It’s All in the Cards! QSL Cards from Alaska

Editor’s Note: 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!

Alaska QRV in June/July

Tell folks who are trying to “work the world” that Alaska will be active soon and you may elicit a few yawns. After all, the U.S. is the least wanted DXCC entity according to Clublog, ranking at #340 out of, well, 340. But if you’re an island chaser looking for action during this downtime for DXing, here’s Alaska news that will get you scrambling to make sure your station’s DXing capabilities are in top form.

The Russian Robinson Club will soon be activating two rare Aleutian Islands: Adak Island (IOTA NA-039) in the Andreanof Islands chain, and Kiska Island (IOTA NA-070) in the Rat Islands chain.

Here is the five-member team’s schedule, subject to change based on the weather:

  • Operating from Adak June 30-July 3
  • Travel to Kiska Island on July 4
  • Operating from Kiska Island July 7-12
  • Operating from Adak July 14-16

The well-traveled team of DXpeditioners, featuring friends of DX Engineering, is made up of Hal, W8HC; Rob, N7QT; Tim, NL8F; Walt, N6XG; and Yuri, N3QQ. Check out this video of when Hal, W8HC, visited DX Engineering prior to the attempted 3Y0Z Bouvet Island DXpedition in 2018. He displays the kind of cold-weather gear required for operating in less-than-temperate climates.

You can get the latest information about the DXpedition from the Russian Robinson Club’s website.

About the Islands

At 274 square miles, Adak Island is the 26th largest island in the U.S., with Hawaii Island (4,000 square miles) and Kodiak Island in Alaska (3,600 miles) sitting at the top of the list. The island is snow covered for most of the year. Its largest town, Adak (Aleut for “father”), is Alaska’s southernmost city. According to Alaska magazine, only about 80 people live full time on the island, compared to 90,000 people who were stationed there during World War II and 6,000 in the midst of the Cold War. The southern part of the island has been designated as an Alaska Maritime Wildlife Refuge since 1980.

Unpopulated Kiska Island is 22 miles long by 1.5 to 6 miles wide. Part of the Aleutian Islands Wilderness as designated by Congress in 1980, the island holds a significant spot in U.S. military history. It was the location of one of only two invasions of North America during World War II. On June 6, 1942, Japanese forces went ashore, capturing ten members of the U.S. Navy Weather Detachment, the only inhabitants on Kiska Island. This event preceded the Japanese capture of Attu Island.

QSL Cards

To get you in the mood for reaching Adak and Kiska, here are a few of the Alaska QSL cards collected over the years by the active operators at DX Engineering:

Tom, KB8UUZ, DX Engineering technical writer, received this W1AW/KL7 IARU HF Championship card in 2009.

Scott, N3RA, DX Engineering sales manager, reached WL7CG in 2019.

Dave, K8DV, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, reached KL7AF on 80M SSB in December 1982; AL9A on 15M SSB in November 2005; KL7ISO on 15M CW in February 1979 (the cool hand-drawn card is a keeper!); and KL1V on 20M CW in February 2006.

Want to upgrade your DXing capabilities? The Elmers at DX Engineering are here to lend an ear. Reach out to them at Find everything you need at DX to up your game, including transceivers, antennas, amplifiers, headsets, and more.

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