Amateur Radio from Swain's Island

Area and history

Continent: Oceania - Coordinates: 11.05S 171.05W AH48LW - Zones: WAZ 32, ITU 62 - Allocation: AH8 - IOTA: OC-200

Area and historyzoomSwains Island (Olohega) is an atoll in the Tokelau chain, the most northwesterly island administered by American Samoa. Although culturally belonging to Tokelau, politically, it is a territory of United States of America. It has variously been known as Olosenga Island, Olohega Island, Quiros Island, Gente Hermosa Island and Jennings Island throughout its history. The current population of the island is 37, all located in the only village. The island has a land area of 1.508 km² (0.582 sq mi, or 372.55 acres).

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KH8SI - Juli 2005

...and previous activities

KH8SI - Juli 2005zoomIn June 2006 the DXCC Desk of ARRL pblished amendment (c) to Section II, DX List Criteria, 1. Political Entities of the DXCC: The entity contains a permanent population, is administered by a local government, and is located at least 800 km from its parent. To satisfy the "permanent population" and "administered by a local government" criteria of this sub-section, an Entity must be listed on either (a) the U.S. Department of State's list of "Dependencies and Areas of Special Sovereignty" as having a local "Administrative Center," or (b) the United Nations list of "Non-Self-Governing Territories.
Thus American Samoa was re-defined as a political entity according to DXCC rules. Consequently the DX Advisary Committee would have to accept Swain's Island as a new DXCC entity. The Radio Amateurs of American Samoa were eager to represent themselves in the IARU as their immediate neighbors in Samoa (formerly British Samoa) do. So the organizers of this expedition thought Swains could be a new DXCC Entity under DXCC2000, and as soon as the DXCC Rules removed the IARU category they decided to go to Swains Island, anyway. Read their report.
JA1BK's KH8SI video (15:48): linkext. Link

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N8S - April, 2007

'The Big One'

N8S - April, 2007zoomKH8SI had been a brave effort, but the DX community was hungry for more. An international team set out to provide the new DXCC entity "to all the deserving", and, indeed, broke all records with 117.205 contacts in the log, when they closed down on 15 April. On their journey back home they operated from Samoa (17-24 April, FW5AA, 17.500 contacts, KH8, 18.200 contacts)
N8S Homepage: linkext. Link

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NH8S - Third attempt

6.-16. September, 2012

NH8S - Third attemptPress releases and banners
Please viit the expedition homepage. This site will consist of a German transmlation, as soon as copyright is obtained, after the expedition)

Sept. 15--2200z
Operation will stop in 9 Hours, at 0700 UTC Sunday, 16-Sept....Ops will ask pileup to standby for first-timers.....After a good night's sleep, will start tearing down tomorrow.....At a constant 103-105° temp, some suffering from sun exposure and mosquito bites.....Should still be on 160m tonight -- but 60m operation doubtful because of high noise level.....Also trying to work up the band for General Class......Salt water now effecting connections to radios and antennas - repairs are continuous.....6M Beacon still active today - QSOs with E51, KH6 but no JA, VK, ZL, or USA yet

Sept. 14, 2012 - 0030
Major rain and windstorm last night knocked out the 75m and 20m SSB antennas - 20m OK, 75m being repaired today - all CW antennas OK.....Stayed on 80m CW last night throughout the whold storm - so noisy, they could not hear the pileups and had to hold off for awhile as tent almost blew down....Team still asking EU ops to spread out when asked and abide DX Code of Conduct.....Will continue on 160m tonight.....RTTY operation expanded to 5 bands: 30m, 20m, 17m, 12m and 10m - other bands soon... 77K QSOs now.....Big push toward Europe = 27% of all QSOs now.....6M Beacon (power not sure yet) in CW tent being monitored 24/7 @ 50.107

Sept. 13, 2012 -0100z
3 QSOs so far on 6M - Beacon running 24/7.....Careful: there is a pirate that seems to be JA stn with a distinctive TX sound..NH8S has 6 TX running, not 7...Please avoid dupes by checking ClubLog.....Don't sleep - they'll work 80m & 160m hard tonight - if it's dark at your QTH and dark in Swains, look for them.......Also need to spread out more - NA/EU/SA/AF/OC stns getting covered up by JA.....Jürgen (DJ2VO), hurt on boat, is fine now - will stay in Pago Pago to return with the team later.....WX HOT - showers don't help, just boost humidity......Stations are 1/2 mile apart = some exercise.....Everyone is healthy, tired, and HAPPY

Sept. 12, 2012 0400z
6M antenna is now assembled and the beacon is up on 50.107 MHz -- de NH8S NH8S BCN (5 sec pause).....160M bad relay fixed w/swr now 1:1 -- operation continuing tonight.....RTTY operation expanded to 4 bands: 30m, 20m, 17m and 10m.... Ops were on 160m and 80m all night - but if there is no activity, they will QSY to open bands.... Antennas are working great and they can hear extremely well.....Significant phase noise partially solved so 15M operation started again.....Great openings to EU last night on 15m on both SSB and CW but at about 4:20 am local bands went silent due to flare.....Food is outstanding - no one losing weight, but the 105-108 deg heat is challenging.

Sept. 11, 2012
160M operation started at 0500 UTC -- Vertical still needs some tuning but initial reports are good.....RTTY operation expanded to 3 bands: 30m, 17m and 20m.....6M antenna is being assembled but difficult in 100+ degree weather during the day; hopefully operational soon.....many European contacts over the last 24 hrs - please continue to cooperate if ops ask for "EU only".....significant phase noise has limited 15M operation but problem being addressed.....General class operators: keep listening for the 20m & 40m receive frequency.....Frequency police are BORED - don't have anyone to scold because "Split" compliance is very high.....questions or comments to K6MM

Sept. 6, 2012, 0800 UTC
We have arrived and everything is going well. SVDAs are up for both cw and ssb camps. The stations are getting setup and will continue in the morning. ... Fantastic crew from the Jennings that have setup all of the infrastructure for our dxpedition. ... We should be on the air tomorrow sometime. Several big antennas remain to be put up. They will be done first before we start to operate. The weather is quite hot and humid. We have to be cautious about resting and dehydration. We are having a good time and are looking forward to getting on the air sometime today. (Craig, K9CT and Joe, W8GEX).

Sept. 6, 2012 @ 0030 UTC
The team is on the island now and starting to put together the antennas and stations. Unfortunately, Juergen Borsdorf (DJ2VO) sustained a leg injury on board the ship, and was forced to return to American Samoa the receive addtional medical treatment. The weather is very hot and humid, but everyone's is in good spirits. Operation is expected to begin Thursday, September 6 around 2000 UTC.

Sept. 5, 2012
The boat from American Samoa will arrive on Swains Island today at approximately 2000 UTC. The team will be putting together the antennas and setting up stations on the beach. They are hoping to start operating within the next 24 hours.

July 17, 2012
Craig (K9CT) and Joe (W8GEX) are happy to report that preparations for the NH8S Swains Island DXpedition are on schedule. The 20 man international team should be on the island and on the air from September 6 thru September 18. Swains is # 31 most wanted worldwide. They will operate all bands with SSB, CW and RTTY.
A big thank you goes to John (N7CQQ) and Paul (W8AEF) for their time in building and testing the SVDA's that will be used. Thanks also to Paul (W6XA) and Tom (N4XP) for testing the radios, amps and laptops. All of the equipment has been shipped to Arnie (N6HC) in California for the upcoming departure via cargo ship later this week. The QSLing will be handled by Joe (AA4NN) with help from his XYL Margarett. Plans are to upload logs daily by satellite phone from the island to Clublog.
We are very grateful to our equipment sponsors, including: ICOM, Elecraft, VIbroplex, Innovantennas, DX Engineering, Heil Sound, Primus, Hi-Z Antennas, and The RF Connection. Also to Kimo (KH7U) for the 160m vertical, and George (W8UVZ) for the Battle Creek Special.
We have updated our website with pictures, operating information and links. Thanks to John (K6MM) for doing the webmaster duties and being our Pilot Relay. Other pilots are:Col (MMØNDX) (Europe) and Valerie (NV9L) (North America).
There will be a great emphasis placed in working Europe where Swains is most needed. We will have several receiving antennas aimed that direction.
It will be very hot and humid, and mosquitoes should be plentiful, so please have patience with the operators. We ask that you listen to the operator instructions to ensure we are able to work as many stations as possible. Please refer to our operating guidelines on the Band
This tent and generator operation is a very expensive endeavor, and the group is most grateful for the foundations, clubs and individuals who have already contributed. For those that would like to donate, you may do so from our website: linkext. Link.
The skilled international crew that is looking forward to working you includes: 9V1FJ, AA4NN, DJ2VO, DL3DXX, K5AB, K9CS, K9CT, K9NW, N2TU, N4HH, N6HC, N6HD, NA6M, ND2T, SM5AQD, W6KK, W8GEX, W8HC, W8TN, and WB9Z.
The team is grateful for the opportunity to activate a rare DXCC entity and, hopefully, work thousands of other DXers worldwide. We look forward to having fun and making life-long friends.
Your NH8S Team

Aug. 22 2012
The leaders are happy to report that the DXpedition cargo has arrived in American Samoa. The international team of 20 operators are excited about this tent and generator operation. The island ranks number 31 in the DX Magazine most wanted list. Swains is about one mile in circumference has only five permanent residents and no infrastructure.
The team will be running seven stations from 6 to 160 including 60m. They will be on CW, SSB and RTTY around the clock for 14 days. Great emphasis will be in working European stations. Plans are to update logs on a daily basis by satellite phone. Because there is no regular internet service, the team will have two pilot stations. Valerie, NV9L, will be the North American pilot while Col MM0NDX will do the honors for Europe. They and John, K6MM, the webmaster, will be the only contact to the team for their 14 day stay.
Due to changes in airline flights, they are now scheduled to depart American Samoa on September 4, for the 23 hour boat ride to Swains. Everything will then be off loaded and taken ashore by a small boat. Along with the radio equipment, antennas, food, and tents, are 19 drums of gasoline for the seven generators.
The team of highly experienced DXers, contesters and DXpeditioners are 9V1FJ, AA4NN, DJ2VO, DL3DXX, K5AB, K9CS, K9CT, K9NW, N2TU, N4HH, N6HC, N6HD, NA6M, ND2T, SM5AQD, W6KK, W8GEX, W8HC, W8TN and WB9Z. There have been several requests to listen into the general band, so please listen to the operator’s instructions.
We are most grateful to NCDXF, INDEXA, and all clubs and individuals who have supported us. Like all major DXpeditions today, this is a very expensive trip. Total costs are estimated to be $200,000. Each member has paid $8000, plus his cost to get to American Samoa. Anyone who wants to help, can go to our website, linkext. Link and click on the donations link. We are most appreciative to any and all DXers that contribute to help defray the cost of the trip.
OQSL is available on the website for your convenience. QSL manager for cards is Joe Blackwell AA4NN, and requests should be sent to him at:
Swains Island DXpedition / P.O. Box 5005 / Lake Wylie, SC 29710 USA
LoTW will be posted six months following the DXpedition.
We would like to give special thanks to our support crew who has worked very hard for us. They include DL9RCF, I8NHJ, K6MM, MM0NDX, N1DG, N4XP, N7CQQ, NV9L, W6XA, W8AEF, W8CAA and Margarett Blackwell XYL of AA4NN.
Craig K9CT, Joe W8GEX

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