Bhutan (A5A), ‘big guns’ and why missing a DXPedition is just fine by me.

I’m pretty sure I’ve got next to no chance of getting Bhutan (A5A) in the log this time round.  Now hopefully for the sake of irony I will be proven wrong, but the facts are as follows:

1) I work full time, and its the start of spring here.  The bands are often closed by the time I get home, leaving only the weekends.  That rules out the ‘bum in seat’ approach aka persistence which is so often all that it takes.

2) ConDX doesn’t seem to be there.  Today (saturday) I had the chance to indulge in my favorite hobby.  WAE SSB was on, and I could hear and work quite a few stations easily.  However, none of those stations were in the region surrounding Bhutan.  Jumping over to JT65, I found I could hear and work quite a few stations on 17M (which A5A has used a lot), but my station wasn’t getting heard around that region once more.  Lastly, I haven’t so much as heard a single beep out of A5A.

3) There is still work to be done on my station.  I have an Icom IC-7300 with a great scope, and an Ameritron AL-572 amplifier capable of well over our legal limit in VK, so it just loafs.  However, because of my current living arrangements I haven’t been able to invest in a tower until recently.  As such, using only basic antennas my reception is often noisy (no nulls), and I can’t push the power in the direction I’d like.

So it seems really likely I’ll miss Bhutan this time.  However, if you stop and think about it, its not the end of the world.

Imagine for a second we could all work DX whenever it showed up.  Here’s what would happen:

A) DXing would be about as exciting as a skype phone call.
B) We wouldn’t be motivated to improve our skills and stations; most importantly we wouldn’t learn and grow.
C) There would be less DXPeditions.

Now point C might seem a bit strange, but think about it in economic terms – supply and demand.  If everyone had every DXPedition in their log, there wouldn’t be any demand for further DXPeditions.  Of course, as new people enter the hobby places will need to be activated sporadically, but not anywhere nearly as frequently.

Just think about how many DXPeditions have aims these days – eg, ‘we’re concentrating on low bands’, ‘we’re CW only’, or even ‘we want to give ATNOs to NA’.  If propagation wasn’t a factor, everyone from every continent would work every band and mode on every DXPedition.

And that’s where the real rub comes in.  Imagine DXing where everyone reaches HR in ~10 years, and there are nowhere near as many DXPeditions – doesn’t sound like a very long lived hobby does it; sounds like a FAD to me.

On the other hand, we currently enjoy a hobby where one can always look to the future and say ‘I need Mongolia on CW’, or at worst ‘I’ve yet to work P5 on digital’.  There is always a bright future to hope for; always something to look forward to and dream of.

And that’s why I’m not going to get too upset when I miss Bhutan this time round… But hey, in the mean time, I’m going to improve my station in any way I can, so that condx willing, I’m one of the deserving when I get the next shot.

The golden days of DXing are ahead of us!  Always be a believer!  And don’t let ANYONE convince you that a ‘big gun’ stole your ATNO! For they are just men, not the gods of condx!


Further Confirmation: HAM Radio Currently Permitted in Turkey

Tevfik TA1HZ (part of the TC Special Wireless Activity Team TCSWAT) was kind enough to email me the following information:

“Dear OM,

as of this time there is no curfew imposed on amateur radio in Turkey. The country is now under “extraordinary circumstances law” but BTK The Communications Authority has not released any announcement about ham radio restrictions. Some local professional radio and tv stations have their licences revoked but there is no information about any restrictions for amateur radio. If I recieve any info I will share it with you. Till then 73.”

It would seem that someone is behind an elaborate hoax, and that the reports that Turkish Ham Radio operators have had their licences revoked is completely untrue.  Whilst this is good news for all, I am a little dismayed to find out that someone would take advantage of the recent unrest in Turkey by creating this hoax.


Exclusive! Turkish Amateur Licences NOT revoked: TA1ED

I recently received this response to my posts covering the story that Turkish Ham licences have been revoked:

Good Morning from Turkey not correct news, life is proceeding normally. best regards from TA


I would like to thank Metin TA1ED for taking the time to let us know that Hams are currently unaffected in Turkey, despite the recent reports to the contrary.

Another Turkish Ham, Osman TA5AOD has also stated that reports are false:

Osman Doruk ·

This news is big lie. 73 from Turkey. TA5AOD

I am sure it is a very tense time right now in Turkey, and on behalf of the world wide community I’d like to state that our thoughts are with you and we hope you are safe.



Translated Announcement from Turkish Regulator RTUK


“Radio and Television Supreme Council , 19.07.2016 date of his in the coup attempt in the extraordinary meeting feto / PCM organization with iltisakl , the associated and support are found to be in all the media service provider organizations ( radio and television organizations) unanimously canceled all publishing rights and licenses in the RTÜK before It has . It respectfully informs the public.”

It would seem all licences issued by the RTUK have officially been cancelled.  If you can offer a better translation / confirm the wording, please comment below.

Source:, accessed 21/07/2016.

Original Text:

Radyo ve Televizyon Üst Kurulu, 19.07.2016 tarihinde yaptığı olağanüstü toplantıda darbe teşebbüsünde bulunan FETÖ/PDY örgütü ile iltisaklı, ilişkili ve destek içinde olduğu tespit edilen tüm medya hizmet sağlayıcı kuruluşların (radyo ve televizyon kuruluşları) RTÜK nezdindeki bütün yayın hak ve lisanslarını oybirliğiyle iptal etmiştir.

Kamuoyuna saygıyla duyurulur.

[HOAX] Turkey Revokes Ham Radio Licences




Turkey gouvernement revokes 3213 ham radio licenses
It has been confirmed by  Supreme Council of radio and television of Turkey (RTUK) the news that Mr. Erdogan – the president of Turkey has revoked 3213 national ham radio licenses. The HF radio in Turkey is now silent. No transmissions are allowed.


Following the coup d’etat – of July 5th – many things are changing in Turkey.  TV , Radio licenses have been cancelled and this involved also our colleagues : ham radio amateurs. The number of amateur radio operators in Turkey is not too much, but according to the site it looks like that around 3000 licenses have been revoked. Who’s transmitting outside turkey without licence should be considered a pirate – said Mr Erdogan.

The Supreme Council of radio and television of Turkey (RTUK) has cancelled the licenses of over 20 radio and television broadcasters as well ham radio operators.

The Telsiz ve Radyo Amatörleri Cemiyeti (TRAC)  is the national non-profit organization for amateur radio enthusiasts in turkey.  The TRAC was founded in 1962 as the Türkiye Radyo Amatörleri Cemiyeti, adopting its current name in 1980. It’s located in Istanbul, with branches in 44 locations across Turkey. TRAC is the national member society representing Turkey in the IARU. Now, it has been closed down.

We look forward to have news from Turkey ham radio league.

Turkey’s coup in numbers

21,000 private teachers have licences removed
15,000 suspended from education ministry
8,000 police officers detained or suspended
6,000 soldiers detained
1,500 staff at Ministry of Finance dismissed
3213 ham radio operators with license revoked.
2745 judges dismissed
1,577 deans – Education board demands resignation
492 sacked from Religious Affairs Directorate
399 from Ministry of Family and Social Policies stripped of responsibilities
257 fired from the prime minister’s office
100 intelligence officials sacked
47 district governors dismissed
30 provincial governors dismissed
20 news websites blocked

My Current Transmitter Stack

I’m quite pleased with my current setup 🙂  It consists of a Palstar AT2K Antenna Tuner, and an Ameritron AL-572 Amplifier.  The amplifier has a lot more head room than the AL-811 I used to run, which is nice as tube life should be significantly longer, which is a good thing when you’re as addicted to radio as I am!  The meters are the CN-801 series from Daiwa.