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

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!

Aruba QRV in January

Aruba (P4), an island country about 18 miles north of Venezuela in the Caribbean, is scheduled to be active from January 23 to February 1 thanks to DL4MM, who will be operating as P4/DL4MM. The HF DXpedition will focus on the low bands and WARC in CW, SSB, and FT8. DL4MM, as P40AA, will be QRV during the CQ 160M CW contest (also on FT8).

Clublog ranked Aruba as 249th Most-Wanted DXCC Entity as of December—not a big surprise when you consider it’s a much more accommodating locale to operate from than, say, Scarborough Reef or Bouvet Island. With barely any yearly rainfall, temperatures in the low to mid-80s F, and pleasant trade winds from the Atlantic, it’s not hard to see why arid and densely-populated Aruba is a popular DXpedition destination with one huge negative—you eventually have to return home. In fact, 75% of Aruba’s GNP is generated by the more than one million tourists who annually flock to stay in the country’s high-rise luxury hotels and feel warm sand between their toes.

For more than 60 years, the Aruba Amateur Radio Club (AARC) has been promoting ham radio in the country, providing voluntary emergency assistance when called upon, helping out with events such as JOTA, and tirelessly lobbying to update legislation governing amateur radio in the country. AARC is the national member society representing Aruba in the International Amateur Radio Union. Read more about the AARC on its Facebook page and website.

QSL Cards

Here are a few of the QSL cards from Aruba collected by the active operators at DX Engineering over the years.

Mark, W8BBQ, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, earned these cards from P4/PG4DX and P40N.

David, K8DV, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, reached P40PA in March 2010 on 80M SSB and 30M CW .

Tom, KB8UUZ, DX Engineering technical writer, has logged 115 contacts with Aruba stations over the years. He reached Emily Thiel, P43E, from Orenjestad, Aruba (its capital and largest city) in May 1998 and received the QSL card below.

“P43E is a special one to me,” Tom noted. “Emily hand drew that QSL. She was my second contact into Aruba, but the first to reply with a QSL card. She was probably the most known P4 operator—always friendly on the air and always replied to everyone for a QSL card. Sadly, she went SK on 4/13/18.” 

Upon reporting Emily’s death at the age of 49 from a stroke, the ARRL wrote: “Thiel was a competitor at WRTC 2006 (held in Brazil), a member of the Aruba Amateur Radio Club, and she managed the Aruba QSL Bureau. Licensed in 1997, she attended various conventions and hamfests around the world. She was part of the A61AJ multioperator team for the 2003 CQ World Wide SSB Contest. Thiel was a member of the FISTS Club and the YLRL.”

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