Amateur Radio News

DX Engineering Team Joins Hams Worldwide in Pursuit of Crozet Islands ATNO

Sitting at number-three on the DXCC most-wanted list, the Crozet Islands became the center of the ham radio world on Christmas day 2022 when the single-operator FT8WW (Thierry Mazel, F6CUK) DXpedition kicked off one of the rarest activations in recent memory. After three weeks of operating from the Alfred Faure scientific research station, F6CUK had made 21,000 CW and FT8 QSOs, mostly on 30, 20, and 15 meters, with a day spent focusing on 17 meters. The three weeks of antenna-restricted operation was marked by wind damage to his antenna and long operating breaks to allow for scientific measurements performed at the station. As noted on the FT8WW QSL card, the DXpedition coincides with the 60th anniversary of the creation of the Alfred Faure station on Possession Island—the only inhabited island (about 20 people from the research center) in the subantarctic Crozet archipelago.

As of this writing, the FT8WW DXpedition was relegated to SSB activity on the QO-100 satellite and DATV transmissions as F6CUK awaited authorization to extend HF operations for the duration of his scheduled stay on the island until March 15. Be sure to check the internet for current information on whether HF operations on Crozet have resumed.

DX Engineering in the Pileups

Many members of the DX Engineering team joined operators from every corner of the globe trying to make Crozet Islands an All-Time New One. Here’s how they fared:

  • Mark, W8BBQ, customer/technical support specialist, says he “got what he wanted for Christmas,” working FT8WW on CW and putting him one step closer to the DXCC Honor Roll.
  • On New Year’s eve, George, K3GP, customer/technical support specialist, contacted FT8WW for an ATNO on 20-meter CW using a Yaesu FTDX5000 and four-element Yagi up 75 feet.
  • Already a member of the Honor Roll, Dave, N8NB, customer/technical support specialist, reached Crozet for the first time on 30M FT8.
  • Scott, N3RA, sales manager, worked FT8WW on 30M FT8 using 100 watts and a 160M OCF dipole tuned for 30M.
  • Dave, K8DV, customer/technical support specialist said, “I was able to work them on 30M FT8 and 20M CW. Pileups on both were incredible with lots of stations calling. When I worked them on 20 CW the split was 18 KCs when usually they run 5 or less on CW. On 30 FT8, watching the waterfall and trying to find a clear spot to call was almost next to impossible. Congrats to all the other DXE DXers who got Crozet in the log.”
  • Greg, K2GRG, customer/technical support specialist, made a 20M FT8 QSO using 100 watts and two-element Yagi at 55 feet.
  • Wayne, K8FF, customer/technical support specialist and Honor Roll member, had already made a phone contact with Crozet back in 1964 (see the QSL card here). “I managed to work FT8WW on Christmas night on 30M FT8 and later that same week on 20M both FT8 and CW,” he said. He used a 30M rotary dipole at 80 feet and four-element tri-bander on 20M.

So what about you and your attempts to capture the Crozet Islands? Let OnAllBands know if you were able to break through.

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