4W6A Press Release


The September 2011 Timor-Leste DXpedition has now received its callsign - 4W6A - from ARCOM, the licensing authority in Dili. The team is very grateful to ARCOM for issuing this special one-letter callsign for use on the DXpedition.

The DXpedition has a website, at www.4w6a.com, which includes profilesof the team members,  propagation predictions and lots of information about Timor-Leste and Atauro Island, the location of the DXpedition.

Unfortunately, Franck, VK8FNCY, has had to withdraw from the DXpedition due to health reasons. His place has been taken by Tim, M0URX, and Ant, MW0JZE. Oliver, MW0JRX, is now resident in Darwin and has recently received his Australian callsign, VK8DX. The other team members remain Stuart, VK8NSB; Steve, 9M6DXX, and John, 9M6XRO. As the team now comprises six operators, we have increased the number of stations from three to four.

The group is requesting donations from DX clubs and individuals who wish to help, in order to cover the high cost of generator hire, fuel for the generators and the boat charter to and from the island. There is a "Donations" page on the 4W6A website. Payments may be made by credit or debit card (you do not need to have a PayPal account yourself in order to make a donation).

4W6A will be QRV from Atauro Island (IOTA OC-232), Timor-Leste (East Timor), from 16 to 26 September 2011. Activity will be on all bands 10 to 160 metres, using CW, SSB and RTTY.

The QSL manager is M0URX, direct (SAE plus 1 IRC / $2), via the bureau, or LoTW. The entire log will be uploaded to LoTW as soon as possible after the end of the operation or, if possible, even during the DXpedition. QSLs may also be requested using the QSL request form on the website.

73, Steve, 9M6DXX (4W6A Team Member)

Weekend in Brunei By V85/9M6XRO

HF6V_View_3The XYL and I got back to KK yesterday evening just before dark. The actual distance by road is not that great but we have to go through 8 immigration checkpoints plus one river ferry crossing in EACH direction! That's 16 chops in your passport!

The band conditions were in and out but I was getting on for 2000 Q's in total including over 1200 on RTTY which was the mode I had targeted, as CW and SSB are pretty well catered for in Brunei. I only found very brief openings on 10m but 12m produced a bit more and on one night 20m surprisingly stayed open until after 3am local time with mostly North America coming through. Operating that late curtailed my early morning sessions though. I did not operate on 80m this time but made one QSO on Top Band with my friend Go, 9M6YBG, who needed Brunei on 160m. I did a bit of unplanned SSB in the CQ WPX Contest (65 Q's) but my call sign V85/9M6XRO did not exactly roll off the tongue and I took a long time getting it across on almost every contact, even when signals were S9! Still the stations I worked were glad of the multiplier once they did figure out where I was :-)

My XYL really enjoyed the trip and says she will be happy to go back before my visitor's license expires in May so "watch this space"...

I have attached a photo I took from atop the watertanks on the hotel roof so you can see that the HF6V had a great take-off in all directions. I was running my IC-7000 (I get to like this rig more and more each time I use it) into the IC-2KL Linear and a Daiwa CNW-419 ATU when required. 73 for now - John - 9M6XRO

M0URX CQ-WPX Weekend!

I have to admit I am not a contester, but I love to trawl through the bands and pick off the juicy DX that you find on such a fantastic contest as CQ-WPX. Propagation at the start of the weekend wasn’t anything special but  improved as the weekend went on. On Saturday evening on 21.392 MHz, Saskia, ZL2GQ was calling CQ from Hastings New Zealand, I was beaming Short Path which for me is over the North Pole, the signal from Saskia was weak but she was doing well into North America. I spotted her on the cluster expecting the hoards from Europe to work her, but nothing, no one from Europe was working ZL2GQ, I called and she heard me just fine. I listened for almost two hours.  

QSLM0URX - NH7O 28,476 km QSO 10m SSB.
When I woke in the morning it was just getting light outside, made my first cup of coffee of the morning and took it into the shack, I looked at the cluster to see what was happening, conditions were still FB. AH6RR Roland was spotted from Hawaii on 28.441 MHz, I checked on the short path, not a whisper, I turned the Hexbeam to the long path, really not expecting anything at all, but wow there was Roland on the long path, time to “Fire Up the Acom” those 3 minutes while you wait for the Svetlana to warm up can be the longest 3 minutes of your life! Roland gave me my first KH6 on 10m, wow a great start to the day, just a little down on 28.435 MHz was NH7O again on the long path, but no problems to work this one, another Hawaii station in the log! A distance of 17,694 Miles or 28,476 kilometres on 10m! Wow, to me that is simply awesome!

YL Contest op 11 Years old
On 15m KH0/KH7ERI had been calmly working in the contest all weekend, every time I tuned to 15m I could hear her signal. I checked the profile on QRZ.com and I see she is only 11 years old. This is great to see such a young person enjoying the competitive World of Radio contesting, and doing it so well too, not getting flustered by close in overload, just cracking away one after another in the log. Watch out guys Eri will be winning some major contests very soon! Well done Eri!
Photo - KH0/KH7ERI, Eri.By permission of Masa Shimizu, AH6KY, Eri's father.
Masa says that they are scheduled to go to KH2 and will be QRV for one day.

FRA AGM 2011

OY1A-OY3JEAt the annual board meeting for FRA (Faroese Radio Amateur) this year, OY1A Arne was elected as honorary member. This is for long service recognition, close to 35 years.

Arne was on the board of FRA, editor of the club magazine OY-arin, taking care of communication with IARU, NRAU, FSE (local Telecommunication Authority)

Arne is 89, and is looking for someone to replace him for the duty of IARU, NRAU and FSE which he still is taking care of.

Even though this is the 47th board meeting, this is honorary member #1 elected at FRA.

Thank you to OY4TN Trygvi Nysted for this report and photo.

Photo: OY3JE Jan, president of FRA handing the diploma to OY1A Arne, together with a good bottle of wine and free life time membership.


DX Activity

9M6XRO, John, will be QRV as V85/9M6XRO Brunei from the 23rd to 27th March 2011.

9M6DXX, Steve,  will be active in the CQ-WPX contest with some activty before, QRV as 9M8Z, Sarawak, East Malaysia.

Strumble Head DX & Contest Group, will be on air from 23rd until 27th March also, and in CQ-WPX as MW9W Wales.

UK Scout Contest Team, M0XXT will be having a maintenance day at the shack but will also be active for a short while as M0XXT & M9X over the CQ-WPX weekend.

For QSL Info please follow the link as usual. NO QSL cards are required through the Bureau for the above activities.
Save Bureau costs. Request it DON'T send it!

Latest QSL Designs

The QSL designs for the recent DXpeditions are coming on well. Cards will be printed very soon.
9M6XRO/8 & 9M8Z/P Pulau Satang Besar IOTA OC-165 - KH0/G3ZEM Northern Mariana Is OC-086 - T88ZM Palau OC-009 - V85/9M6XRO & V85/9M8Z Brunei Darussalam & ZL/GD3OOK Waiheke Island OC-201.





ZL/GD3OOK IOTA OC-201 Report

50_Bay_RoadQTH: Ostend, Waiheke Island. Loc: RF73MF

Delayed Start
I had a delayed start due to an oversight on my part. I didn't know that ZL uses a different type mains plug from Malaysia and the U.K. so when I set up my rig I could not plug anything in! It was next day before I could find an adaptor on the island and get powered up, so I caught up on my rest the first night on OC-201. If anything, the bands in ZL are even quiter than in Borneo during daylight hours so once I had mains power I had to twiddle my thumbs waiting for the bands to open. Waiheke is a beautiful island and I thoroughly enjoyed walking and taking in the scenery when the bands were dead.

Solar Disturbances
All's well that ends well they say and I ended up with 1275 Q's which I am quite happy with especially after getting back to the mainland and discovering there were solar flares and disturbances during my brief operation. I decided to go for 20m SSB the last night but a flare had taken the band out completely! Still, particularly pleasing were comments like "big signal" from the U.S. East Coast and S9+ on the DX Cluster from Europe since my antenna was a simple W3EDP 84 ft long slung over a tree in an inverted vee configuration, with a maximum height of around 35 ft, and a single 17 ft long radial. The rig was a mixture of old and new - an IC-7000 driving a 30+ year old Loudenboomer linear (using four TV sweep tubes, remember them?) to about 300 watts. The antenna was made from very thin copper wire salvaged from old TV tube focus coils, and fed through a Daiwa ATU which matched it up on all bands from 80-10m although neither 10 or 12m showed any sign of life with precious little on 15m either come to that.

I have attached a photo of the "Bach" I stayed in - quite a contrast to the accommodation recently on Pulau Satang Besar OC-165. It was luxury by comparison!

Log is now on the online log search. LoTW will be uploaded on Monday. QSL card will be designed very soon.

Waiheke Island IOTA Ref: OC-201

Waiheke-Island-MapA planned short operation by John 9M6XRO, as ZL/GD3OOK from Waiheke Island OC-201 New Zealand,between March 7th to 11th using a linear and wire antennas.

QSL Direct via M0URX and LoTW.
Bureau by OQRS Only!

Please do NOT send your card Via Bureau. ONLY use OQRS. Thank you.
If you do send Via Bureau it MUST have QSL Via M0URX clearly marked.

9M8Z/P & 9M6XRO/8 Setang Besar Island Report

P1040615John, 9M6XRO, and I got back home just after dark on 3 March after a nearly 3000km round-trip - Borneo is a BIG island. That's about 1km of driving for every QSO made!

Murphy was very much with us on this trip. The first casualty (not serious) was my watch, the nearly new battery of which failed between Brunei and Kuching. Then my digital camera, which had worked perfectly the day before we left, also failed. John's wife had his camera and he was relying on me to take all the photos, so that was mini disaster number 1. Fortunately we had three local hams from KK with us, and two of them had cameras. They flew to Kuching and we met up with them there and we went out to the island together. They did not want to do any operating, just came along for the experience. (Photo above: 9M8Z/P Steve & 9M6XRO/8 John, on Setang Besar Island. Photo by 9M6GY Godfrey)

Bad Weather
We were lucky with the weather both on the trip out to the island and the way back, which was pretty calm and clear in both directions. The weather on the island was appalling, though. We had more than 24 hours of rain - not just drizzle, but a continuous tropical downpour. It was windy too, so the rain was blowing in to the shack, which had no door and mainly open windows. Add to this a couple of thunderstorms. I was amazed how cold it could be only 1 degree from the equator! All our clothes, everything, were cold and damp for pretty much the whole time we were on the island.

Hill Blocks Europe!
Conditions were poor too. One problem was that because we wanted to operate two stations we had the two antennas as far apart as possible. I had bought a 100-yard length of RG58 coax the last time I was in Singapore, and we used this for the Butternut HF6V, with a short additional length joined on so that it could be put up on the beach. However, the line loss on this length of cable was so great that our signal was well down. This coupled with a nearly 1000ft high hill immediately behind the antennas in the direction of Europe meant our signal was not as good as it should have been. The hill is in the worst possible direction for working EU. On the first day, though, I did have a good run working Europe on the long path on 20m, so we were getting out reasonably well towards the south. The VKs and ZLs were loud too, but there aren't that many of them.

Another problem was the generators. We had been told there were three 3kVA diesel generators on the island. This was my main concern before the trip but we had received messages from the island owner that the generators had been maintained and were OK. When we arrived we found there were only two working - not a problem, two 3kVA generators should be ample for what we wanted to run. Initially we tried to run both stations off one generator but this proved impossible - every time John transmitted my linear tripped out. OK: plan B was to run one station off one generator and the second station off the other generator. Neither generator was regulated so whenever a load was put on, the voltage dropped dramatically. The solution was to increase the volts to around 270V off load so that when on load the volts would be around 220V. This worked OK for a while but then my MFJ switch mode power supply blew up - too high input voltage!

One Station QRV
From this point on (the second morning) we were down to one station only, and we were careful not to put too high a voltage to that one. This meant the power output, which should have been around 500W from John's IC-2KL, was generally only around 250 or 300W at most and at times far less.

One positive effect of this, though, was that because we now only had one station, on the last day we moved the Butternut to a location much closer to the other antenna, using a much shorter length of feeder, and this definitely seemed to make a difference - signals were now better.

One other minor equipment problem was the spindle in one of the fans in John's IC-2KL had become loose, causing it to rub against the PA compartment, making a nasty grinding noise. We operated the whole time in Brunei on the return journey with it sounding like this. Fortunately the fan was still working, so there was no danger of the amp overheating as a result.

So that's it: a trip with Murphy very much in attendance. I was very disappointed by the number of QSOs made. V85 was OK, though we were only on for a few hours on each occasion. On the island I spent a lot of time calling CQ and not getting replies; a combination of poor conditions, the screening effect of the big hill and the attenuation on the long run of coax.

Thank you to 9M6DXX / 9M8Z Steve Telenius-Lowe for the above report. QSL cards will be designed soon.

9M6XRO/8 (CW) and 9M8Z/P (SSB)

satbesarIOTA Ref: OC-165 Pulau Satang Besar,

John, 9M6XRO, and Steve, 9M6DXX, will operate as 9M6XRO/8 (CW) and 9M8Z/P (SSB) respectively from Pulau Satang Besar, OC-165, from 25 February until early GMT on 28 February 2011,

Using two stations with linear amplifiers to a Hexbeam and verticals located on the ocean.QSL

Both 9M6XRO/8 and 9M8Z/P via M0URX, direct or Via the bureau, or LoTW. Alternatively, QSLs may be requested using M0URX’s OQRS

John, 9M6XRO, and Steve, 9M6DXX, will operate from Brunei, V85 (IOTA OC-088), for 2 days, on 22 February and 2 March, while travelling to and from OC-165 (see above). Callsigns are V85/9M6XRO and V85/9M8Z. QSL

Both callsigns QSL via M0URX, direct  or Via the bureau, or LoTW. Alternatively, QSLs may be requested using M0URX’s OQRS

LATEST NEWS 22/02/2011 - Steve informs me that due to high S9 noise floor that there will be no 160m activity tonight from V85/9M6XRO.
LATEST NEWS 27/02/2011 - One PSU has blown. Down to one station QRV.

VK8DX On Air!

VK8DX is the new call sign "On Air" from Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. Oliver Bross, MW0JRX / OM0ARX recently moved to Darwin and can be found calling CQ on HF.
QSL Via M0URX. Please be patient as we have yet to design and print the QSL card! 

UR Bureau News

10,000'th OQRS Request
I introduced the Online QSL Request System (OQRS) in September 2008 and since then 10,000 OQRS emails have been processed. Thank you for using this system which does save huge amounts of Bureau resources in both money and time. However, still far too few Radio Amateurs are bothering to check QSL information on QRZ.com, resulting in many thousands of Bureau cards being sent through the Bureau that should have used the OQRS.

The whole idea of using an OQRS is that for many DXpeditions and some DX calls, the DX operator does not need to collect the QSL cards, he is an "activator" and for these contacts a simple OQRS is all that is needed to get your Bureau QSL fast and efficiently.

Responsible Bureau Use?
We have to be more responsible against wasting money. It costs huge sums of money to ship tens of thousands of Bureau cards around the World. Many people think that the Bureau QSL is free! It is not free. In the case of QSL cards that are sent out from here, all costs are paid for by the generous donations paid by Direct QSL users that support the Bureau system for everyone to use. Also of course the time of dedicated volunteer Bureau staff around the World. Sadly I have to admit, that a lot of money here is spent retrieving Bureau QSL cards INCORRECTLY routed through the Bureau system by the sender.

RSGB Bureau puts restrictions on cards!
I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the RSGB QSL Bureau over the last few months I have been informed that the RSGB will not accept high quality QSL cards, too heavy. Will not allow contest call signs to be sent Via M0URX. These HAVE to be sent to the contest Sub manager instead. QSL Cards "Via" it has been announced are not welcome.

I will always support and honour Bureau QSL requests, but I would ask you to think BEFORE you send another shipment of QSL cards to the Bureau. If a QSL from you is required from the activators that use my system you can be sure that I will ask you to send your card too.

Log Update
If you request a OQRS for Bureau, then you must update the QSL SENT field in your log with QSL Sent. This way, when you get the QSL you will understand that I do NOT need yours! "Thanks QSL" on my QSO report label should be a hint!

T88ZM & KH0/G3ZEM OQRS requests will be processed when the logs arrive from Bob Henderson.

New Topband Website
Nick UY0ZG writes in to inform us of a new website, "Ukraine Topband" dedicated to the 160m enthusiast. The site is in Russian language, Google Translate is a good way to read in your local language.

QSL Cards arrive!
A 40 kg box arrived from the printer this week with the latest batch of QSL cards. Among them was VE2CSI QSL card, for the Association de Radioamateur Sept-Iles. Direct QSL cards have been posted this week.


east_timor_map19M6DXX, 9M6XRO, M0URX, MW0JZE, VK8DX & VK8NSB will be operating from Timor-Leste (East Timor) between 16 and 26 September 2011. The location will be Atauro Island, OC-232, 30km north of the capital, Dili.

The group is working closely with the Timor-Leste licensing authority and the DXpedition callsign will be announced soon.

There will be three stations, two using full licensed power linear amplifiers, and a third running 100W. Antennas will mainly be quarter-wave verticals and vertical dipoles, all located within a few metres of the ocean. For 160m an inverted-L will be used.

Activity will be on all bands 10 - 160m using CW, SSB and RTTY.

Atauro Island was chosen in order to provide a quiet location, well away from the electrical noise of down-town Dili. The beach-front site will allows the group to put up vertical antennas right by the ocean, providing additional low-angle gain. In addition, the island counts as OC-232 and is part of a very rare IOTA group, having being confirmed by only 18% of active IOTA participants.

Accommodation on Atauro Island is very basic and the team will be in beach huts with no mains electricity or running water. All power for the DXpedition will be provided using hired generators. As such, the group will be requesting donations. A website will be available soon and further details will be published on the website.

QSL via M0URX, direct (SAE plus 1 IRC / $2), via the bureau, or LoTW. Alternatively, QSLs may be requested using M0URX’s OQRS form.

KH0/G3ZEM Mariana Islands

his trip to Palau, Bob 5B4AGN will be QRV as KH0/G3ZEM from the Saipan Rental Shack between February 9 - 16 2011

Again active on CW only, HF bands.

Bureau ONLY Via Online QSL Request System.

QSL cards will be sponsored by United Radio QSL Bureau.

Please DO NOT send cards through the Bureau for this activity. USE OQRS Thank you.

Aurora over Faroe Islands

OY1OF Ólavur Frederiksen emailed today "I am now able to work from my car, I am using a FT-897, but right now only on 70cm, 2m, 10m,next week I hope to have antennas for 6m, 15m, 17,
We did have a strong Aurora last night, and I was out taking some pictures of it"

Ólavur thank you for allowing us to see these stunning images of last nights Aurora, quite breathtaking!

T88ZM & KH0/G3ZEM February 2011

Bob, 5B4AGN is QRV in Palau, OC-009 from February 1st – 8th, 2011.

Operating from the Palau Rental Shack, he will be active on CW only with the callsign T88ZM.

Online Log.

Bureau ONLY Via Online QSL Request System.

his trip to Palau, Bob 5B4AGN will be QRV as KH0/G3ZEM from the Saipan Rental Shack between February 9 - 16 2011

Again active on CW only, HF bands.


QSL cards will be sponsored by United Radio QSL Bureau.

Poor Band Conditions for VP8ORK

I was watching a quite heated discussion on the cluster today. Yes I know the cluster is NOT for discussion, that was not the point of my post. The content of the discussion was about the fact that many hams cannot hear VP8ORK on the South Orkeny Islands, and one ham implied that “Without money you can’t play in the premier league of DX” saying that you need money to buy big antennas and big amps. Well no I completely disagree. Anyone can play in the premier league of Big Guns even the QRP guys get the chance at some point in the game.

There is also a lot of fortune involved too. My experience this month with friends around the UK who have identical shack equipment is that if you are fortunate to live near the coast the advantage you will have with enhancement from the salt water during these low sunspot days is the difference between hearing the DX and NOT hearing the DX. Living inland in the City the problem I have had, is hearing the DX! I always work on the assumption that if you can hear it, you can work it.

So, it is not down to big money and power. Take M0TNX Kev for example. Kev has made a homebrew top band antenna and is working the DX. Kev has been out Portable near the sea and put up a simple vertical dipole. As Kev found out, the advantage that being next to the sea is probably equivalent to the guy inland with a 2 or 3 element Yagi at 40 feet.

The MUF charts show a story, and if you are in the area located where the MUF chart says “MUF 14 MHz” you are not going to work VP8ORK on 21 MHz even if you have an Optibeam 13 element. There are so many factors that are involved in being able to work the DX or not. Being Portable and adaptable to the changes in conditions, MUF, topography are all in the challenge of the DX’er. 

Luckily I do have VP8ORK in the log on 20m SSB. It was the faintest of signals but just enough for me to work the guys. They are doing a terrific job down in South Orkney Island, if only the Sun would boost the Sunspot Numbers so we can all have another shot. One thing is certain, DX'ing gets very addictive when chasing an expedition such as VP8ORK.
Thank you to the team on VP8/O!


QSL-VE2CSIThe VE2CSI QSL card has now been designed and will arrive here in about two weeks. VE2CSI is the club call sign for Association De Radioamateurs Sept-Iles Inc, which is located in the south of CQ Zone 2.

Direct QSL cards posted out in mid February.
Bureau cards in my next Bureau shipment.

Your incoming Bureau QSL is NOT required for this QSL please ONLY use the OQRS for Bureau.

International Outward Bureau Mailing

For the attention of Radio Amateurs in the United Kingdom (Only) 

As I have been asked a few times in recent weeks if i can provide this service, I am now pleased to announce that I am able to offer UK Amateurs an “Outward QSL Bureau Service”, posting to World Bureaus.

This service is mainly directed to heavy users of the Bureau where the QSL manager is not permitted to send the cards through the QSL Bureau. But is also open to ANY UK Radio Amateurs that want to send QSL cards to World Bureaus

For a charge of £15 per kilogram of QSL cards, I will forward Bureau cards to all World Bureaus every two months. These will be sent by Priority Air Mail.

Bulk users (for example DX’pedition QSL Managers) should contact me by email to apply for discount.


Firstly, email contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to confirm your request to use the service and to confirm weight of Bureau posting.

Cheque payable to Tim Beaumont for £15 per kilo or by pre arranged amount agreed Via email.

All packing instructions are exactly the same as you would normally do when sending cards through the Bureau.

All QSL cards must be in Alpha – Numerical order and separated into Bureau piles using elastic bands.

Any cards destined for UK Radio Amateurs must be sent direct to the RSGB Bureau NOT me.

Any QSL routing “Via” MUST be correctly located in your packs!

Who can use my Bureau Forwarding Service?
Any UK Radio Amateur can use my service provided they follow my instructions above.

If any UK hams want to discuss using my service for outward QSL Bureaus you can phone me on 07976 292980.


For a guide to correctly bundling your Bureau cards you can view a list of IARU World Bureaus and prefixes here

VK8NSB Live Streaming

QSL-VK8NSB-1Stuie VK8NSB, from Darwin, the Capital of the Northern Territory in Australia, has introduced "Live Web Stream" to his shack.
You are welcome to view when Stuie is QRV. You can find the live stream at:

ON7RU Blog

It is always nice to read positive comments about my work, today I was really surprised to read the Blog of ON7RU Frank.

"At the hamfest in Friedrichshafen in a lecture sponsored by CQ-DL/DARC, the best QSL'er of the past year is chosen. The last few years Nigel, G3TXF took the golden medal to the UK.
Since a year, a new QSL star is born. The new star lives, just as Nigel in the UK and his callsign is M0URX. The owner of the callsign, Tim Beaumont built up a good reputation in a very short time. His unique OQRS (Online QSL request system) works very well, and he offers a fast turnaround time and premium quality QSL cards.
On his website/blog you can track updates of new DXpeditions, arrival of printed QSL cards, ....
Tim, you’re a 5-star ham, keep up the good work and hope to meet you some day.
Frank, ON7RU"

Thanks for your comments Frank, I have to say it is a team effort, ON5UR Max who is as patient as a saint with my continual QSL design requests. MW0JRX Oliver with his help and advice on IT, and of course the team of DX’ers that I am QSL manager for, they do a lot of work in all aspects of DX’peditioning, it is their excellent communication that enables me to do my job in getting the QSL cards sent to their destination without any dramas. I certainly will be keeping up the work, we have so much coming up this year, I am very much looking forward to keeping the United Radio QSL Bureau working for you. I do hope we can catch up for some beers sometime Frank


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