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

Vanuatu QRV in April

OnAllBands is kicking off the busy DXing month of April by featuring QSL cards from the Republic of Vanuatu—an island country in the South Pacific about 588 miles southeast of the Solomon Islands, 744 miles west of Fiji, and 1,090 miles east of northern Australia. Vanuatu’s Y-shaped 4,739-square-mile archipelago consists of 83 small islands, 65 of which are inhabited.

Vanuatu, which became independent from France and the United Kingdom in 1980, is scheduled to be on the air until April 11 thanks to the multi-operator YJ0VK DXpedition (40-6M SSB, CW, and FT8) from Port Vila on Efate Island. Port Vila is Vanuatu’s capital and most populous city, serving as home to 50,000 people out of the country’s total population of around 336,000.

Among other gear, YJ0VK will be relying on the Icom IC-7300 and 40-6M DX Commander Expedition Portable HF Multi-Band Vertical Antenna (below), available exclusively in North America—along with other DX Commander antennas and accessories—through DX Engineering.

What do hams say about the DX Commander Expedition Antenna?

Five Stars: I gave mine a proper workout recently for Winter Field Day and was very pleased with the performance using 20 radials (I made over 70 digital contacts using 5W). Wide bandwidth easily covers all designated bands well under 2:1 SWR. Very lightweight and portable, it took me about 20 minutes to set up (mainly uncoiling wire and organizing guy lines). Materials provided are high quality and the entire antenna is modular, so if one thing breaks you can just replace what you need. The wire is very easy to work with and is perfect for radials (it’s like a wet noodle). I look forward to using it for Summer Field Day in a few months and during other portable ops.

The 2024-spec version of the 36.75-foot DX Commander Expedition comes with new and improved speed slots, screw base, and quick-release elements for fast deployment and teardown. The antenna measures only 2.13 feet when collapsed for easy fitment in a backpack. The Expedition package comes with sturdy telescoping fiberglass mast, aluminum ground and driven plates, spreader plates, EzyClamp stay-up kit, space connectors, stainless fasteners, nickel-plated brass coaxial connector, guying rope, shock-cord, and DX10 antenna wire.

DX Engineering Gear on Its Way to Vanuatu in Fall 2024

DX Engineering is sponsoring the October YJ0VV DXpedition to Vanuatu. Stay tuned for updates on DX Engineering equipment, including DXE-400MAX Low-Loss 50-ohm Coaxial Cable, that will be traveling with the YJ0VV team to this 116th ranked Most Wanted DXCC Entity.

QSL Cards

The active hams at DX Engineering have had great success contacting Vanuatu 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, earned this QSL card from YJ0VK in August 2010, 20M SSB.

Wayne, K8FF, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, worked YJ0A in February 2023 on 15M FT8.

George, K3GP, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, contacted YJ0XX from Efate Island back in August 2004 on 20M SSB.

Per the back of the QSL card, the photo on the front was taken by the DXpedition team during a night visit to Tanna Island’s Mount Yasur, known as “The Light of the Pacific”—an appropriate moniker for a volcano that has been active for 800 years. The volcano, one of several active ones in Vanuatu, is a popular tourist attraction that lets visitors get remarkably close to the summit’s circular crater. Its accessibility prompted the local Vanuatu government to alert sightseers as to the volcano’s current danger level, with zero meaning “normal” and five meaning “very large eruption.” If you’re planning to get up close and personal with Mount Yasur, you should be warned that an eruption may occur at any level.

Efate Island, which was the location of three seasons of the long-running reality show Survivor, is the most populous of Vanuatu’s islands at 66,000 inhabitants. Tanna Island has a population of approximately 30,700.

Tom, KB8UUZ, DX Engineering technical writer, received this card from YJ0ABR.

Dave, N8NB, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, reached YJ0AKA in December 2004 on 40M CW. The card shows a market scene from Port Vila.

Dave, K8DV, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, reached YJ0X in October 2014 on 12M CW, 10M SSB, and 17M RTTY. In April 2009, he made contact with YJ0TXF on 30M CW.

Want to upgrade your DXing capabilities? Find everything you need at DX Engineering, including transceivers, amplifiers, antennas, 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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