NEWS UPDATE – Hal, W8HC got in touch again to say phone operation from Adak has been extremely difficult and that’s why the team has concentrated on CW and FT8. However, they have decided to make a concerted effort on SSB and will be on 14.260 for most of the remainder of the operation. Keep an ear out on that frequency.

Rob, N7QT on SSB

Walt, N6XG operating 40CW

JULY 5 / NA-070 CANCELLED – Members of the Russian Robinson Club, operating as KL7RRC from Alaska is Adak Island (NA-039) are sad to report that due to circumstances beyond their control, they will be cutting short this IOTA activation originally set to occur on both Adak and Kiska Island (NA-070).

You may recall that original plans were for the five member team to fly into Adak and be met by a chartered sailboat. Two weeks ago, SV Seal was one day from Dutch Harbor to pick up the team’s gear when an unfortunate medical emergency forced it to return and cancel the charger.

Tim NL8F, who lives in Dutch Harbor, AK was able to locate a suitable replacement vessel to take the team out the 240 miles to Kiska with the “new” vessel picking them up in Adak and transferring them to Kiska on July 6 or 7.

The team agreed to continue with the project and flew to Adak on Wednesday, June 30. For the past five days they have set up their stations and antennas and currently QRV with three stations.

However it was learned earlier today that a mechanical failure on this new vessel has forced it to cancel as well. Today, efforts were made in Adak trying once again to locate a suitable vessel. After exploring all possibilities and in consideration of safety factors involved with sailing out into some of the most difficult waters of the Bering Sea, it was collectively decided to not further pursue last-minute options. The team is obviously disappointed in this outcome but feel the decision being made is in the best interest of safety. They have also agreed to pursue another attempt to get to Kiska next year.

Meanwhile, KL7RRC will continue to operate from Adak until Friday, July 9 in hopes that everyone still needing NA-039 will find a way into the log.

Conditions from Adak have been good and their log shows over 5,200 QSO‘s following four days operation. But the real surprise has been conditions on 6 m. Yesterday (July 3-4 UTC), KL7RRC experienced a great 6m opening that resulted in 468 JA QSOs.  A few stations were also worked from BY, DU and HL. They will continue to place emphasis on 6m during their remaining time on Adak.

Team leader Yuri N3QQ has indicated that due to the fact this IOTA Expedition emphasized the Kiska portion of the project, anyone who donated to the project wanting a refund, should contact him directly

QSL information can be found on the RRC website: https://na-234.com

JULY 3 – Hal, W8HC sends pictures from Adak of the KL7RRC 20m VDA and some of the hundreds of vacant housing units on the island. Other pictures include team members N6XG & N7QT. Plus a panoramic view of Adak harbour. The team begin travel to Kiska Island, NA-070 on July 4th with planned operations from July 7th. 

20 VDA

Rob, N7QT operating 20CW

Panorama of Adak Harbour

JUNE 30 – The KL7RRC meets for the first time…waiting on their flight to Adak Island.

For CW operation we will test SDC in a pileup mode with ExpertSDR integration, no need to call on the same (last caller’s) frequencies. The bandwidth of SDC native skimmer is 50 Hz. Stay where you are, we know you calling, the operator will select your callsign. Three mouse clicks all is needed for a full QSO including logging in N1MM+. Looking forward for fun and very efficient operation with a high QSO rate!

JUNE 26 – The team appreciate your support and will update their website upon return by July 30, 2021 with your callsign and they will also publish a link to raw photos from the DXpedition. Keep an eye on Facebook updates too. 

JUNE 19, 2021 – Yuri, N3QQ updates DX-World to say alternative transportation to Kiska island is confirmed due to the previous vessel unable to complete obligations because of a medical emergency on board. Expedition is on track. 

JUNE 7, 2021 –  The KL7RRC Kiska (NA-070) and Adak (NA-039) Islands IOTA Expedition by the Russian Robinson Club scheduled for early July is still on track.

Team leader Yuri N3QQ reports that all of the advance gear has arrived in Dutch Harbor, AK and the chartered 56-foot aluminum hull-cutter SV Seal, sailing out of Cordova, AK should arrive at Dutch later this week to pick up all of the supplies necessary to support the 5 man operation at Kiska.

Meanwhile, members of the KL7RRC team, consisting of Hal W8HC, Rob N7QT, Walt N6XG, Tim NL8F and Yuri N3QQ will fly to Adak Island on June 30. They will operate from Adak for 3 or 4 days while they await arrival of Seal following its 450 mile continued sail westward in the Aleutians following its stop at Dutch to pick up the staged expedition supplies.

Plans call for the team to board Seal on July 3rd at Adak and continue out into the Bering Sea for the 260 mile journey to Kiska Island. With Seal on anchor in the old Kiska harbor, the team will set up their operating camp onshore with 3 stations QRV commencing July 7. KL7RRC is scheduled to operate for 6 days at this rare IOTA entity after which they will strike camp and make the return sail back to Adak. Anticipating good wind and seas they hope to arrive at Adak on July 14 for two or three more days operation there before their return flights home on July 17.

Hal W8HC will be once again use his Garmin In-Reach sat tracker with the website here for interested DXers to track the travel progress and location of the team.

The team will also be taking along a 5-element 6mtr yagi and hope to make grid chasers happy operating from rare grids AO11 (Adak) and RO81 (Kiska).

As a reminder, the charter cost alone for the vessel is $30K and current donations are less than $3K. If you are interested in supporting this IOTA expedition with a donation, please visit the website and access the PayPal link.

SV Seal

MAY 6, 2021 – Two pallets weighing 983 pounds and containing much of the equipment required for our upcoming KL7RRC operation set for July, was opened and inventoried today as we continue preparation for the much anticipated IOTA DXpedition to Kiska (NA-070) and Adak Islands (NA-029) located in Alaska’s remote Aleutian Islands. These IOTA activations will be conducted by members of the Russian Robinson Club and we will be using the Club callsign KL7RRC from both IOTA Island operations.

The two pallets were actually sent to Alaska last year in advance of the originally planned 2020 trip which was unfortunately cancelled due to Covid-19.

This KL7RRC equipment has been stored for over a year by KL7RRC team member Tim NL8F. Tim is a veteran DXpeditioner who lives in Dutch Harbor on Amaknak Island, Unalaska, Alaska. History buffs will also know that Dutch Harbor was the location of the Battle of Dutch Harbor in June 1942, and was one of the few sites in the United States to be subjected to aerial bombardment by a foreign power during World War II.

Credit: W8HC

APRIL 23 – The recently announced KL7RRC IOTA expedition to Alaska’s Kiska (NA-070) and Adak (NA-039) Islands has now filled the open 5th team member slot. Walt Wilson N6XG will join this Russian Robinson crew as they sail aboard the SV Seal to these remote islands of the Aleutians. Walt, a veteran DXpedtioner, shares, “My last international outing was to S Orkney, VP8PJ. I arrived home one day before the lockdown. No long distance travel since. So the AK trip is a nice bookend to Covid.”

APRIL 20, 2021 – After their Covid-related cancellation last year, the Russian Robinson Club (KL7RRC) has resumed plans to activate rare Kiska Island, IOTA NA-070 in July.

Located 52.06N, 177.57E, this uninhabited island lies in the North Pacific’s treacherous Bering Sea, one of the most intense patches of ocean on Earth, where strong winds, freezing temperatures, and icy water are the “norm.” This remote Island also features the prominent conical, Kiska volcano, the
westernmost historically active volcano in Alaska’s Aleutian Island chain.

Kiska Island is also designated as an Aleutian Island WWII National Historic Area by the National Park Service. Permission to visit Kiska is required from both Alaska’s Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The KL7RRC team currently includes: Hal W8HC; Rob N7QT; Tim NL8F and Yuri, N3QQ. Unfortunately, another team member has had to back out so there is currently an open slot for a 5th operator. Contact team leader Yuri N3QQ [email protected] if you may be interested.

The team plans to have a minimum of 2 stations QRV operating 40m through 6m, SSB, CW and FT8 with 1.2kw PAs. Special emphasis will be on the difficult trans-polar path to EU.

The 56-foot aluminum sailboat, “SEAL” is being chartered out of Cordova, AK. It will undertake the arduous 1,000 mile journey along the Aleutians to Kiska with first stop at Dutch Harbor, AK to pick up Tim NL8F and all of the gear sent in advance to his QTH. They will then continue sailing westward to Adak Island (NA-039) where the remainder of the team will have flown in to by July 3, board SV SEAL, and with favorable winds and seas, they hope to arrive at Kiska and be QRV as KL7RCC from July 7th – 12th before the return sail back to Adak and flights home booked for July 17th. Some members of the team will travel out to Adak a few days in advance of the scheduled July 3rd pick-up by SEAL and will be QRV from this rare IOTA entity. Look for KL7RRC from Adak, NA-039 June 30th – July 3rd. Likewise, there may be additional KL7RRC activity from Adak July 14 th – 16 th following their return from Kiska.

The budget for this IOTA DXpedition, excluding individual team member airfares, lodging and meals at Adak, is ~$40K, with $30K required for the SV SEAL charter and two-way journey between Cordova and Kiska. Obviously, donations will be greatly appreciated in support of this challenging IOTA DXpedition. They can be sent via PayPal linked to the RRC website or via check and payable to: Russian Robinson Club and note “Donation for KL7RRC 2021 Expedition.” Please mail to Yuri N3QQ via his QRZ.com mailing address.

QSLs for KL7RRC (Kiska Island NA-070) and KL7RRC (Adak Island NA-039) via N7RO. ALL donors will receive direct QSLs.

Continue to check or bookmark the RRC website for updates and additional operating plans.