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Preparations Under Way for January DXpedition to Iran

12/17/2014

Preparations continue on the part of the Rockall DX Group to make Iran — #33 on ClubLog’s DXCC Most Wanted List — available through a DXpedition to Kish Island (IOTA AS-166). Look for EP6T starting on January 16. While the emphasis will be on 160 meters, the DXpedition will operate on all bands, 160 through 10 meters. EP6T plans to remain active until January 26. Organizers say the theme of the expedition will be “friendship and cultural tolerance.”

“We hope to make a lot of people happy,” team member Luc Kerkhofs, ON4IA said. “The setup will be about the same as [previous operations] 9U4U and TN2T, but we realize that it will be a much more difficult path.” Kerkhofs, who has installed some impressive low-band receiving antennas at his Meeuwen, Belgium, location, said that if space is available, the team will erect some Beverages for short and long path to North America, with a pair of end-fire phased delta loop receiving antennas as backup.

A dedicated 160 meter station will be on the air starting at local sunrise and sunset for the first two nights, in order to work as many Europeans as possible and to check when signals peak to North America. The planned transmitting antenna is a 26-meter (85.3 feet) vertical with 50 quarter-wave radials. Kerkhofs said the operators will attempt to be fair in giving all continents a crack at working Iran on 160. After the first two nights, operators will start concentrating on North American stations, although they concede that paths to North America on Top Band will be dicey and of short duration.

Since word first spread of the planned DXpedition, many groups and individuals have offered support, including the Northern California DX Foundation. The organizers say that preparations are “progressing smoothly and according to plan.” M0URX will be the QSL manager. The EP6T log will be uploaded to Logbook of The World (LoTW), once the DXpedition has concluded.

The group will use Elecraft K3 transceivers plus amplifiers. Although 160 and 30 meters are not allocated to Amateur Radio in Iran, the group has obtained permission to use them for the EP6T DXpedition. There will be no 6 meter operation, however, since that band is allocated to fixed, mobile and broadcasting services in Iran.

Iran has 80 million citizens and only 13 radio amateurs. As a result of the group’s more than 3-year effort to obtain permission to operate in Iran, 60 students have already passed their licensing exams and should be able to receive an EP call in the near future.

 



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