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

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!

Isle of Rockall QRV in May

Yes, Scotland is scheduled to be activated in May, but this isn’t the Scotland of kilts, bagpipes, Brigadoon, Shakespearean dukes, haggis, and moss-covered castles. No, this activation will take place far from the lovely purple heathers that blanket the country’s hills and glens—187 miles west of Soay, Scotland, on an uninhabitable granite islet in the North Atlantic Ocean known, appropriately, as Rockall. The closest permanently inhabited location to Rockall is North Uist, a Scottish island 230 miles to the east. Rockall was described by British naturalist James Fisher as “the most isolated small rock in the oceans of the world.” We’ll describe it as Bouvet’s smaller and less frigid cousin to the north.

The MM0UKI DXpedition to the Isle of Rockall (IOTA EU-189) is scheduled for May 28-31, although dates are approximate. This will mark the third activation of Rockall. Only a handful of island chasers in the IOTA program have made confirmed contacts with this 56.27-foot-high, 8,442-square-foot rock formed by magmatism millions of years ago during the Paleogene age.

Claimed for the United Kingdom in 1955, Rockall was incorporated as part of Scotland in 1972 (read this article about the long history of disputes regarding who owns Rockall). In 1971, the British government’s “Operation Top Hat” successfully installed a light beacon atop Rockall. The isle has also been occupied by Greenpeace members for a short time to protest oil exploration. Most notably to hams, it was the site of two previous DXpeditions: MS0IRC/P in June 2005 and MM0RAI/P in October 2011.

Hams Adrian “Nobby” Styles, G0VJG and Emil Bergmann, DL8JJ will join expedition lead Chris “Cam” Cameron as they attempt to break the world record for the longest stay on Rockall. They will be operating on 40-10M (possibly 2M) SSB, CW, and FT8. In addition to providing IOTA enthusiasts with this ultra-rare opportunity, the group is using the venture to raise money for soldiers and veterans charities. Read much more about the DXpedition here.

QSL Cards

The active hams at DX Engineering have had great success contacting Scotland 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, reached GM4SVM (December 1989, 10M SSB) and GM4YSN (October 2011, 80M SSB).

Scotland GM4SVM QSL Card

As a bonus to the card above, listen here to Gene Pokorny play “Theme and Variations on the Blue Bells of Scotland” on the tuba—no beer included.

Scotland GM4YSN QSL card with running buck

Tom, KB8UUZ, DX Engineering technical writer, has made 66 contacts with Scotland, which was ranked as the 307th Most-Wanted DXCC Entity per Clublog as of April. Here are a few of his QSL cards below.

Scotland GM4FDM QSL card
Scotland QSL Card
Scotland QSL Card, GM4WJA
Scotland QSL Card, MM0AMW
Scotland QSL Card, MM0AMW

Wayne, K8FF, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, received QSL cards from GM0GAV and GB2ELH from the Eshaness Lighthouse during the annual International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend. Read this OnAllBands blog post from Troy, KE8DRR, about his lighthouse activation in 2022.

Scotland QSL Card, GB2ELH
Scotland QSL Card, GM0GAV

Dave, K8DV, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, reached GB1H from Orkney (IOTA EU-009) in September 2006 on 20M CW. Orkney Islands, population 22,000, is an archipelago in Scotland’s Northern Isles off the north coast of Great Britain.

Scotland QSL Card, GB1H

And finally, congratulations to members of the DX Engineering team and many contributors to this blog who broke through the pileups to contact Sable Island CY0S in March: K3LR, N3RA, K8DV, K8FF, KI8R, K2GRG, KE8DRR, KG9Z, and N8NB.

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