#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

Flag

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

Background

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.

 

 

#28: CP4BT – Bolivia

I have Bolivia on 40 – 10M, and about half of these are with Claus – CP4BT. Claus has been active as long – or longer than I have been a DXer – he is one of a few Bolivian Beacons. South America is like OC-PAC and Asia from the West Coast – even at the bottom of the cycle its usually workable on some band – even the low bands.

SA ITU Zone: 12, 14 CQ Zone: 10

Added to the DXCC List: on the original 1937 list. – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolivia

Flag

Rareness Factor: not rare- but more rare on the list than I would have expected. However, on the low bands – especially 160M, the QSO is very much appreciated since anything on Top Band from the West Coast seems rare – hi hi

Current Clublog Most Wanted (as of this writing): #185

DXpeditions: there are resident locals there and contesters there – as well as many “holiday style” activations

Merit Badges

Pipeline

Garden Variety

Background

OC, AS, Caribbean, Central and South America are the parts of the world where you can count on working for at least 8BDXCC – it gets a lot harder to add band 9 and 10 though. There are quite a few entities in the Caribbean.

DXCC Entity “Vital Stats”

The QSO was made during the West Coast day 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

Claus is a true blue CW man – and I always appreciate how active he has been on the air from Bolivia.

 

#27: J68GS – St. Lucia

Gary was a DXer who I remember was also a card checker and owned a radio store called The Radioplace in the Sacramento area. I’m pretty sure he went to the Caribbean quite a bit – I vaguely remember he might have been a contester. Anyway, he was one of the OT DXers I remember when I started DXing.

The Caribbean is like OC-PAC and Asia from the West Coast – even at the bottom of the cycle its usually workable on some band – even the low bands.

NA ITU Zone: 11 CQ Zone: 8

Added to the DXCC List: on the original 1937 list. – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Lucia

Flag

Rareness Factor: not rare- but more rare on the list than I would have expected. However, on the low bands – especially 160M, the QSO is very much appreciated since anything on Top Band from the West Coast seems rare – hi hi

Current Clublog Most Wanted (as of this writing): #201

DXpeditions: there are resident locals there and contesters there – as well as many “holiday style” activations

Merit Badges

Nice place for a vacation

Garden Variety

Background

OC, AS, Caribbean, Central and South America are the parts of the world where you can count on working for at least 8BDXCC – it gets a lot harder to add band 9 and 10 though. There are quite a few entities in the Caribbean.

DXCC Entity “Vital Stats”

The QSO was made during the West Coast day – on 10 Meters (I’m sitting here at the bottom of the cycle and 10M hasn’t been open much for years at this point), 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 looked up KI6T and his call has been re-issued. He went SK in 2010 – and I don’t know how long the FCC holds calls before they re-issue them. I do wish the FCC would issue the “dooky” calls to non US citizens and that US hams got the pick of the litter. I also wish people couldn’t hoard calls and set up phony clubs to grab the good call signs. No one has grabbed my old (shitty) call signs – WA2QHN and AB6VA. I was lucky to get KY6R – not long after I got that call the “feeding frenzy” started and even Extras had to pick crappy calls from the pool – or sit there like a vulture after someone goes SK.

#26: VP6DIA – Ducie Island

This was the first Ducie activation in 2002 – it was added to the list in 2001

Half of the team were from Pitcairn island, which is fitting – I believe locals should always get first crack at activating something from their home country. This is the first DXpedition where I worked a smaller “preliminary” activation before a mega. The other one in this class that I can remember was K3LP/KP5 – Desecheo.

OC ITU Zone: 63 CQ Zone: 32

Added to the DXCC List: added to the list in 2001. It was the first time since becoming a DXer that I experienced what seemed like (at that time) a very odd thing – to add and delete entities off the list – especially since one group or person could “lobby” the ARRL to change the rules to accommodate their whim.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitcairn_Islands

Rareness Factor: Top 50 “Hot Stuff”

Current Clublog Most Wanted (as of this writing): #21

DXpeditions: as far as number of activations go – this is one of the most rare – if you only consider the number of times it has been activated. Its not in the Top 10 because several mega DXpeditions handed out a record number of QSO’s – especially VP6DX

Year DXpedition
2002 VP6DI
2003 VP6DIA
2008 VP6DX
2018 VP6D

Merit Badges

Hot Stuff

Pipeline to West Coast

Background

DXCC Entity “Vital Stats”

 

The QSO was made during West Coast afternoon during the vernal equinox, 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

Before I was a DXer, and when I lived in San Francisco, I went to a San Francisco Amateur Radio Club meeting and met Tom Christian, VP6TC. He recently went SK – but he is a descendant of a member of the Mutiny on the Bounty. His talk on life and ham radio on Pitcairn Island was very interesting.

#25: San Felix – XR0X

This is the first mega DXpedition that I worked that was co-led by my neighbors Carlos, NP4IW / CE3AQI and Bob, KK6EK. Its astonishing that it only cost $30K – and that included having the gear delivered by helicopter onto the island! Those days are gone forever.

The DXpedition is on the Cordell Expeditions web site: http://www.cordell.org/SFX/SFX_pages/SFX_Main.html

The Back Story

Getting permission to land on San Felix requires permission from the Chilean Navy and then you need to find transportation. Carlos had the Chilean contacts – primarily with the Navy through relatives, but he had some trouble finding suitable transportation. He asked his fellow Walnut Creek neighbor and friend Bob, KK6EK to help, and the rest is history. But the “secret weapon” to making the Chilean connections that cannot be under estimated was Carlos. Others have tried since – all ending in failure.

This is the first DXpedition where I decided to work them on more than one band and mode. The greenie disease started calling . . .

SA ITU Zone: 14 CQ Zone: 12

Added to the DXCC List: added to the list in 1965. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desventuradas_Islands

Flag (Chilean possession)

Rareness Factor: Top 10 “Hot Stuff / Hair on Fire” rare

Current Clublog Most Wanted (as of this writing): #6

DXpeditions: as far as number of activations go – this is one of the most rare – just behind P5 and BS7H. Its about as rare in this regard as South Sandwich or Heard Island – its more rare than Navassa!

Year DXpedition
1965 CE0XA
1972 CE0/K9KNW
1984 CE0AA
1990 XQ0X
2000 XR0ZY
2002 XR0X

Merit Badges

Hot Stuff

Hair on Fire Rare

Background

Having worked with Bob and Carlos and the entire Cordell / VK0EK Team, I can say it was one of the highlights of my DXing and DXCC career. Bob does science on these trips – and only operates some shifts, but he is neither a “power DXer” or contester. He is a superb organizer and planner, and he can activate the rarest of the rare. He has 4 DXpeditions of the Year under his belt, but is now retired from DXpeditioning. He was a member of the legendary VK0IR Team and project.

I learned all about the competition between DXpeditioners while working on VK0EK, and some of it is actually ugly. Its not something I wanted to know about – but over time I came to realize that its basically competition, and that in the long run – its better to have several groups compete to activate a place than for no one to bother because its too hard.

I had one or two “twinges” of thinking I’d like to join a DXpedition Team, but in reality – I’m an armchair DXer who likes the planning and hard work of activating a Top 10 entity – but am just not a globe trotter or one who would have the patience sitting in a tent working Q’s for weeks.

DXCC Entity “Vital Stats”

The QSO was made during West Coast afternoon during the vernal equinox, 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 think I was too green a DXer to even realize that two of my neighbors were putting such DXpeditions on. I did come to know about Bob and Carlos with the K7C Kure DXpedition – another very rare one – a few years later. Bob, KK6EK was not your “normal” DXpedition Leader, and that is precisely the reason I enjoyed working with and for him on VK0EK (and to a lesser degree, TX5K).

Bob is retired from DXpeditioning, so I expect that VK0EK was my one chance to do what I did and have a “season in the sun” – in other words, it was a wonderful “swan song”.

#24: Niue – ZK2CW

It took me a little while to find on DX Atlas because ZK2 is the old prefix – E6 is the new one. Tom, DL2RUM, is the author of RUMLog for the Mac, and it looks like a nice program.

I’ve worked Tom on several of his DXpeditions, and he either goes solo or with a few friends.

OC ITU Zone: 62 CQ Zone: 32

Added to the DXCC List: on the original 1937 list. It is related to New Zealand, and Niueans hold dual citizenship with New Zealand

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niue

Flag

Rareness Factor: “Top 100 with a Pipeline between the West Coast and Niue”. However, on the low bands – especially 160M, the QSO is very much appreciated since anything on Top Band from the West Coast seems rare – hi hi

Current Clublog Most Wanted (as of this writing): #89 – in the Top 100, but not rare at all for the West Coast

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

Merit Badges

Nice place for a Holiday

OC Pipeline

Background

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.

 

#23: Nicaragua – H7DX

There are locals whom I have worked, and YN4SU has been the beacon that I have worked on most bands.

H7DX was a small team from DL.

Continent: NA ITU Zone: 11 CQ Zone: 7

Added to the DXCC List: on the original 1937 list. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicaragua

Flag

Rareness Factor: “Garden Variety DX and good coffee”

Current Clublog Most Wanted (as of this writing): #205

DXpeditions: there have been so many – but since there are a few active “locals” and also holiday style activations, large scale DXpeditions have never really been needed. There have also been many contest activations.

Merit Badges

Garden Variety

Good coffee

Background

There has been several violent upheavals in Nicaragua that I can remember over the years.

DXCC Entity “Vital Stats”

The QSO was made during the West Coast morning, on the Short Path (almost next door neighbors), and the solar conditions were:

Cycle22 Start 1986.8 Number 12.3 Peak 1989.6 Number 158.5 Years to Rise 2.8 Years to Fall 6.8 Cycle Length 9.7

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

  1. A next door neighbor with a few locals and enough small team or single DXpeditions to keep this entity off the Top 100 Most Wanted – but I’m actually a little surprised its at #205 – I thought it would be higher on the list