Amateur Radio from Desecheo

Area and History

Continent: North America - Coordinates: 18N 68W, FK56 - Zones: WAZ 8, ITU 11 - IOTA: NA-095 - Allocations: K/N/WP5

Area and HistoryzoomDesecheo (Spanish: desechar = to throw away, desecheo = thrown away) is a small uninhabited island of the archipelago of Puerto Rico located in the northeast of the Mona Passage; 21 km from the west coast (Punta Higüero) of the main island of Puerto Rico and 50 km northeast of Mona Island. It has a land area of 1.5 km² (exactly 1,524,613 m², or 0.589 sq mi, or 376.74 acres). Politically, the island is administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Desecheo, which has no known bodies of surface water, reaches a maximum elevation of 218 m and has an annual precipitation, on average, of 1020 mm (40.15 in). The lack of surface water limits its flora to thorny shrubs, small trees, weeds and various cacti, including the endangered Harrisia portoricensis. Fauna includes various species of seabirds, three endemic species of lizard (Ameiva desechensis, Anolis desechensis and Sphaerodactylus levinsi), introduced goats and rats, and a population of Rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) introduced from Cayo Santiago in 1967 as part of a study on adaptation. Before the introduction of rhesus monkeys the island was the largest nesting colony of the Brown Booby, however, no species presently nests on the island. Because of a healthy reef and clear waters, with common visibility ranging from 30 to 45 m (100 to 150 feet), Desecheo is a very popular place for diving fans. Although diving is permitted around the island, no public use is allowed on the island because of safety considerations associated with unexploded ordnance that remain on the refuge. Trespassers are subject to arrest by Federal law enforcement officers. Desecheo is often used as a drop off point for illegal aliens and drugs.

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KV4KV - Pre DXCC, 1978

KV4KV - Pre DXCC, 1978zoomJohn Ackley, KV4KV (now KP2A) and W0DX, Robert Denniston VP2VI (who was past president of the ARRL 1966 - 1972, and past president of IARU 1966 - 1974) operated from Desecheo in October, 1978. The operation was illegal and not vüvalid for DXCC. (QSL ÷AQ)

KP4AM/D - The first DXCC activation

March 1979

KP4AM/D - The first DXCC activationzoomThe American Radio Relay League designated Navassa Island a DXCC entity in 1955; Desecheo in 1979. The designations were based on the islands' status as insular territories administered by the Department of the Interior. Although the ARRL later repealed the DXCC rule upon which the designations were based, the islands retained their DXCC status under a grandfather provision approved by the ARRL DXCC Advisory Committee.
Operators were: Don McDaniel, N4EA (now SK); Pedro Piza, KP4Q; Roger Burt, N4ZC; Bill Kirber, KP4DSD; John Ackey, KV4KV (now KP2A); Dave Novoa, KP4AM (now W4DN) - QSLs were issued via NCDXF, Northern California DX Federation.
How does it feel to be the very first one to work an all time "new one"? 73, Steven M. Lawrence, WB6RSE, recalls. (Courtesy of the Author, quoted from SCDXC Bulletin, February 2003)

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KP2A/D - #2

June 1981

KP2A/D - #2zoomThe first of the three KP2A/D expeditions organized by the Inetrnational DX Foundation, IDXF, "established by KP2A in late 1978 to promote international goodwill and understanding by international person-to-person contacts via amateur radio." - Bob Schenck, N2OO/9M6OO (Spratly, Navassa, Wake, Pratas...) remembers: "This IDXF DXpedition held the record for the most QSO's by a DXpedition for many years. Probably the first of the so called "super DXpeditions". 19 operators. 7 stations. Two operating sites about a mile apart. Hormel Chili and Spaghettio's for almost every meal! Hermit crabs all over the place! Ice cream on a DXpedition??? Desecheo Hilton on the beach! Vertical set up underneath one of the stations! Wind! The flea tent! HOT! Desolate! Snorkelling in the cove. Pizza in Mayaguez! Zany Pat!" (42.743 QSO's). - Homepage: linkext. Link

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23-26 July, 1984

WP4ATF, HI3RST/KP5 - #3zoomOrganized by NCDXF. Operators: Rodolfo Santos, HI3RST; Jose Maldonado, WP4ATF; Felipe Javier, NP4Z; Rafael Pena, WP4D; Luis Ortiz, NP4C; Carmelo Camacho, KP4HC; Carlos Flores, NP4KA. - QSL-Manager: Jim Shearer, W0JRN

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NR5M, K5LZO, KA5SBS/KP5 - #4

6-11 March,1985

NR5M, K5LZO, KA5SBS/KP5 - #4zoomThe Texas DX Society mounted a DXpedition to Desecheo in 1985. Operators included Charles Coleman II, K5LZO (SK); Charles Coleman III, KA5SBS; Frank Wyatt, KC5M; Thomas Shapiro, KD5SP; Dennis Motschenbacher, KZ5M (now K7BV); Bob Evans, N5DU (now K5WA); Luis Ortiz, NP4C; Carlos Flores Roman, NP4KA; George De Montrond, NR5M, and Jose Maldonado, WP4ATF. - 17.000 QSO's - QSL-Manager: Tom, KD5SP.

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W6JKV, KB6AFZ/KP5 - #5

6-13 June, 1985

W6JKV, KB6AFZ/KP5 - #5zoomOperators: Karl Hubler, KB6AFZ; Jim Treybig, W6JKV. QSL via Home Calls. Operation permit C1-85-02, dated 22 May, 1985. Operating from the northwest side of the island. The first expedition operating 50 and 144 MHz, and Oscar 10"B" - QSO total: 537 on 50MHz with TS660 & 400W amplifier, 11 ele 50-feet-boom by K6MYC, 100 feet above water. - 196 via Oscar 10 with TR9500, Mirage D1010 and KLM 18C (435MHz), TR9130, Mirage B3010 and KLM 14C (144MHz). - 2 on 144MHz with Oscar equipment and antenna KLM 13LBA.

NP4TB, WD5BJT/KP5 - #6

Mid-April, 1987

NP4TB, WD5BJT/KP5 - #6zoomA short operation by Roberto J. Sicilia, NP4TB (QSL-Manager), and Charles H.Otnott, III, WD5BJT, who obtained operating permit CI-8701 on 10 March, 1987, and operated from the helicopter landing pad on the northwest side of the island.

NJ7D, KP4HL/KP5 -#7

January, 1988

NJ7D, KP4HL/KP5 -#7zoomOperators: James M. Dart, jr, NJ7D, and Israel Irizzary, KP4HL. Israel, a retired Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer (COMM3), graduated from CG Radioman 'A' School in April 1979, served aboard CG Group Atlantic City, NJ; CG COMMSTA Portsmouth/NMN; CG RADSTA San Juan/NMR; CG COMMSTA MIAMI/NMA..MLCLANT/GOVIS; ESU New Orleans, was deployed with COMCARIBRON Squadron (USS Wainwright); Plankowner LESUP Team Miami FL. Previous call signs: KB4CCX in 1982; KP4HL while stationed in Puerto Rico (Also custodian of Military Station KP4CGB). Currently residing in Summerfield, FL.

KP2A/KP5 - #8

March, 1989

KP2A/KP5 - #8zoomThe second KP2A/KP5 expedition. Operators: John Ackley, KP2A (Licensee); Allen, N2KW; Arnold, NK4X; Paul, VP2EXX; Wynn, W6CDR; Harry, W8KKF.- QSL-Manager: Terry F. Baxter, N6CW

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KP2A/KP5 - #9


KP2A/KP5 - #9zoomThe third KP2A/KP5 expedition. - Operators: John Ackley, KP2A; Lee Reisenweber, VP2VE; Steve Sarasohn, WU2W (now W2ZR); Jody Millspaugh, VP5JM; Kenneth Kopp, K0PP; Ken Silverman, WM2C. QSL-Manager: Richard J. Moen, N7RO

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N1DX-K0BX/KP5 - #10

11-14 March, 1992

N1DX-K0BX/KP5 - #10zoomOperators: Jack Corson, N1DX; Bruce Frahm, K0BJ. 6300 QSO's in 73 hours with one FT757 Spider Mobile whip and 150' longwire strung atop bushes less than 7' above ground. "Our first joint operation since our 1979 Yankee Trader Round-the-World DXpedition signing ZF, KZ5, HC2, CE0A, VR6, KH8, 5W, H4, YJ, 9N, and ZD7. - A small cove and 100' pebble beach, accessible only trough a 15' channel in the rocks, provide the sole landing opportunity which, depending on wind and seas, can be very treacherous. From there a quarter-mile hike over rugged rock outcrops and a rock-strewn beach led to our operating site at the helicopter pad, affording a beautiful view of rocky shore and hills above and clear propagation from SSW trough NW to NE."

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KW2P etc./KP5 - #11

28 December, 1992 - 3 January, 1993

KW2P etc./KP5 - #11zoomOperators: Robert E. Steward, jr, KW2P; William "Randy" Rowe, N0TG; Murray D. Adams, WA4DAN; David W. Bowker, W0RJU (now K1FK); M. Ronald Oates, jr., AA4VK. - 23.000 QSO's. No amplifiers used. Universal antennas furnished by Radio Works of Potrsmouth, VA.

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N3KS-K3LP/KP5 - #12

15-17 December, 2005

N3KS-K3LP/KP5 - #12zoomKamal ("Kam") Siragelidiu, N3KS, and David Collingham, K3LP, operated from Desecheo Island for just two days, as time permitted, as part of a work related project. K3LP/KP5 operated SSB on 40, 15, 17 & 12 meters. His 1st QSO was with W9DX, 12/16/05, 1531 GMT, 21 Mhz. USB, and his last QSO was with W8LGJ/QRP, 12/17/05, 1736 GMT, 24.900 MHz, USB. Dave made a total of 3,502 QSO's (3,652 - 150 Dup's) and operated 19.5 hours on the air from the island. - N3KS/KP5 operated CW and SSB on 75/80, 30 and 20 meters. His 1st QSO was with AB0X, 12/16/05, 0410 GMT, 3.793 LSB and last QSO was with VE1DX, 12/17/05, 1730 GMT, 14.195 USB. Kam made a total of 3,727 QSO's and operated 21.5 hours on the air from the island. - John King, W3ADC, was QSL Manager. Homepage: linkext. Link

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K5D - #13

13-26 February, 2009

K5D - #13zoomThe US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has selected a group of hams led by veteran DXpeditioners Bob Allphin, K4UEE, and Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, to lead a DXpedition to Desecheo Island, KP5 (IOTA NA-095), in early 2009. Desecheo currently sits at number 7 on DX Magazine's Most Wanted list. The purpose of the KP1-5 Project is to work toward a solution to the closure of Desecheo and Navassa islands to Amateur Radio operators by achieving lawful, periodic access to these islands pursuant to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorization.
While operating from these islands is a worthwhile goal, the KP1-5 Project is dedicated to a long term partnership that jointly benefits the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Amateur Radio operators worldwide. KP5 Expedition Homepage: linkext. Link

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Photo Gallery, Sound Files, Video Files

This is the KP5D team: linkext. Link

Best video performance with VLC Player linkext. Link

Download [1.4 MB]K5D - CW 20m - 13 Feb 2009 - 17:00 [MP3 , 1.4 MB]
Download [732.8 KB]K5D - SSB 40m - 14 Feb 09 03:40 [MP3 , 732.8 KB]
Download [1.8 MB]Talking to Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, at Desecheo, 23 February, 2009 [MP3 , 1.8 MB]
Download [1.7 MB]Third KP5 interview with Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, 6 February, 2009 (04:40) [MP3 , 1.7 MB]
Download [3.9 MB]Second KP5 interview with Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, 7 January, 2009 (09:25) [MP3 , 3.9 MB]
Download [2.4 MB]First KP5 interview with Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, 24 November 2008 (14:20) [MP3 , 2.4 MB]
Download [31.9 KB]US House of Representatives, Bill H.R. 1183, 2005 [PDF , 31.9 KB]
Download [2.1 MB]Video, Glenn Johnson, W0GJ - A52A, Bhutan 2000 [AVI , 2.1 MB]
Download [1.6 MB]Video, Bob Allphin, K4UEE - A52A Bhutan, 2000 [AVI , 1.6 MB]

Press releases

Postlogue press release
All team members have safely returned home. The K5D DXpedition, 12-26 February 2009, netted 115,783 QSOs, including one QSO with the International Space Station. The DXpedition ranks #7th for all-time number of QSOs, and the #1 DXpedition with the most 30M contacts. More importantly, we are confident that thousands of radio amateurs worldwide now have a QSO with Desecheo for an all-time new one--our overall #1 goal!
Desecheo was #2 Most Wanted in Asia and #3 Most Wanted in Europe. We are happy to report that 40% of our contacts were with Asia and Europe!!! Another important goal achieved !
You may QSL directly to N2OO, but online QSL requests are available and highly recommended. For details see our website: linkext. Link. Logs will be uploaded to LoTW and posted early next year.
The Desecheo 2009 team wants to thank everyone for working us and helping to make this DXpedition such a success!

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