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

It has been reported that from May 26-29, DL1MGB is scheduled to be operating on 80-10M from Iceland (TF), the 273rd Most-Wanted DXCC Entity per Clublog as of April. Please check the internet for updates on this report as the date nears.

This Nordic island country in the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean has a population of more than 376,000. At 39,682 square miles, it is Europe’s least densely populated country and 240th on the list of the world’s countries based on density. In clearer terms, there is approximately nine people per square mile in Iceland, which is about the size of Kentucky (population 4.5 million). Despite its name and location south of the Arctic Circle, only 11% of the country is covered in glaciers, while four-fifths of Greenland is blanketed by ice.

QSL Cards

The active hams at DX Engineering have had great success contacting Iceland over the years (a good reason to contact them for help with your gear if you’d like to do the same). Here are a few of the QSL cards from their collections.

Mark, W8BBQ, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, reached TF8GX in November 2009 on 17M SSB. While the TF8GX card features two polar bears, it is important to point out that these marine mammals—the world’s largest land-going predator, weighing up to 1,500 pounds—are not native to Iceland, according to the Icelandic Institute of Natural History. Sporadically, polar bears have come ashore on Iceland, where they are known as hvítabjörn (“white bear”) or ísbjörn (“ice bear”) and are classified as “vagrants.” They occasionally drift to Iceland via ice floes or icebergs. Lack of sea ice and limited food supply (mainly seals) pretty much ensure that polar bears won’t ever be found lumbering across the Icelandic landscape in great numbers.

This leads us to our OnAllBands geography question of the day. Can you name the top five countries in terms of polar bear population? Now that you’ve eliminated Iceland from possible choices, this should be easy, right? Answer is below. Incidentally, the only land mammal native to Iceland is the arctic fox. If you’re into whale watching, be sure to put Iceland on your bucket list. You may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a variety of species, including minke, humpback, bowhead, sperm, beluga, and blue whales. Finally, eight to ten million puffins nest in Iceland in the spring and summer—about 60% of the seabird’s global population.

Iceland QSL card with polar bears

Tom, KB8UUZ, DX Engineering technical writer, also received a card from Gulli, TF8GX. KB8UUZ has made 12 contacts with Iceland during his time on the air. Once during a QSO Gulli joked about inviting Tom to Iceland for some Polar Burgers….

Iceland QSL Card for Gudlauger K. Jonsson
Verified Iceland QSL Card

Scotty, KG9Z, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, received this QSL card from TF3ML. He made 6-meter magic from his station in Ohio in June 2018.

Iceland QSL Card, TF3ML, sunset photo
Iceland QSL Card, TF3ML/P for KG9Z

Dave, K8DV, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, reached TF3GC from Reykjavik in September 2008 on 20M RTTY, and TF3IRA (the Icelandic Radio Amateurs Club Station) in October 2008 on 40M SSB. You can read more about the club here.

Reykjavik is Iceland’s capital and largest city, with nearly 250,000 people residing in its metro area. Chess fans will recognize Reykjavik as the location of the 1972 World Chess Championship, where American Bobby Fischer—in a grueling best of 24 match—finally dethroned defending champion Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union in the 21st round.

Iceland QSL Card, TF3GC
Iceland QSL Card, TF3IRA, with antenna low angle photo

“I’ll take Cuddly-Looking But Extremely Dangerous Mammals for $1,000, Mayim.”

Back to our geography stumper. What are the five top countries in terms of polar bear population? In order from one to five, the answers are…Canada, United States (about 4,000-7,000 in Alaska), Russia, Norway (Svalbard), and Denmark (Greenland). In fact, three-fifths of the world’s polar bears are found in Canada. Estimates show there are between 22,000 and 31,000 polar bears remaining in the world.

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 to up your game, including transceivers, antennas, amplifiers, headsets, and more.

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!

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