when NH6D/KH4 called me. (The Pacific was considerably harder from Tennessee than it is from California, BTW). We had a 15 minute or so ragchew, and then he sent me a long (4 page!) handwritten note with his QSL. I still have the letter. A real class act. I was sorry to hear he had gone SK some years back. He was only in his 50s, as I recall.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. P.S. My situation was exactly mirroring yours: Pacific always got me excited, because I didn’t hear it often, but Africa was kind of a big yawn, because I could work it any old afternoon.

      Liked by 1 person

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