An interesting 35-page document compiled by Bruno F5JYD covering Bouvet and ham radio. For example, did you know the very first ever QSO with Bouvet took place in July 1951 with a station in Scotland !
READ BOUVET ISLAND HAM RADIO
PS: Nice to see the author of this documentation made QSO with 3Y0J.
In my post yesterday I had mentioned Egil Rogstad. Today, I detected the photo of his very rare hand-written QSL card for a CW QSO on the 7th. Nov. 1950 from Maudheim base (Antarctica) with one of the top DXers at that time, W2HUQ. The call-sign was LA4QC. For more info see: http://www.waponline.it/maudheim-multinational-base-new-entry-on-wap-wada-directory-as-wap-mnb-16/ (tnx I1HYW). The page quotes the info published by the Swedish QST Magazine in late 1950 that LA4QC “shouts every Saturday at 19.30 Swedish time CQ LA on 14300 kc and listens for answers only on 14020 CW.” Some more photos relating to LA4QC and the NBS Expedition are shown in Tom’s (K8CX) Ham Gallery:
http://hamgallery.com/qsl/country/Antarctica/la4qc.htm. The glaciologist Charles Swithinbank (1926-2014) was 24 years then. Any activity from Bouvet at that time should have been known, and not being hidden in a mystery.
Obviously, not much interest was shown towards Bouvet Island as a possible place for scientific research after WW II. In early 1955, an expert team visited Bouvet on behalf of the South African Weather Bureau to look for a suitable place for erecting a weather station. The brief investigations with two landings by boat, one close to Cape Meteor, near Cape Fie, made clear that the island would not provide a safe area for a possible station. Probably the idea for running a meteorological station on Bouvet would have been abandonned. However, the situation changed when only few years later a large new ice-free landmass to the west coast of the island was detected, which was named Nyrøysa (“New Rubble”) by the Norwegians. This new area was examined more closely in the following years, and since the late 1970ies several attempts were made by the Norwegian Polar Institute to build and run a weather reporting station from there, and only this circumstance provided the opportunity for some Norwegian technicians and scientists with an Amateur Radio licence, like John Snuggerud (LA1VC and LA1VC/G), to bring Bouvet “on the air” for Radio Amateurs for a short period of time as a kind of side effect. All such operations were made from Nyrøsa. The history of Amateur Radio activities from Bouvet would have been quite different without the new landmass. However, 3Y0J was the first radio operation not being allowed to land on Nyrøsa, but obliged to look for an alternative camp site instead.
Very interesting read and good to see an old colleague Petrus 3Y0E mentioned. He stood-in at short notice after the original Norwegian medic on this 3 month summer biological survey was injured in Cape Town. Also thanks to Norbert for some informative commentary. I spent time in the Antarctic in ‘76. – ‘79 with one of the original members of Norwegian-British-Swedish Expedition, Dr. Charles Swithinbank. Also, was with him on his last trip there in 2008/9 southern summer season. He was 90-odd years old by then and still pretty fit – He was world leading expert in Antarctic Glaciology and quite a guy!
In the August 1951 issue of “The Shortwave Magazine” G6QB wrote in his “DX Commentary” column the following about an operation by LN7B: “Another New One? | Here’s one for the Phone crowd in the shape of LN7B, a Norwegian-operated station on Bouvet Island, Antarctica. He was worked by GM2DBX (Methilhill) at 1525 on July 2 , and ‘DBX was told that it was the first QSO with the U.K. LN7B was still trying to contact Norway, not having worked an LA up till then. Bouvet Island apparently is [in italics] listed in some quarters as a separate country. Any further news on this item will be welcome” (p. 348). (source: https://worldradiohistory.com/UK/Short-Wave-UK/50s/SWM-1951-08.pdf)
Probably the only “witness” of this operation was GM2DBX who made this QSO. What a pity that the operator’s name was not told. July is deep winter on Bouvet Island, a very unusual time for a stay there.
At that time there was a Norwegian-Swedish-British Antarctic Expedition investigating the area of Dronning Maud Land between 1949 and 1952. The name of the Norwegian radio operator joining this expedition was Egil Rogstad (1908-87). The name of the expedition ship was “Norsel” which sailed to Antarctica three times, once in Jan. 1951. Also a larger whaling factory ship, the “Thorshovdi”, was used for transportation. The base camp was established at 71° 03′ S, 10° 55′ W (Maudheim Base). “Radio contact was regularly maintained (generally using telegraphy) with Norway and South Africa […] overall weather reports were transmitted to Cape Town routinely for the whole duration of the expedition.” (source: https://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/resources/expeditions/nbsx/) This page also provides a list of books and reports on this NBSAE expedition.
The “Norsel” might have passed Bouvet Island, but it is quite unlikely that this happend in July 1951. Resupplying an Antarctic base would have been very unusual during the Antarctic winter. So LN7B still remains a “mystery”.
To provide a somewhat better transcription of the call-signs in the 1977 log book:
QSOs made by 3Y3CC with: LA1KI, OE1ER, OZ7HT, SM3EVR, LA4DD
QSOs made by 3Y1VC with: ZS5WT, JR6RRD, W6ID, LA2PH/mm, OH2BH, SM3PZ, OE1ER, OZ1LO, OH2QV, SM3RL, LA2KD, SM3EVR, UL7LAW, [PY1?Q], SM3CXS, YU2DX, OH2BC, OH2QV, YU2RLZ, YU2RTW, SM3AUW, 4X4FU, SM5AQB, YU2RCZ, SM3CXS, SM3AUW, OH2BCD