How to Research the Status of a US F&W Entity (especially KP1)

Its easy to find the status of any of the US F&W entities – or for that matter, any entity in the world – using the magic of Google!

Just Google SUP (Supplemental Use Permit) and your favorite US F&W entity – and you will be able to find its status. Here’s one from 2005 regarding Navassa:

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-109hrpt320/html/CRPT-109hrpt320.htm

I’ve Googled SUP and other US F&W entities – really interesting stuff! Amateur Radio is mentioned on most of the SUP apps. Of course – the governing office in charge of these entities is who says Yes or No – and with KP1 – cleanup of Unexploded Ordinance seems to be the blocker. It was interesting to see that as long as the ham group applying takes full liability – for things like “there are no suitable docks or access for landing”, that they still granted access to K5D. I know KP1 is even tougher to access – and I mean _really_ tougher. Look for the old rope ladder pictures – and you will see what I mean. After Googling Navassa, click on the images link in Google.

Try the same with other entities – its a lot of fun.

39 Years for a QSL Card?: Canal Zone

2013 marks my 40th year as an amateur radio operator. I passed my Novice exam when I was 13, and received my ticket (WN2QHN) on my 14th birthday. At that time, my station was a Hallicrafters HT-40 75 watt “Novice” transmitter, a Heathkit SW-717 receiver that I built myself, a Dow Key tube TR Switch and a dipole.

kz5_qsl

Way back in 1974 (when dinosaurs still roamed the earth), I worked Ted, KZ5VV in the Canal Zone. Its one of the few QSL cards I either never received or lost over the years. I wasn’t a DX-er back then – I was a CW  “traffic man”, and if I worked DX it was only because I called CQ for a rag chew QSO and DX came back to my call. I was inactive from 1977 until 2001 – when I jumped back in as a DX-er.

After doing some sleuthing, I found Ted, and have asked him to send a signed letter to act as a QSL card. I will update this blog if this happens. It will put me at 336 / 331 in the DXCC Standings. Now I really understand why Deleted’s do count and are important!

k5ab

Canal Zone was added to the DXCC list in 1938 (it was added along with all of the US Possessions that at that time the FCC had just issued prefixes for these possessions / territories) and became a Deleted entity in 1979. The DXCC List had 319 entities on it with 47 Deleted at that time. The Canal Zone was a US Territory from 1903 – 1979.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_Canal_Zone

It was a major engineering project and a very critical shipping route for the US – and still is today.

I couldn’t find a reference to any DX-peditions to the Canal Zone, probably because there were quite a few people stationed there – either due to civilian work or in the military. If you do a Google search for Canal Zone QSL card and click on images, you will find quite a few pages of these old QSL cards. K8CX has a great gallery:

http://hamgallery.com/qsl/deleted/CanalZone/

For now, I’ve got my fingers crossed that I can get #336 confirmed.

T33 – Banaba Island

t33js

Banaba was added to the DXCC Entity List in 1989:

http://dxccsleuth.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/dxcc_entity_counts_awards8.pdf

Banaba is an interesting island. It is geographically straddling the equator and is one of the more rare entities in the Pacific. A major DX-pedition will activate Banaba in November, 2013:

http://www.t33a.com

T33A will be on air – late November 5th to early November 18th

Here is link describing Banaba:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banaba_Island

Banaba has not had many DXCC activations, and it is considered “semi-rare”. When I worked T33C in 2004, Banaba had not been activated for 5 years.  Here is a fun video from the 1990 T33R and T33T DX-pedition:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfPpDCXqHIg 

Here is a chronology of the DX-peditions to Banaba:

1989 – T33JS

1990 – T33R, T33T

1999 – T33VU, T33RD

2004 – T33C (last large scale DX-pedition to Banaba)

2008 – T32ZZ – single op DX-pedition, Toshi, JA8BMK

2013 – November T33A ( http://www.t33a.com )

Kingman Reef – KH5K CANNOT Be Activated!

Breaking News. The US F&W has completed the work that they contracted out to have a fishing vessel removed from the reef, and when they got there, they found that the reef is now mostly awash at low tide, and that it is a dangerous place to visit:

http://www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/Region_1/NWRS/Zone_1/Pacific_Reefs_Complex/Palmyra_Atoll/documents/FAQs%2001272014%20AF.pdf

In this doc, the evidence seems clear that it really should be deleted:

The work site on the reef flat was very shallow with water depths of 1 to 7 feet at high tide, and just a few
inches of water at low tide. The two small rubble islands that comprise the only land masses at Kingman
Reef lie merely 3 feet above sea level. They are frequently awash by waves and offered no shelter during
removal operations. The severe sea state and environmental conditions at Kingman Reef are
unpredictable, and forecasts are relatively unreliable at the isolated central Pacific reef. Such uncertainty
constrained safe operations, and the team determined that mobilizing the full shipwreck removal team and
all floating assets, including the 185-foot barge and large crane, from Palmyra to be staged at the
Kingman removal site, presented an unacceptable risk to crew and resources. Instead, a subset of the crew
traveled to Kingman Reef from Palmyra Atoll on the tugboat Sarah C with a transport scow in tow.

 

 

I have confirmed that Kingman Reef is above water at high tide, and is even protected from high surf. The approach and landing is easy – much easier than Clipperton Reef.

I have 100% confirmation from the Scripps Institute and marine biologists who have been there recently doing research. There is only 3 feet left above water at high tide, and an area of about 15′ by 100′ of coral rubble. This means any activation would have to be small. NO BIG TEAMS . . . .

It is in no danger of being deleted from the DXCC List – those 13 year rumors were unfounded. I met with Arne from the DXAC at Visalia, and am confident it will stay on the list. I just heard that Dave Patton from the ARRL announced that Kingman will remain on the list – so its now official from the ARRL.

There are ships that can easily get there from Honolulu, and the distance from Honolulu is similar to going from Kiribati. Kiribati has issues as far as available ships – Honolulu has an abundance of possibilities. Relative to VK0/H, FT5/Z and P5, this one would be less expensive.

The US F&W says that its nearly impossible to gain access, but who knows – miracles sometimes happen.

I can only imagine how incredibly cool it would be to activate . .. and as all of you know – its been my “obsession” for years.

Stay tuned . . . .

KH9 – Wake Island

Wake Island was added to the DXCC list in 1938 – when the FCC had first recognized US island possessions by granting callsign prefixes. KC6 was the original prefix for Wake Island. When I started DX-ing in 2001, my card checker (N6OJ – Chuck) told me to “Work everything in the Pacific that you can, soon, these entities will become very rare”. I did what he said, and now have everything in OC-PAC except Kingman Reef – which hasn’t been activated since 2000.

$(KGrHqZ,!nkE63U,g-DYBO58i,R30Q~~60_35

There have been so many stations fixed on Wake island – or visited by a DX-pedition over the years, that one stood out in my research, by Mary Garlow, R.N and K6QPG. She is mentioned in a neat NCDXC Newsletter from 1961 – on page 12:

http://www.ncdxc.org/newsletter/1961/DXer0661.pdf

Mary’s OM was Britt, W6PEU, and they were mentioned in this newletter:

http://www.palomararc.org/Scope/scanned/Scope-1979.pdf

Chuck, NI0C was kind enough to share this really cool Wake QSL from his collection:

KW6DG

And this background:

“Only a few weeks ago, I was copying a CW rag chew on 30 meters, and heard AE1N telling someone that when he was a youngster, he operated as KW6DG. I looked him up on QRZ.com and sure enough, his name was the same as the one on my QSL. I’m looking at the back of Layne’s QSL now. The  other operator was Bob, KW6DF. I seem to recall that Bob was Layne’s father, though I’m not 100 pct. sure about that. Layne was very active. Their station consisted of a Hallicrafters HT32A and HT33; using a Hammarlund HQ170 receiver with a “tri-bander” and vertical antennas.”

After a previous attempt to activate Wake Island had been denied in 2012, it looks like another group has been able to get permission:

http://www.wake2013.org/

Wake Island is one of the US Overseas Possessions in the Pacific, and besides a short stint serving Pan Am Airways in the 1930′s, has been mostly a military base:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wake_Island

And here are details of the Battle of Wake Island:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Wake_Island

Many have decried that US Pacific Island Possessions – that are under control of the US F&W are all but dead in the ARRL DXCC program. I don’t think this is the case. Wake Island is still an active military base, so it is in an interesting situation – part of a protected area, but also still an active base.

In 2008, President George Bush added Wake to the US Marine Monument:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99036156

I’ve been very curious about any possible connection to the Pew Charitable Trusts efforts to effectively make many protected Marine Reserves all but off limits for DX-peditions (the cost of transportation plus preventing the ingress of foreign species adds greatly to the cost of a trip). I would imagine that you would need permission from both the US F&W and the US Navy.

Of course, Wake Island has an active runway – so with air traffic possible, maybe Wake Island isn’t as tricky to activate as some other US Posessions (i.e. Baker-Howland?).

Wake Island Activations – and I am sure there were more . . .

1947 – W6ONP/KW6

1948 – W1EEC/KW6

1949 – KH6LT/KW6AC

1951 – W6CIE/KW6, KW6AR

1957 – KW6CE

1958 – W0OWY/KW6

1959 – KW6CO, KW6CGA, K6QPG/KW6

1960 – K0SLD/KW6, KW6CS, K6QPG/KW6

1961 – KW6DG, K6QPG/KW6

1968 – KW6EJ

1970 – KW6DX

1979 – KH6GB/KH9

197? – WE5I/KH9, AD1S/KH9

1986 – KH9AC

1992 – WR1Z/KH9 (Jim Smith, VK9NS)

1998 – K8XP, N2WB, N6MZ and N2OO all signing /KH9

2002 – KH9/N4BQW

2003 – KH9/N4BQW, KH9/AH8A

2004 – KH9/AH8H

2005 – KH9/W0CN

Recent and active – KH9/WA2YUN

KH9

Special April 1 Edition – 4 New DXCC Entities – Maybe 5!

BS7FFA

I heard a rumor that the disputed Scarborough Reef was going to become 4 new entities – one rock for China, one for Vietnam, one for Korea and one for the Philippines. They would be called:

BS7C – China Rock

BS7V – Vietnam Rock

BS7K – Korea Rock

and BS7P – Philippines Rock

Each will have a special umbrella made – to look like the flag of that country.

The biggest rock will have a big “X” drawn on it and all 4 countries can operate on it simultaneously – but it isn’t a separate entity. Its call will be:

BS7FFA – meaning “Free For All”, and here is what its flag will look like:

http://www.theflagcompany.us.com/JollyRoger-SkullUmbrellaFlag.aspx

Scarborough Reef will be deleted. Watch this space – a 5th entity could be added to appease Taiwan who feels slighted because they didn’t get a rock. In true International Spirit and cooperation, the United Nations, US F&W and Jamaican Bobsled Team are working together on the case searching for a rock for Taiwan.

The QSL Card Manager will be Roger Beep, P5QRX, with instant uploads via NOQRS and NOTW. . . . .

Good luck in the pileups!