Category - Blog

VK5FIL Expedition to OC-261

VK5FIL Expedition to OC-261/VKFF-0175 DX News
Update from Grant (VK5GR);
”Its not long now and we will be off on another adventure! Our 6 man team is in the final throws of preparing to depart Adelaide and head to Flinders Island off the coast of Eyre Peninsula! Almost all of the planning is complete and gear is being packed ready for the crossing in the barge. Lets hope for good weather!
If all goes to plan, VK5FIL should be on the air by ~0800z 14th April from IOTA OC-261 & VKFF-0175. We will have 4 stations operating at the homestead and a number of the operators are also bringing their portable parks equipment as well to activate VKFF-4307 and VKFF-1717 in the days that follow while we are there.

Read More

QSO Today interview – M0OXO

For anyone interested, I had a lengthy interview with Eric Guth 4Z1UG/WA6IGR for his QSO Today Podcast.

You can find the interview on this link, scroll down to episode 495. If you are still awake at the end, please let me know any feedback 😉 Also be sure to click on the show notes button (beneath my image) for more useful information.


Credit to Nodir EY8MM for the photograph. 

2023 / 2024 Mailing Costs

As the 2023 – 2024 financial tax year comes to an end, it is time to take a look at how our mailing facility has worked over the last year. Overall 28,936 items of mail were posted at a cost of £26,359.90. We post QSL Direct cards, bureau parcels and magazines using the various products as shown in the table below. With 13,751 more items posted this year, with Solar Cycle 25 this last 12 months providing much increased propagation on HF.
DX’pedition QSL costs are very competitive as always and we welcome talking to DX teams about mailing your QSL cards in the future.

The past 12 months though have been financially very challenging, postage costs up 10%, pulp paper costs up 15% and Customs charges across the board on QSL bulk shipments in and out through customs have hit us very heavily. We have tried to keep our QSL charges down to the lowest we can.

Standard postal rates have increased significantly in most countries worldwide due to the dwindling number of letters posted globally as people use electronic technology which has largely replaced the postal system in recent years. This means that the postal costs are spread over much lower volumes both nationally and worldwide and THIS is the driver of increased postal costs. In our hobby we still use the mail system to ship our QSL cards and therefore we must expect that increase to hit us. As an example, Royal Mail letter volumes in the last 12 years have dropped from 14.3 bn down to 7.3 bn per year.

While most people use OQRS (Thank you) we still get a number of incoming direct letters. The problem being is that most of the incoming letters do not include the correct QSL costs, because most fail to read either my QSL policy or the DXpedition QSL policy. This increases our costs further and also costs us time as we have to email to let people know that they failed to QSL correctly. My advice is use OQRS ONLY!

More customs charges on Bureau shipments outgoing continue, many Bureaus refuse to accept the shipments and we will not guarantee any cards requested using the IARU Bureau system. Customs demand a recipient name on these shipments but the IARU refuse to provide this for GDPR reasons. Well, this will inevitably close the Bureau system as we know it going forward. Someone has to take responsibility for this if the Bureau cards are to be securely sent and received by the IARU Bureaus. It is now completely out of our hands. If you want a QSL card use the direct option on OQRS is the only advice i can give.

Enjoy your DX! We as a team promise to provide you with a QSL service that works for both the DX’er and the DXpedition Team.

VP6G Pitcairn 2024

Its almost time for Gerben’s trip to Pitcairn as VP6G. Please see the information and link to his website below;

Operator: Gerben PG5M
Dates: April 4 – 14
Bands: 40-10m
Modes: CW and FT8
Antenna’s: DX Commander (40-10m) and a Hexbeam (20-10m)
I will run two stations (if antenna situation permits), primarily CW and additionally FT8 (using MSHV).

QSL manager: Charles M0OXO

If you want to make a donation for my VP6G DXpedition, please visit my website.

Thanks, Gerben – PG5M

7P8EI Lesotho

EIDXG are now QRV as 7P8EI will from Lesotho. Following their other successful Dxpeditions 7Q7EI, 9N7EI, 5V7EI, V26EI etc, this is one Team not to miss!

Read More

YJ0VK Vanuatu

Luke VK3HJ, Alan VK6CQ, Matt K0BBC and Chris VK3QB will activate Vanuatu on 40 through to 6 metres from 29 March until 11 April 2024. For the first week our focus will be on SSB and CW, with FT8 as a ‘back-fill’ mode. The second week will be CW and FT8.

We’ll have an IC7300 and 500W amplifier for SSB and the CW station will be an Elecraft KX3 with an SPE amplifier. FT8 will radiate with an IC7000. Antennas will be DX-Commander Expeditions (with thanks to Callum) and a 40 metre doublet.

Read More

8R7X Guyana – QRT

The 8R7X Team in Guyana went QRT @ 11125am on the 25th of February 2024 having amassed an amazing 70,000 QSO’s.

The Team (consisting of Jamie M0SDV, Philipp DK6SP, Sven DJ4MX and Tomi HA8RT) deserve all the accolades sent their way. For a youth Team on their first Dxpedition and with only target of 15/20,000 QSO’s, this operation was impressive in many ways. The Pile ups on Day 10 were just as massive as on Day 1 and their skill in operating is also deserving of a mention.

Normally, (from a Qsl Managers prospective), I would expect the list of Busted/Missing QSO checks for a 70,000 QSO log to be in the region of 500/600 enquiries at least. However, the 8R7X crew’s accuracy in logging left me for most of the trip with just 34 enquiries.

It was a pleasure working with you on this one. I hope in the wake of the Dxpedition everything turns out positive for you and that your futures in the hobby progress to higher levels.

Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to act on your behalf as Qsl manager, it was indeed a pleasure. Thanks Charles….

Bureau Mailing February 2024

QSL cards have been posted to World Bureaus – Friday 23rd February 2024.
Total amount of QSL cards dispatched: 19,584
Via M0OXO 14,697, Via M0URX 4,887.
Total Weight: 91.586 kg gross weight
Total Shipping Cost £478.60: £5.22per kg. (91.586 kg gross weight)
This mailing is a joint mailing between M0OXO Charles & M0URX Tim. (also thanks W3KX Frank & G1VDP Chris)
I would very much appreciate feedback from you when the QSL cards start arriving at World Bureaus or received by hams around the world?
Delays are due to issues caused by the World Customs Organisation regulations. Please remember that with the new customs tax we cannot guarantee that the parcels will get through to your bureau. We now suggest sending only direct QSL route. All bureau requests are at your own risk.
The parcels are sent by Priority Business Mail to get to the Bureaus quickly.

Read More