It’s All in the Cards! QSL Cards from Jarvis and Palmyra Islands

Jarvis Island QRV in August 2024

The Rig in a Box (RIB) N5J DXpedition to uninhabited and infrequently visited Jarvis Island (a dual DXCC entity with Palmyra Island) is only about a month away. If Jarvis/Palmyra is one of the few remaining locations standing in the way of your goal of “working the world,” N5J—scheduled to run from August 5-17, 2024—presents an excellent opportunity to check off this ultra-rare entity from your list.

Jarvis/Palmyra ranks as #18 globally and #9 in Europe on Clublog’s Most Wanted List. For up-to-date details about Jarvis Island N5J, visit their official website.

n5j ham radio qsl card from Jarvis Island, front
(Image/Jarvis Island N5J)

The N5J at-island (local) operating team of Don Greenbaum, N1DG; Mike Snow, KN4EEI; Tomi Pekarik, HA7RY; Rig in a Box innovator George Wallner, AA7JV; and Adrian Ciuperca, KO8SCA will be joined by remote CW and FT8 teams from around the world who will be active via Starlink. Chasers will be able to reach operators on 160-6M in SSB, CW, and FT8.

N5J members have been working with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) officials for several years to obtain permission to operate from the Jarvis Island National Wildlife Refuge. The Rig in a Box concept, which allows hams to operate remotely through self-contained stations (radio, antenna, and power) set up on land, helped to make this activation possible. The local team will be conducting the DXpedition from the MV Magnet, a vessel that will be just offshore of Jarvis Island.

About Jarvis Island

Located in the South Pacific Ocean halfway between Hawaii and the Cook Islands, 1.7-square-mile Jarvis Island is an unincorporated, unorganized territory of the United States. It is administered by the USFWS as part of the National Wildlife Refuge system. Jarvis was declared part of this system in 1974. In 2009, President George W. Bush designated Jarvis Island as part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.

OnAllBands Geography Question of the Day

Jarvis Island is one of a handful of U.S. territories that have the distinction of being both “unincorporated” (not fully incorporated under the U.S. Constitution) and “unorganized” (directly administered by the federal government). Several rare DXCC entities are included among this list (e.g., Baker Island/Howland Island, Johnston Atoll, Wake Island, Midway Islands, and Navassa Island).

Can you name the only unincorporated, unorganized U.S. territory that is populated? Answer below. Can’t wait? Find the entity in question in this OnAllBands article.

DX Engineering Gear to be Employed on Jarvis Island

In DX Engineering’s ongoing mission to stand beside hams who are putting rare DXCC entities on the air, the company contributed a range of gear to complement the RIB setups:

QSL Cards from Jarvis and Palmyra Islands

The avid DXers at DX Engineering have made several contacts with operators on Jarvis and Palmyra islands over the years. Here are a few of their QSL cards, from the oldest to the latest.

Wayne, K8FF, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, worked the K1AZA/KP6 Palmyra Island DXpedition in May 1962 when his callsign was K8WOT.

K1AZA ham radio qsl card from Jarvis Island, front
(Image/DX Engineering)

Scotty, KG9Z, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, provided us with QSL cards from Palmyra W0RLX/KH5 1988 and Jarvis Island AH3C/KH5J 1990—the last time Jarvis was activated. The ten-day AH3C/KH5J operation, which employed Butternut Vertical Antennas (acquired by DX Engineering 25 years later) netted 55,000 QSOs. Among the operating team was Martti Laine, OH2BH, one of the most accomplished amateurs of all time. AH3C/KH5J marked only the second time that Jarvis Island had been put on the air.

The 1988 W0RLX/KH5 activation was the first to Palmyra since the ill-fated 1980 K6LPL/KH5 DXpedition, which began with a crash landing in a Palmyra airfield, severely injuring one team member who was medevacked off the island. The DXpedition was later aborted due to another operator injury.

W0RLX ham radio qsl card from palmyra atoll
(Image/DX Engineering)
W0RLX ham radio qsl card from palmyra atoll, back
(Image/DX Engineering)
AH3C ham radio qsl card from Jarvis Island, front
(Image/DX Engineering)
AH3C ham radio qsl card from Jarvis Island, back
(Image/DX Engineering)

Tom, KB8UUZ, DX Engineering technical writer, received the QSL card below for contacting the DX Engineering-supported K5P January 2016 DXpedition to Palmyra Atoll. Read this fascinating article by K5P operator Hal, W8HC, about some of Palmyra’s history and the team’s DXpedition that recorded more than 75,000 QSOs.

DX Engineering provided the K5P operation with a range of equipment, including RG-8X Coaxial Cable Assemblies and its Ultra-Grip 2 Crimp Connector Cable Prep Kit.

K5P ham radio qsl card from palmyra atoll, front
(Image/DX Engineering)
K5P ham radio qsl card from palmyra atoll, back
(Image/DX Engineering)

I’ll take “Unorganized and Unincorporated” for $1,000, Ken.

So, were you able to name the only populated U.S. territory that is both unorganized and unincorporated? If you said “American Samoa” (population 44,600), give yourself a pat on the back! While American Samoa is self-governing, it is technically considered “unorganized” because the U.S. Congress has not passed an Organic Act for the territory that specifies how it is to be governed. American Samoa is one of two U.S. territories south of the Equator. The other? Today’s featured entity, Jarvis Island.

For all your DXing, contesting, or rag-chewing needs—whether you’re a Big Gun, Little Pistol, or somewhere in between, visit for transceiversamplifiersantennas,
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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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