Events / Photo Galleries

It’s All in the Cards! Market Reef Celebrates 50 Years

Every month, DX Engineering features QSL cards from our team members’ personal collections. To highlight upcoming DXpeditions, we’ll be displaying a few of our favorite cards along with details about what it took to make these contacts. We’re excited to share some of the special cards pulled from the thousands we’ve received over the years. We look forward to seeing your cards as well!

Market Reef Celebrates 50 Years as a DXCC Entity.

On December 27, 1969, Market Reef—an 8.2 acre uninhabited rocky island in the Baltic Sea—went on the air for the first time. One of the original Market Reef DXpeditioners, the legendary Martti Laine OH2BH, along with many other veteran and young Amateur operators will be keeping the remote locale active throughout the summer and maybe into the winter season to commemorate the inaugural DXpedition to the entity divided between a Finnish side (the country’s westernmost point) and Swedish side. Well-known for its restored and now-automated lighthouse built in 1885, Market Reef (OJ0) has seen a number of DXpeditions over the years. As of June it ranked as the 169th most-wanted DXCC entity in North America.

There will be ample opportunity to make QSOs with Market Reef this year, including Youth Week (OJ0C) starting July 15 and IOTA week beginning July 27 (OJ0DX).

“There are twenty-one valid OJ0 licenses. More than 50% are expected to be active during this year,” Martti OH2BH wrote. “If you work five of them in 2019, a special award will be released. If you work ten of them in 2019, you will qualify for a special award and a symbolic key to the lighthouse. Your log extract should be submitted to Pasi, OH3WS, the contact person between the FLS and the global ham fraternity.”

A Salute to Martti OH2BH

Before we look at Market Reef QSL cards, below are a couple featuring Martti OH2BH. It’s hard to find a serious DXer who hasn’t worked him over the years. A member of the CQ Hall of Fame and prominent contester, Martti has participated in scores of successful DXpeditions around the globe. As with the Market Reef 1969 DXpedition, he is credited with being the first to operate from several newly established DXCC entities.

He wrote in his 2014 World Radiosport Team Championship bio: “Amateur Radio has guided my life personally and professionally since I was 15. Given its telecoms nature, Amateur Radio for the past 50 years has directed my interest and learning every single day.”

Dave N8NB, DX Engineering technical support specialist, received this card featuring Martti and his “Racing Team from Finland,” who were introducing the new Yaesu FTdx-9000 transceiver back in 2004.

In 1978, Bob W5OV, worked Martti during the CT3BZ DXpedition to Madeira Islands.

Market Reef QSLs

Ed N8EQJ (now K8IV), DX Engineering senior engineering technician, made a QSO with the OJ0X Market Reef DXpedition in October 2011 on 15M SSB. Tom KB8UUZ, DX Engineering technical writer, worked them on 17, 15 and 10M SSB. The DXpedition team of 15 operators logged a total of 66,595 QSOs during their stormy month on the reef.

The back of the card reads: “With our SteppIR beam left standing at the lighthouse, you with the right spirit and a caring and sharing approach may be the next one at Market Reef to be caught in the limelight of DXing—being the star of the best show in town. Many have left their heart in their DX location—as we did.”

In 2008, Dave N8NB contacted the OJ0J DXpedition team from Market Reef on 20M RTTY.

George K3GP, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, worked the 2002 OJ0LA DXpedition to Market Reef on 20M SSB.

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