* LA7DFA *            JX7DFA 144MHZ            * JX7DFA *
As JX7DFA I have worked 360 complete 2-way contacts on the 144MHz band. The shortest distance worked is 900km (OY9JD). You rarely get anything for free from 71 degrees north, so I always used maximum power and stacked antennas (VHF-life in the arctic is definately too short for QRP). The location is close to the ocean and has a clear takeoff towards Europe. The sea gives nearly optimum reflection and thus maximum gain at certain elevations. With my antennaheight (4M tower + ~15M asl) I got maximum gain at 0.5, 3.0 and 5.5 degrees of elevation. The lowest lobe was especially useful, since it was perfect for long distance terrestial contacts as well as EME. The road to the airport disappeared in a violen storm...
When the meteorshowers provided a good rate, I could 'quite often' work up to 2200km. I also heard reflections from DK3WG in all skeds we had despite of a 2379km distance. Unfortunately we never completed. It is difficult to get enough high altitude meteors with such a small common window.
On EME I could often hear my own signal loud, benefiting from 'sea gain'. My own signal (4-yagi) was often louder than 16 yagi stations! I did hear my own signal using <40W sometimes.

I started my first 2M operation in 1992. I made a new selfsupporting tower for the yagis. I managed to get the 4 yagis operational in November, but sadly the amplifier was not shipped to the island (the aircraft was fully loaded with cargo). I used a 70W brick amplifier for the first 15 contacts.

Antennas 1992, before they smashed into the ground

The first station worked was LA4XGA via meteorscatter. I worked 15 stations during the Geminids shower. 14'th Dec, I had skeds with several G-stations. I went down to the shack in really stormy WX. The SWR was way out of range and I soon discovered all 4 yagis were crushed! I barely could make it back to the main HQ (200M from the shack). It's definately the worst storm I have ever experienced!

My personal 'antenna losses' were nearly 100USD for every contact on this trip (plus investing in new PA etc). Stll some stations having severe difficulties sending a QSL along with 1USD for return postage... It's a funny world!

In 1994/95 I returned and bought 4 new yagis. My first EME QSO from Jan Mayen was with LA8YB who did work at Jan Mayen Radio in the 50/60's! This trip the EME operation was successful and I worked more than 150 stations on 2M. I worked 'my neighbour' JW0BY via EME too. In the ARRL EME contest I managed 49 stations despite of heavy Auroral activity. The last day of the contest I could not operate because the antennas were blown out of position all the time...

One of the most interesting QSO this time was with PA3BIY during the Leonids meteorshower. Several long bursts were received (longest burst received by JX7DFA was 53 seconds - until end of sequence). The distance is ~2200km. The recordings are both in highspeed and slowspeed plus a 'talk' section from JX7DFA...


[ Thanks to the EME'ers sponsoring me on this trip - it's expensive to buy new stacks ;-) ]

In 1996/97 I had 2 yagis and worked a good number of stations including SM1BSA 1959km via Auroral-E (Region1 record in 1996!) and SM5MIX 1780km via Ionoscatter. Later, one of the yagis was destroyed..., but managed to keep the other operational during the winter. See my MS report in Dubus for July-August 96. In January 1997 I worked DK8ZJ 2356km via MS for a new terrestial oDX. The DK8ZJ contact was actually one of the easiest MS contacts from JX7DFA. I received several burst in every period! Here is the audio received by DK8ZJ.

I activated IQ51 during the 1996/97 stay and worked LA4XGA via MS. The takeoff from the old Met. station was very poor, so just one contact was completed. I also planned activating IQ61 using a battery pack, IC-706 and a 10 ele yagi, but the day we wanted to go (walk for 10 hours...) it was snowing heavily (in July...) so I cancelled my trip. Photo: JX7DFA
In 2000/01 I did my last 2M operation from Jan Mayen. This time I bought 4 M2 yagis with better gain than my 'old' QueDee antennas. I worked a few new ones via EME, but was not really satisfied since I did not complete any terrestial QSO's over 2100km. Photo: JX7DFA Photo: JX7DFA

I did all the elevation of the antennas in a simple way. I had a metal rod near the center of the H-frame. I used it for adjusting the elevation of the antennas (used a 'satellite tool' to measure elevation). The H-frame was not completely thightened, so during hard gusting wind, they could elevate by themselves... Overall, this did work great. It was not always 'nice' to go outdoors to do this in the darkness with gale or storm during skeds or contests, but one got to sacrifice something :-)
I hope you who worked me enjoyed it! I lost 5 yagis on 2M and the other stacks were very corroded after months in the spray of salt water. Its quite a struggle to keep everything operational and to endure long skeds with few or no signals heard. The worst times were early morning, dead tired with no reflections for the past 3 hours and still many more skeds... Are we morans, idiots or just plain stupid? A second operator was #1 on my wishlist at those occations ;-). Fortunately all suffering was forgotten before the next shower started. (With an even longer skedlist...) Anyway, the feeling of receiving a meteorburst after 30 minutes of only white noise heard, is hard to beat!
JX7DFA statistics 144MHz

Propagation Initial
1'st wkd
Max. dist. wkd
Max. dist. hrd
DK8ZJ 2356Km
DK3WG 2379Km
30 QSO >2000Km
LU7DZ 12247Km
VK3AMZ 16003Km
SM1BSA 1959Km
SM1BSA 1959Km
Copied in Estonia
SM5MIX 1780Km
SM7BAE 2000Km


We usually have at least one or two tropo openings to Norway during summer (900-1600km) and even more frequently to Iceland (600km). I did not make any contacts on 144MHz, but heard several coastal radio stations on 156.8MHz.

  • My experience with long distance meteorscatter gave me this impression.
  • 1000-2000km Strong signals.
  • 2000-2150km Rapidly decreasing signal strength.
  • 2150-2400km Faint, normally barely detectable.

Auroral-Es has been heard on 170MHz at times. The best opening I noticed was @18Z 3'rd March 1999.