Events / Photo Galleries

It’s All in the Cards! QSLs from Baker Island KH1/KH7Z 2018

Every month, DX Engineering features QSL cards from our team members’ personal collections. Usually we showcase ones from entities that are currently active or will soon be QRV. However, with so many DXers homebound these days and the number of DXpeditions reaching all-time lows, we’ve altered the rules. Until things change, you can expect a bit of everything from our stockpiles of QSL cards, including the rarest of the rare, personal favorites, and recent QSLs of historical significance.

Earlier in July, we showcased the QSL card from the DX Engineering-sponsored VP8PJ South Orkney Islands 2020 DXpedition. It was the latest in a long list of DXpeditions that DX Engineering has supported over its 20-year history, including Ducie Island VP6D 2018, Mellish Reef VK9MA 2017, Pitcairn Island VP6R 2019, St. Paul Island CY9C 2016, Amsterdam Island FT5ZM 2014,  Chesterfield Islands TX3X 2015, and many others.

Today we’ll be looking back at the QSL card from one of the most successful DX Engineering-backed ventures, Baker Island KH1/KH7Z 2018.

As it was for many Hams around the globe, Baker Island was an All-Time New One for DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist Mark, W8BBQ. The 14-member Baker Island team logged nearly 70,000 QSOs (18,000 unique call signs), including 6,000 using the new DXpedition version of FT8. At the time of the DXpedition, Baker Howland Islands ranked number 4 on Club Log’s DXCC Most Wanted List. As of June 2020, the uninhabited atoll between Hawaii and Australia stood at number 30. The KH1/KH7Z DXpedition marked the first time Baker Island was active since 2002.

One of the operators on the KH1/KH7Z DXpedition was Edward “Ned” Stearns, AA7A, a veteran of three top-ten DXpeditions in addition to Baker Island 2018 (Kingman Reef 5K5 2000, South Sandwich VP8STI 2016, and South Georgia VP8SGI 2016). A technical innovator, Stearns introduced the use of switchable vertical-dipole arrays on island DXpeditions. He also worked with Joe Taylor, K1JT, on the DXpedition “fox/hound” mode for FT8. For his contributions to Amateur Radio, Ned was inducted this year into the CQ DX Hall of Fame, along with Tony Gonzalez, EA5RM.

A few weeks before setting sail for Baker Island, we caught up with Ned and team member Neil King, VA7DX, at Dayton Hamvention®.

DX Engineering was pleased to provide the Baker Island team with this gear:

DXE-400MAXDX200 – 400MAX PL-259 Low-Loss 50-ohm Coax Assemblies

DXE-RG400R003 – RG400 High Isolation Coaxial Cable Assemblies

DXE-RADW-1000 – Premium Radial Wire

DXE-PW-12, DX-PW-18 – 12AWG and 18AWG Zip Cord Power Wire

DXE-PL259CS8U-24 – Patented Next Generation Crimp/Solder 8U PL-259 Connectors

DXE-RADP-3 – Radial Plates

DXE-6UQ-1000 – 75-ohm Quad-Shield Coaxial Cable

DXE-UT-KITF – F-Connector Coax Cable Tool Kit

DXE-RFCC-1 – Receive Feedline Current Chokes

DXE-ECL-0500-10P – Stainless Steel Element Clamps

Hopefully, it won’t be long before intrepid Ham Radio adventurers will be safely setting sail to the remote corners of the world. Until then, take a couple of minutes and watch this spectacular Baker Island video shot by the KH1/KH7Z team.

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