Hams Complete Successful DX Engineering-Sponsored Kiska Island Activation (Video)

What did it take for the K7K DXpedition team to record more than 11,600 QSOs during their damp and windy stay on Kiska Island (NA-070) in the Aleutians?

Watch operator Hal, W8HC, discuss the travails and triumphs of this remote and rare activation, commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of the Aleutian Islands, in this fascinating video with Tim, K3LR, DX Engineering CEO.

The six hams on the trip (Hal; Adrian, KO8SCA; Alex, KL5CX; James, KB2FMH; Tim, NL8F; and Yuri, N3QQ) operated four stations around the clock for four days in late July. They battled winds of up to 50 miles per hour that shredded a tent in the middle of the night, slogged through knee-pain-inducing volcanic sand, fought heavy QSB that made reception a challenge, experienced generator outages, and made a total of 60 runs on a small skiff, expertly piloted by KL5CX, to transport equipment from their chartered vessel, the April Lane, to Kiska upon arrival and back to the boat on departure. Incidentally, the April Lane was captained by Rick Fehst, who was skipper of the Early Dawn in episodes of “The Deadliest Catch.”

The K7K team also got an eyeful of Kiska’s rich ties to World War II (the island is part of the Aleutian Islands World War II National Monument). The DXpedition also marked the first-ever POTA activation of K-0143 (Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge). For up-to-date details, visit here.

Despite the challenges, the team logged:

  • 11,676 CW, SSB, and FT8 QSOs with the K7K callsign (Hal described 17 meters as the DXpedition’s “money band”)
  • 5,205 unique QSOs from 95 countries, with almost 40% coming from Japan and 33% from the U.S.
  • 175 QSOs from two hours of operation as KL7RRC during the 2022 IOTA event

DX Engineering gear went along for the trip, including Coaxial Connection Weatherproofing Kits that proved invaluable in making sure that stations were well protected from Kiska’s harsh climate.

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