Amateur Radio from the Spratly Islands

Area and History

Continent: Asia - Coordinates: 8.38-8.63N 111.55-111.91E, OJ58 - Zones: CQ 26, ITU 50 - IOTA: AS-051 (ex AS-241) - Allocations: 1S, 9M


Names: Chinese: Pinyin Nánshā Qúndǎo 南沙群岛 ("Southern Sand-Atoll") - Filipino/Tagalog: Kapuluan ng Kalayaan ("Freedomland Atoll") - Malay: Kepulauan Spratly (" Spratly Islands") - Vietnamese: Quần Đảo Trường Sa Chữ nôm 群島長沙 ("Long Sand Atoll").
The Spratly Islands are a group of more than 750 reefs, islets, atolls, cays and islands in the South China Sea between Vietnam, the Philippines, China, Malaysia, Brunei. They comprise less than four square kilometers of land area, spread over more than 425,000 square kilometers of sea. The Spratlys are part of the three archipelagos of the South China Sea, comprising more than 30,000 islands and reefs and which so complicates geography, governance and economics in that region of Southeast Asia. Such small and remote islands have little economic value in themselves, but are important in establishing international boundaries. There are no native islanders but there are rich fishing grounds and initial surveys indicate the islands may contain significant oil and gas. About 45 islands are occupied by relatively small numbers of military forces from Vietnam, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Malaysia, the Philippines. Brunei has claimed an EEZ in the southeastern part of the Spratlys encompassing just one area of small islands above mean high water (on Louisa Reef.)

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Download [255.2 KB]Tabular listing of features on the Spratly Islands showing country possessions [PDF , 255.2 KB]
Download [86.2 KB]Tabular listing of all Spratly features known to be occupied and/or above water at low tide [PDF , 86.2 KB]

Spratly DXpeditions

Dokumentationsarchiv Funk / QSL COLLECTION


Spratly Dxpeditions          
#1 1S9WNV 16.-19.10.1965 Don Miller, W9WNV; Chuck Swain, K7LMU Spratly Island QSL: W4ECI
#2 1S1A 20-24.02.1973 Scott, WB4VBY; Pete, W5ZSX; Don, KC7BZ; Frank, WB4UZP; Chester, XV5AC Spratly Island QSL: W1YRC
-- -- 01.04.1979 Stew Woodward, K4SMX; Bill Poellmitz, K1MM; Harry Meade, VK2BJL; Dr. Austin Regal, N4WW; John Ackley, KV4KV (now KP2A); Bob Schenck, N2OO Off Amboyna Cay (Abandoned) --
#3 1S1DX 08-12.04.1979 Harry Meade, VK2BJL; Stew Woodward, K4SMX; Bill Poellmitz, K1MM Barque Canada Reef QSL: VK2BJL (now to VK4FW)
-- --/MM April 1983 Gero Band, DJ3NG; Diethelm Müller, DJ4EI; Norbert Willand, DF6FK; Baldur Drobnica, DJ6SI Off Amboyna Cay QSL: DJ6SI
#4 1S1CK May 1983 Chito, DU1CK; Waling, DU1US Panata Cay QSL: G4DUW/DU1
#5 1S0XV, 1S1RR (19-28).04.1990 UL7PCZ; RL8PY; RL8PZ; Romeo, 3W3RR/UB5JRR Spratly Island QSL: 3W3RR (now to N2OO)
#6 1S0RR 28-30.09.1991 Gina, UA9MA; Roman, 4K2OT; Harry, RA3AUU; Romeo, 3W3RR/UB5JRR Spratly Island QSL: LZ/3W3RR (now to N2OO)
#7 9M0S 27.05-02.06.1993 Eshee Razak, 9M2FK, Simo Hoikka, 9V1YW; Akito Nagi, JA5DQH; Wayne Mille, N7NG; Jim Duffy, WA6AUE; Martti Laine, OH2BH; Lasse Oka, OH2MAK; Marko Myllymäki, AB6NJ; Jouko Häyrynen, OH1NYP Layang Layang QSL: W4FRU (now to N2OO)
#8 9M0A April 1994 Jutaka Joshii, JA9AG; JS1QHO; 9M6BZ; 9M6JC; 9M6ST Layang Layang QSL:JA9AG
#9 9M0A 03/04.1995 Jutaka Joshii, JA9AG; JR9GBJ; JS1QHO; 9M6BZ; 9M6ST Layang Layang QSL: JA9AG
#10 9M6TPR March 1997 Paul Richardson, K1XM; Layang Layang QSL: KQ1F
#11 9M6OO August 1997 Bob Schenck, N2OO; Bob Hamilton, N0RN/9M6RN; Jani Kusmulyana, KO4J/YB0US/9M6US Layang Layang QSL: N2OO
#12 9M6PO August 1997 Pekka Ahlquist, OH2Y Layang Layang QSL: OH2YY
#13 9M0C February 1998 Jeff Morris, 9H1EL; Donald Soh, 9M6SU; Tony Canning, G0OPB (now G2NF); Ray Gerrard, G3NOM; Neville Cheadle, G3NUG; Don Beattie, G3OZF; Mike Devereux, G3SED; John Linford, G3WGV; Don Field, G3XTT; Steve Telenius-Lowe, G4JVG; Kazu Ogasawara, JA1RJU; Vince Thompson, K5VT; John Krzymuski, N2QW Layang Layang QSL: G3SWH
#14 9M6OO November 1999 Bob Schenck, N2OO; Jani Kusmulyana, YB0US; Mike Mraz, N6MZ; Tom Harrell,N4XP; Paul Newberry, N4PN; Bill Beyer,N2WB Layang Layang QSL: N2OO
#15 9M0F September 2000 Tac, JA1BRK; YL Aoi, JR1FBE; Kazu, JA1RJU; Ono JKOPL; Jun JF2XGF; Hiro JA4DND Layang Layang QSL: JA1HGY
#16 9M0M March 2001 Dan Brown, NA7DB; Mike Bill, N7MB; Jerry Rosalius, WB9Z; Darryl Hazengren, AF7O; Luis Chartarifsky, XE1L; Dennis Uley, AF7Y; Sally Martinez, KM5EP Layang Layang QSL: K7XN
#17 DX0K 01-23.02.2005 Gil Lappay, 4F2KWT Pag-asa QSL: 4F2KWT
#18 DX0K 13.03.-12.04.2005 Gil Lappay, 4F2KWT; Ed Valdez, DU1EV; Ed Soriano, 4F1OZ; Mike Hogar, DU1MHX; Nicky Academia, DU1JXP Pag-asa QSL: 4F2KWT
#19 9M0/9M2TO 08-13.06.2006 Tex Izumo Layang Layang QSL: 9M2TO
#20 DX0JP 01.-14.02.2007 Tac, JA1BRK; Kazu, JA1RJU; Jin, JF1IST; Jun, JF2XGF; Hiro, JA4DND; Jun; DU1BA; Eddie, DU1SB Pag-asa QSL: JH1GHY
#21 9M4SDX 09.-13.03.2007 Chow, 9M2CF; Tex Izumo, 9M2TO; Koh, 9M2/JH3GCN; Yasu, 9M8YY; Aki, JA1OCZ; Tack, JE1CKA; Hal, JF1PJK; Nao, JK1FNL; Miho, JJ2VLY; Yutaka, JQ2GYU; Taka, JR7EQ Layang Layang QSL: 9M2TO
#22 9M2/PG5M 19.-23.04.2007 Gerben A. Menting, PG5M Layang Layang QSL: PG5M
#23 9M6/N1UR, 9M6/ KB1PQN 22.-30.03.2008 Ed Sawyer, N1UR; Christine Sawyer, KB1PQN Layang Layang QSL: K2RET
#24 9M6/LA7XK, 9M6/LA9DL, 9M6/LA6VM 16.-25.04.1968 Halvard Eriksen, LA7XK; Just N. Quigstad, LA9DL; Erling Johan Wiig, LA6VM Layang-Layang QSL: HC
#25 9M6/OH2YY 23.-26.03.2012 Pekka Ahlquist Layang-Layang QSL: HC
#26 9M0L 10.-24.04.2012 9M2TO, Tex; 9M2/JE1SCI, Takuto; 9M2CLN, CL; 9M2PX, David; 9M8YY, Yasumas; G3TXF, Nigel; 7K4QOK; JK1FNL, Naoyuki; JA1LZR, Joe; JE1CKA, Tack; JP1TRJ, Hiroyuki; JQ2GYU, Yutaka; JE1KUC, Takeshi Layang Layang QSL: 9M0L
#27 9M4SLL 07.-13.08.2912 John Plenderleith, 9M6XRO ; Steve Telenius-Lowe, 9M6DXX Layang Layang QSL: M0URX
#28 9M4SLL 10.-18.03.2013 John, 9M6XRO; Steve, 9M6DXX; James, 9V1YC; Ben, DJ0YI / N6MUF; Don, G3BJ; Pista, HA5AO; George, HA5UK, Tony, KM0O Layang Layang QSL:M0URX
#xx DX0DX 06.01.-01.02.2011 Postponed Pag-asa/Thitu Island  

Most prominent sites: Layang Layang / Swallow Reef and Pag-asa /Thitu Island


Most prominent sites: Layang Layang / Swallow Reef and Pag-asa /Thitu IslandLayang Layang is the only reef with a 1.067 kilometres (1,167 yd) airstrip just 50ft off a touristic infrastructure. The Hilleview Gardens resort, under Malaysian control, is the preferred site for most recent Spratly operations, replacing Pag-asa, an island under Philippine control - with a huge watchtower serving as antenna mast. (See "more" for a detailed description). Early expeditions travelled by boat and settled with tents on small reefs.

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zoomPag-asa Island
The only Philippine-occupied Spratly island to have many structures is Pagasa (Pag-asa, Thitu Island), currently the only civilian-inhabited island, is the only “barangay” in the Municipality of Kalayaan, Palawan. (All Philippine-occupied Spratly islands are integrated as one municipality to the province of Palawan. Cities and municipalities in the Philippines are divided into smaller political units called barangays.) Pag-asa has about 300 civilian residents and 40 soldiers. The civilian population is always less than 200 at a time since other Kalayaan residents have businesses to attend to on the Palawan mainland. The population is regulated to protect the island’s environment, to avoid short supplies of commodities and to conserve land space. Pag-asa is only 37 hectares and can only accommodate a maximum of 500 people at a time.

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#1 -First activation: 1S9WNV

16.-19.November 1965

#1 -First activation: 1S9WNVzoomDon Miller, W9WNV, and Chuck Swain, KL7LMU. Collins S-Line (32S3, 75S3B), Hy-Gain 14AVQ, 203BA, Dipoles, Electro-Voice microphones. QSL via W4ECI - Allegedly off-coast from the boat. - In the heydays of DX-travelling - with Danny Weil, Gus Browning etc. all en route, it made sense to cooperate: "To make it easy to remember, Iris and Lloyd Colvin will operate on the same frequencies as the Don Miller - Chuck Swain DXpedition which is 7,000-10, 14,000-110, 21,400 kc. Listen as directed. Only one QSO per band, per mode is requested." (Urb le Jeune, W2DEC, CQ Nov 1965). - The Don Miller Story When Don and Chuck had activated two brand new DXCC countries, Spratly and Cormoran Reef, praise was mixed with chriticism and harsh complaints:

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# 2 - Second activation: 1S1A

20.-24.February 1973, Spratly Island

# 2 - Second activation: 1S1AzoomOperators: Scott, WB4VBY; Pete, W5ZSX; Don, K7CBZ; Frank, WB4UZP; Chester, XV5AC. QSL via Bob, W1YRC. - 1S1A launched its fourth attempt from Port Vung Tau, South Vietnam, at 08:00GMT on 18 February, 1973. Earlier attemps had ended twice in extremely bad weather and once in extensive damage to the hull of the vessel. The "Yankee" clipper dropped anchor at Spratly Island at 08:00GMT on 20 February. This successful voyage was not without incident. During the night of 19/20, both engines failed, leaving "Yankee" adrift for some seven hours. At the same time two gasoline power generators and two diesel fuel pumps took time out for maximum application of Murphy's Law. Provisions and equipment were transported to the island via outboard boat, which after many trips also went adrift from the island with one of our operators. This man spent eight long night hours at sea before being rescued while air-sea-units stood by at Clark Air Base in the Philippines.

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# 3 - Third activation - 1S1DX

08.-12. April 1979, Barque Canada

# 3 - Third activation - 1S1DXzoomBob Schenck, N2OO, remembers: "We departed Brunei on March 29, 1979 on the yacht Banyandah, heading for Amboyna Cay; a 900 foot long sand cay in the Spratly Islands. Team members on board were: Stew Woodward, K4SMX; Bill Poellmitz, K1MM; Harry Meade, VK2BJL; Dr. Austin Regal, N4WW; John Ackley, KV4KV (now KP2A) ; Bob Schenck N2OO; Boat Captain Jack Binder (now KB7NW) and Judith Binder (Jack's xyl). Upon arrival at Amboyna Cay, on the morning of April 1, while sitting about one mile off the coast, we are fired upon by the inhabitants of Amboyna Cay. Four blasts reverberated from a gun placement in the center of the island. Luckily missed. We headed back to Brunei.

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Failed attempt - DJ3HG, DJ4EI, DF6FK, DJ6SI - The Spratly Tagedy

April 1983

Failed attempt - DJ3HG, DJ4EI, DF6FK, DJ6SI - The Spratly TagedyzoomTeam: Gero Band, DJ3NG; Diethelm Müller, DJ4EI; Norbert Willand, DF6FK; Baldur Drobnica, DJ6SI. Skipper: Peter Marx and his xyl Jenny. - On 31 March 1983 the team left for Singapore, where they were met by Henner, 9V1WC, who would help the team with their planning and last minute details. The team found a German skipper, Peter Marx, and his catamaran, to provide transportation to Barque Canada - an island in the Spratly Group. The team, including Jenny, the wife of the captain, left on Easter morning, sailing through the Singapore Strait on their way to the Spratlys. As they neared Amboyna Cay, near Barque Canada, they slowed their speed, since they knew that either Malaysian or Filipino soldiers may be present. Their information told them that Amboyna Cay was in the hands of the Malaysians. As they got closer to the island, a hut-like building appeared, but no sign of soldiers. On closer observation, the team saw a watch-tower, and immediately changed course to avoid any chance of contact. As they changed course, they noticed a man in the tower, giving hand signals and in a few seconds the shelling began.

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#5 & 6 - 1S0V and 1S1RR

19.-28. April 1990 / 28.-30. September 1991, Spratly Island


#5 & 6 - 1S0V and 1S1RRzoomRomeo Stepanenko and friends. See our articles and files in the Personalities Section: April/May 1990: 1S0XV/1S1RR, Spratly and September 1991: XY0RR, Myanmar - and 1S0VX/1S1RR, Spratly, again

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Expedition Video: click "read on"

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#7 - 9M0OS

27. May - 2. June, 1993, Layang Layang

#7 - 9M0OSzoomTeam: Eshee Razak, 9M2FK, Simo Hoikka, 9V1YW; Akito Nagi, JA5DQH; Wayne Mille, N7NG; Jim Duffy, WA6AUE; Martti Laine, OH2BH; Lasse Oka, OH2MAK; Marko Myllymäki, AB6NJ; Jouko Häyrynen, OH1NYP. - QSL via W4FRU

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#17 & 18 - DX0K

1-23 February 2005; 30. March-12. April 2005, Pag-asa

#17 & 18 - DX0KzoomTeam: Gil Lappay, 4F2WKT; Ed Valdez, DU1EV; Ed Soriano, 4F1OZ; Mike Hogar, DU1MHX; Nicky Academia, DU1JXP. QSL via 4F2KWT. - There were two operations for DX0K, the first was from February 1 to 23 and sole operator was 4F2KWT, Gil and the second was from March 30 to April 12. Operators for the second trip were DU1EV, Eddie; 4F1OZ, Ed; and 4F2KWT, Gil. - The project was an astounding success for the Philippine team. There were many plans to activate the Philippine side of the Spratly Islands by many of their elders but those did not bear fruit. They handed out contacts from Topband to Magic Band and in modes CW, SSB, RTTY, PSK31, and SSTV. Homepage: linkext. Link

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#20 - DX0JP

01.-14. February 2007, Pag-asa

#20 - DX0JPMembers of he Philippine Radio Association (PARA), Pag-asa, Kalayaan Island Group. Team: Tac, JA1BRK (Leader); Kazu, JA1RJU (EME 2m, 6m); Jin, JF1IST (Construction engineer); Jun, JF2XGF (Power engineer, Operator); Hiro, JA4DND (Low bands); Jun; DU1BA (Operator); Eddie, DU1SB

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#22 - 9M2/PG5M

19.-23. April 2007

#22 - 9M2/PG5MzoomLayang Layang. Gerben A. Menting spent a couple of days on Layang Layang while vistiting a number of Malaysian islands during an " Ultra Light Solo DXpedition"

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#23 - 9M6/N1UR & 9M6/KB1PQN

22.-30.February 2008

#23 - 9M6/N1UR & 9M6/KB1PQNzoomLayang Layang. Ed Sawyer, N1UR, and XYL Christine Sawyer, KB1PQN. - Expedition Homepage: linkext. Link (See "more" for Ed's Spratly licence)

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#26 - 9M0L

10.-24. April 2012

#26 - 9M0LzoomLayang Layang - 9M2TO, Terutsugu "Tex" Izumu; 9M2/JE1SCI, Takuto Yoshida; 9M2CLN, CL Neoh; 9M2PX, David Yeoh; 9M8YY, Yasumas Yagi; G3TXF, Nigel Hawthorn; 7K4QOK; JK1FNL, Naoyuki Kobayashi; JA1LZR, Joe Iwakura; JE1CKA, Tack Kumagai; JP1TRJ, Hiroyuki Tsukahara; JQ2GYU, Yutaka Sakurai; JE1KUC, Takeshi Miyama - IC-756PRO, K3, HL-550FX, DKV500Z; 5-ele-Yagi (6m), Soider Beam (10,15,20m), R7 (10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 30, 40m); GP (80m), K9AY Small Loop (160m Rx), Inverted-L (160m-tx) - 41.688 Contacts - QSL: 9M0L - Homepage: linkext. Link

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#27 - 9M4SLL

7.-13. August 2012

#27 - 9M4SLLzoomLayang Layang. John Plenderleith 9M6XRO (CW & RTTY) and Steve Telenius-Lowe 9M6DXX (SSB). Activity on all bands from 80 to 10m, CW, SSB and RTTY, using two stations. Equipment: 1 x Ten-Tec Omni VI, 1 x Yaesu FT-857D, 1 x Tokyo Hy-Power HL-1.2Kfx amplifier, 1 x KW-1000 linear amplifier (2 x 572B), Dunestar passband filters 80 - 10m, radio vertical hf6v sunset - Antennas: 1 x Butternut HF6V-X vertical with 12/17m kit, 1 x 43ft multiband vertical, 1 x 80m quarter-wave inverted-L, 5/8-wave verticals for 10 - 17m. All antennas located on the sea wall within a few metres of the ocean. (The 9M4 prefix is issued to special event stations that may be anywhere on Malaysian territory; this includes the DXCC entities of West Malaysia, East Malaysia or, as in this case, Malaysian islands in the Spratly group.) - QSL: Tim Beaumont, M0URX. - Website: linkext. Link

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#28 - 9M4SLL


#28 - 9M4SLLzoomQRV again from Pulau Layang Layang. - Operators: John, 9M6XRO; Steve, 9M6DXX; James, 9V1YC; Ben, DJ0YI / N6MUF; Don, G3BJ; Pista, HA5AO; George, HA5UK, and Tony, KM0O.-
9M4SLL was active on 160 to 10 metres, CW, SSB and RTTY, with five stations using 400W linear amplifiers to vertical antennas on the edge of the ocean.
QSL via M0URX -9M4SLL was last active from 7 - 13 August 2012. This time operating with more stations, more operators, and longer duration.

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# xx Activation - DX0DX

January/February 2011

# xx Activation - DX0DXzoomHomepage: linkext. Link - The operation was postponed - See the Bulletin of 11. January, 2011

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Random notes from various Expeditions

Your comments and updates are welcome

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QSL Collection - Dokumentationsarchiv Funk


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