Busy Qsl’in…

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..Yes been a busy few weeks getting Qsl cards sorted. I received two rather large deliveries from the ‘Special Events’ Sub-Manager and also from the ‘Short Contest Calls’ Sub-Manager.

I have to say I have enjoyed getting up to date with cards for Michael G7VJR and his trips too. Quite a lot of intrest especially for VP8DMN and requests for all managed stations via the on-line system get more popular each day.

Anyway for any interested parties, here is a brief run down on the cards sent out last 14 days (only the larger, more active callsigns shown) :-
VP8DMN 95 (D) 32 (B), GBØANT 810 (B), GB4IPY 557 (B) MW0JZE 220 (D) 450 (B), MW0RLJ 373 (B), G4RCG 12 (D) 220 (B), MØOXO (plus variations) 17 (D) 275 (B).

It is however worth pointing out that the normally accepted Bureau times is about 2 Years, thats from the time you send to the time you receive back. Therefore, if 2 years hasn’t elapsed since the time you requested a bureau card, please be patient and don’t request another until at least 2 years have passed.

Sadly most of the GB1HI cards I mention above were only received in the last 15 – 20days and most are from 2007/2008 which means a turn around time of 4 years – not good is it? For the system to work well both parties have to be on the ball in processing their cards which I guess can be the major cause?

WFF – GFF / GWFF Directory update

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Finally and with the grateful assistance of Steve GW4BKG, I can report that the area in the WFF Directory relating to ‘GFF’ and ‘GWFF’ have been updated.

When WFF first launched, ‘GFF’ was all one entity. However, when the decision was made to split into ‘G’, ‘GM’ & ‘GW’, ‘GFF-015’ in particular had already been activated several times and therefore couldn’t be moved into the ‘GW’ list (as thousands of Qsl Cards had ‘GFF-015’ on them and several logs had also appeared on the ew4dx logsearch system). As well as those, several others appeared in the original list that were now covered by the GMFF team and therefore again, they were not eligible to appear in the ‘GFF’ lists.

The updated entries have been forewarded to WFF HQ and I hope in the near future they will appear on the WFF website for download. Meanwhile you can access the new listings by clicking on the links here – 

How to activate GFF areas

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”LET’S SAVE THE GREEN PLANET EARTH”



Are you interested in activating areas in the UK, maybe ‘holiday style’ or just fancy a day out ‘playing radio’?
Its very easy to get involved so just read on and see if it intrests you. Each WFF Country will have their own
interpretations of the guidelines to abide by dependant upon different circumstances. The list below is how to
proceed should you wish to activate GFF & GWFF.

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1) Check out the list of areas that are valid for WFF in the DXCC entity ‘G’


2) Try to give prior notice of the activation to me in order that I can publise your event on the various reflectors
and to gain maximum support & intrest that your trip will attract from WFF chasers.

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3) It will be necessary for you to submit a log of your contacts with valdation by photograph, video or any
other means to legitimise that the operation was authentic. The usual and most appropriate way is to have
photograph taken standing by a sign or other feature that validates you to the area you are activating.

Do not worry if it is not possible to use a computer on your activation, a paper log will suffice in the
first instance. Once the operation has ended, send your log (either paper or electronic) to MØOXO
and I will send it to the relevant WFF checkpoint where it will be added to EW4DX LogSearch.
***Please DO NOT send it directly to EW4DX LogSearch,
it must come via me (for reasons I can explain if you wish!)

(If your log happens to be on paper, I will convert it to electronic format using a fast log entry program.)

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4) Special Qsl Card Printing is not necessary. Many of the WFF chasers however do find it desireable to
produce qsl cards for the events. If stations you have worked do ask for a qsl card and you are happy
to send one, then again it is necessary to have the reference number of the GFF area and the
licensed Callsign used, clearly visible on the card either by label or other format thereby avoiding
any attempt to tamper with the details shown.

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5) Do not let the thought of issuing Qsl Cards put you off from activating the area and enjoying your trip to the
National Park or Nature Reserve. I can and I will either help you to sort out the qsl’s or i will provide the
qsl management for you at no cost, I am happy to do that, just ask. I support LOTW, Bureau and Direct
Qsl methods.

There are plenty of Qsl printers out there who will happily print and provide the cards for
you but please also check out UX5UO Print too, he is very cost effective and I am his UK agent
so no hassle whatsoever to deal with him and basic 2 colour cards cost from
£34.00GBP for 1000 delivered – no extra cost just £34.00GBP!
Full Colour (Front) cards from £49.00GBP for 1000 delivered – no extra cost just £49.00GBP!

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”LET’S SAVE THE GREEN PLANET EARTH”

SOS message – VYØV East Pen Island, Nunavut

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31st March 2010 0219utc.

1) Saw this spot about 0330z and went to 10107.5.  VY0V was on frequency, asking for help. Others had marginal copy so I joined and had several QSO’s with Cezar VY0V between.  0330-0500z. He said that rain and wind was fierce, visibility poor, he had no water, no fire, no gas for generator, battery getting low, and native guide had abandoned him 38 hours ago.  He was worried and seemed delirious, rambling on while running down his battery. I got Cezar to give me his GPS coordinates 56″ 44.854 N 88″ 37.812 W and relayed this to Ralph VE7XF who said Frank VE7DP was working to get a rescue and they passed it on to a rescue team coordinator by phone who will get it to them by sat phone next comm they have.  The rescue team supposedly left Fort Severn on a 7/8 hour trek at 4pm EDT which would have been 3PM CDT, so they should have been near him by 10-11PM CDT or 03-0400z.  Cezar said at 0500z he had low visibility and no contact with the rescue team yet.  Told Cezar to conserve battery, get some sleep and try 10107.5 again at 1100z just before his sunrise at 1130z if not rescued.  Later Ralph VE7XF informed me that guys that went to try to get Cezar today had to turn back according to VE7DP, as their ski doo kept bogging down due to the rise in temp in the area.  I tried 10107.5 at 1100 and 1130z  and got no reply from VY0V.  So I started looking on the internet for RCMP phone numbers.  I called RCMP’s Ontario Division HQ 24/7 number at (519) 640-7267.  At 11:45z they patched me through to Jason at the North Bay Comm Center of the Ontario Provincial Police (705) 495-7034.  He said that the Fist Nations Policing team from Fort Severn was working on the rescue and that they were in communication
with North Bay Comm Center.  He said would relay any new information to me for broadcast to the concerned amateur radio community.  At 1215z Jason called me to say that the rescue team hads a visual sighting of Cezar’s
location and should be arriving at his location shortly.  I continue to monitor 10107.5 and 7007.  Let’s hope for a positive outcome.

Skip Cameron W5GAI
Austin, TX

2) At 5:05 CDT/2205z I spoke with Ralph VE7XF who said that last QSO with Cezar he has sighted the rescue team and thought they would reach him within a half hour. If he can get on the radio he will update on 14260 or 7007. Ralph said that the twin otter was delayed from its planned 5pm departure from Fort Severn, and if the rescue team does not arrive soon, the plane’s ETA to Cezar was 7:30 PM local.

At 4:18 CDT/2118z, I talked by phone to Renee at North Bay Comm Center She said RCMP is the lead on the rescue, and she tried but could not raise anyone at Ft. Severn at this time, and she had no new status to relay.  She repeated that the ground team from 4pm yesterday’s departure from Ft. Severn is still searching, and they had said it was 20 hours from Fort Severn to his GPS coordinates, and there were no reports of Cezar yet.  She still could not provide the exact location coordinates of this ground team. With 120km (Cezar’s estimate from Ft. Severn to East Pen) in 20 hours, that’s 6km/hour or about 3.7mph, which seems like walking speed, not snow mobile speed. If the rescue team left at 3PM local yesterday, after 20 hours they would be arriving there by 11AM today. Perhaps they stopped to rest. I am monitoring 14260 and 7007 for any further news.

Skip W5GAI

3) At 9:45PM CDT/0245z April 2, I spoke by phone with Cezar VY0V/VE3LYC’s wife Lucy.
Lucy had convinced RCMP that an air rescue was needed because the ground team was way overdue. She said the 2 man ground rescue team arrived (after 27 hours) about the same time the twin otter plane did around 8PM local. Cezar called Lucy upon arrival back in Fort Severn, about 120km from East Pen Is. NA-231. One of the two guides who took Cezar to the island was aboard the plane to assist in exact location. He was one of the two who abandoned Cezar approximately 8am on Tuesday, saying they had business back in the village of Ft. Severn and would return. Cezar put out his SOS for Rescue Wednesday afternoon after they didn’t return after 38 hours and he had run out of generator fuel, had no fire, battery running low for radio, rain and wind howling.
A good ending to a really tense time!

Skip W5GAI

This is the final version from Cezar VE3LYC:-

Apr 1, 8 UTC: Here is a BRIEF account of VY0V. Left the village at 5:15 pm on Mar 28 (sunset at 8 pm) with one guide – Tommy, and arrived to East Pen at 2:15 am. It took us 9 hours to travel 120 km. The locals build the tents to resist very high winds, but this requires the use of trees. Since there wasn’t room for them in the sled, had to go back to the tree line and cut them. It took about 3 hours to return to the island and at least another hour to finish the camp. Wind picked up very soon from the E, and increased steadily. The mast was extremely bent and when I was running EU #8 it broke in three sections. While ‘thinking’ what to do with the little variety of things we had with us, I placed the antenna on the tent, with the radials less than a foot from the ground – didn’t have much wood for support. I had no problem to work NA, and ever some stations outside NA, but I knew that it wasn’t doing a decent job. Later in the day cut splinters from a piece of plywood and supported the three sections by tieing them up with wire and rope. We did an excellent job, even if the new mast was extremely heavy, so the second day of operation was rewarding. Late morning, Tommy told me that another guide will replace him and is on the way, so he will leave. I wasn’t happy but not that worried, since another guide was supposed to join me in several hours. Not only that Tommy’s departure was against our plan, but wasn’t planed well. The second guide never made it to East Pen, presumably his skidoo died on him and had to return, and so the supplies needed never arrived! After so many trips up north, I knew that polar bears are territorial and curious, but rarely attack humans who mind their business, and virtually never inside the tent. Given also the fact that this was not their season, the bears were the least on my mind. The problem was that it was impossible for me to take the mast down and put it up by myself in order to change the bands. I needed another person. Also, I was only left with little gas for the generator, as new guide was supposed to refuel the camp! As the evening set in, the wind picked up and I was very afraid that the mast will break again, which will be pretty much the end of working outside NA. Consequently, with great effort I brought it down in the wind and fixed it against the wood poles of the tent for increased resistance – also, I could lean it now easily to change the bands. Working the radio kept my thoughts focused on the propagation and the pile-ups, nothing else. Not using the night bands allowed me to sleep more, which helped. Next day though, I imagined that the guide will appear before nightfall but he didn’t. The rain poured intensely, followed by very strong winds, this time from W. As the island is formed of sand banks, I could find it everywhere, including the snow. I had enough of assurances that the guide will soon arrive, never to materialize. Worse, I was told that the rivers and lakes along the word are rapidly thowing, which led to the prospect of being stuck there for a long time! Without supplies, with no scope on the island, and with the prospect of an agonizingly slow search, A little over 36 hours after I remained alone on the island, I decided that a Search & Rescue mission will be required, and launched a distress call. It took the land team of two a total of 26 hours to reach me at 6:30 pm. Meanwhile, my wife pushed and obtained clearance from the Government for an official air mission. However, Tommy must have felt responsible and brought in a friend of him with a plane, who landed on the island at 7pm and extracted me. The ride back to Fort Severn was actually fantastic, just at the sun was setting, as I could see hundreds of small and large rivers thowing.

My guide’s unilateral decision to leave me alone on the island cannot earn him good points with me. I needed him not only to keep me safe, but also to help me out. However, I must confess that he was incredibly unlucky. Nobody in Ft. Severn remembers in their lifetime such an amazingly fast passage from winter to spring. In a matter of three days only, everything went from solidly frozed to thow!

At this time, my thoughts are with the land team, as it will take them (Andrew and James) two days to get back to their village!

Big thanks to all hams who spent numerous hours on the bands on Apr 1 to take my messages further, relay feedback, and keep me company: VE7DP, K1BG, W5GAI, VE7XF, W3HQ, N9NS, VE7WEB. I am indebted to many others who worked hard to coordinate a prompt rescue mission, including my wife Lucia, Debbie, Jason, and last – but not least, Tommy. Finally, I would like to thank all of you who thought of me and sent me messages in this eventful day. I will reply to each of them as soon as possible.

(Tnx to Bernie at Daily DX for the updates).

XRØY Qsl arrives – in 3D!

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Thanks to Stan SQ8X for the beautiful Qsl cards that arrived today for the recent XRØY DXpedition to Easter Island. Not only were the folded cards beautiful but a seperate card in addition was also enclosed showing ‘Rapa Nui’ in 3D. This was an all time new DXCC/IOTA for me so well worth the cost of a direct Qsl. The main Qsl Card is shown below but unfortunately the 3D card cannot be replicated to show you!

First activity from ONFF announced!

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I am pleased to announce that the ONFF team will now be Qrv for the first time ever in the next few days. Emails received from the co-ordinator Gino ON3SSB state that the events will commence as soon as the 2nd April 2010. Details :-

02/04/2010 = ON3ALI/p & ON3MVH/p & ON3SSB/p QRV from  Fonteintjes (ONFF-005) **new +/- 10:00 till 14:00 GMT = QSL via homecall

17/04/2010 = ON3ALI/p & ON3MVH/p & ON3NV/p & ON3SSB/p & ON3VRT/p & ON5DDG/p & ON6SG/p & ON7PP/p QRV from Uitkerkse Polder (ONFF-019) **new +/- 12:00 till 16:00 GMT = 20 & 40m = QSL via homecall.

There is also activity planned by Peter M6ONL/ON3WAB from various areas within the UK during the coming months and details will be posted here nearer the time.

Good luck to all operators, we welcome the new activity from Belgium!

East Pen Island NA-231 (Brand new IOTA)

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Our old friend Cezar VE3LYC is qrv again today this time as VYØV from East Pen Island, Nunavut, Canada. This is a first time IOTA so demand high for the newly allocated IOTA reference of NA-231.

East Pen Island is one of several uninhabited Canadian arctic islands in Nunavut, Canada located within southwestern Hudson Bay. It is part of the Pen Islands, though West Pen Island is actually a spit, rather than an island. East Pen Island is situated off the shore of Ontario, a few kilometers southeast of Manitoba. The closest community is Fort Severn, Ontario.

Cezar says they will only be active for three days so better get in the pile ups now!

TX4T 2010 – Qsl Card update

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The first batch of TX4T QSL arrived from Ukraine yesterday. It’s a small one (1kg), two larger (15kg each) are still on the road to G3TXF.













Nigel has been able to answer all direct QSLs from DL, EA, F, G, HA, HB, I, OE, OH, OK, OM and S5. Others will have to wait for the other cards to arrive from UX5UO Qsl Print.

14100 QSOs are already confirmed on LotW, that’s a 40% rate !

Up to now, Nigel received direct cards for 4600 QSOs. Thanks all info Nigel et al…..

MCØSHL now Qrv from GFF-015 Pembrokeshire Coast

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Chris (G1VDP) is currently active from our ClubHouse in Pembrokeshire. Situated in the beautuful Pembrokeshire National Park (WFF reference GFF-015) and over looking the sea, it’s a stunning place to play radio!

The location is in South West Wales and just down the Coast from the StrumbleHead lighthouse.

Chris will be active as MCØSHL until early next week and will also take part in the WPX Contest this weekend using the Callsign MW9W. Both Callsigns are good for GFF-015.

He is using an FT2K into a G3TXQ 5 band Broadband Hexbeam at 25 feet and will work all HF Bands (plus 40 & 80m) SSB with also RTTY & PSK modes being used outside the Contest.

Logs will be uploaded to the EW4DX LogSearch early next week and any Qsl card requests should go via the Manager for this operation Tim M0URX. Please give Chris your support and if you hear him, give him a quick call!

73 de Charles….

GMFF website launch

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Its good to see that the GMFF Website has now been officially launched. Hosted and managed by Jurij MM0DFV it gives a wealth of information and activity reports about the Scottish side of the WFF (World Flora Fauna) Programme. You will also find a full list of the GMFF areas valid for the WFF programme as well as contact information should you require it. For European (English speaking) Amateurs, you may also find the new Yahoo Group reflector (EUFF News) of use. This offers up to date information about WFF activites and is in the form of English language, a service that has been difficult to maintain over recent months. Well done to Jurij for this excellent service and indeed WFF Management as a whole. (Click logo below to be directed to the GMFF site).