W1SYE Official Hen Island Activated RI032S

The Island Activation crew made it on the air at Hen Island today.  They were on the air shortly after 12:30 local time on the 40 meter band.  It was pouring rain, in the 50s as they setup.

As of 18:00 they were on 20 meters, 14.265 MHz.  At that point they have reached all the criteria for an official activation of RI032S.

Congrats to Pete W1LAB, John K1JSM, Evan K1GEA, Willy W1LY, Jim KA1ZOU, and Paul K1YBE.  They were QRT at 18:15 UTC.

Front to back: John K1JSM, Willy W1LY, Jim KA1ZOU, Evan K1GEA, Paul K1YBE — Operating in the rain

Antenna literally at the edge of the water (tide rising, antenna almost underwater @ 18:00Z)

John K1JSM (left), and Paul K1YBE under the tent out of the rain.

Thanks to Pete W1LAB for the photos — he’s usually on the other side of the lens.  However there was a sighting of the “Rare Pete” actually on Hen Island

Pete W1LAB standing, with Willy W1LY at the mic

Another Successful Activation – Naushon Island MA006S

If it’s not one thing (heavy rain, HF Contest), it’s another (solar storm, failing TX). Nevertheless, the Activation Crew of Jim KA1ZOU, Willy W1LY, Pete W1LAB, John K1JSM, and Paul K1YBE, had an exciting time activating one never before on the air island a day in the Elizabeth Island chain.

Today’s activation became official at about 15:10 UTC, meeting the US Island program rules, making Naushon Island MA006S.  Even thought Murphy was nipping at their heals, causing their radio to fail to transmit on 20-meters this morning, he was behind the curve just enough to allow them to make 30 contacts before the rig refused to transmit on 40-meters as well.  Whew!

The crew setup in Tarpaulin Cove to be leeward of the WSW winds.

Crew is on Naushon Island in Tarpaulin Cove (NE most red mark)

Unfortunately there was a Geomagnetic Storm going on today as well, making conditions very poor on both 20 and 40-meters.

Bad Propagation across all bands

Jim KA1ZOU at mic, John K1JSM logging, Willy W1LY and Paul K1YBE looking over the cove

Paul K1YBE, John K1JSM, Willy W1SYE (standing), Jim KA1ZOU

Successful Activation of Nashawena Island MA017S

While today’s weather was much better than the torrential rain yesterday, the RF environment proved to be quite challenging with the IARU HF Contest underway today and tomorrow.  It was hard to hold a frequency open.  On top of that, the TS-570D simply refused to enter RX from time to time.

Nevertheless, Paul K1YBE, John K1JSM, Willy W1LY, Pete W1LAB, and Jim KA1ZOU actually had a very successful activation of Nashawena Island, making it officially MA017S about a half-hour after getting on the air.  Thanks to all the stations that helped and continued to contact them.

Nashawena Island is privately owned, and permission to go ashore is quite difficult to obtain. In a process that began months ago, they finally received permission yesterday and immediately changed their plans to activate it today.

Nashawena is located right next to Cuttyhunk, on the eastern end of the Elizabeth Islands

The bands were quite full today, busy with the IARU HF Contest, but they managed to find a hole to operate in.

Pileups were impressive all day long as you can hear here:

The Island only has 2 full time residents who tend to it and the cattle that graze there:

Two of the many cattle on the island, with Jim KA1ZOU logging, and Willy W1LY at the mic

Jim KA1ZOU logging, Willy W1LY at mic, John K1JSM sitting, and Paul K1YBE standing

The photos have been provided by Pete W1LAB who always is behind the lens, but here is a picture of him aboard the support boat:

Pete W1LAB hears that happy news that Nashawena can be activated

Support boats in foreground. John’s cabin cruiser and Pete’s RIB.  Antenna at waterline.

Upcoming Elizabeth Island Activations

*** Saturday July 9 Update — NOW QRT ***

As of 11:25 AM, the crew has been forced to QRT.  Their radio would not transmit on 20 meters at all this morning, and just died on 40 meters as well.  However Naushon Island was officially activated so is MA006S.  Thanks to everyone who took the time to contact them today!  They will be back to the Elizabeth Island chain later this summer.

As of 11:10 AM Local Time (15:10 UTC), the activation was official, and Naushon Island is now officially MA006S.  The heavy rain from two days ago resulted in some rig issues that they are still suffering through. They will not be on 20 meters today, and may have to QRT shortly.

Crew is on Naushon Island (MA006) FN41ol due to wind.  They are on 7.233 MHz. A minor solar storm is causing them to be a tad weaker than normal.  Should improve later today.

Jim KA1ZOU at mic, John K1JSM logging, Willy W1LY and Paul K1YBE looking over cove

Crew is on Naushon Island in Tarpaulin Cove (NE most red mark) to shelter from WSW winds

Bad Propagation across all bands

*** Saturday July 8 Update – NOW QRT ***

The crew is unable to activate the island on 40 meters and is now QRT for the day.  Many thanks to all of those they worked on 20 meters.

Please check the website for details on Sunday’s activation, currently planned to be Weepecket Island (MA061 – FN41pm)


As of 12:40 Local time, W1SYE is on a lunch break.  They may try 40 meters, 7.233 MHz, when they get back on.  But they have been having issues with their TS570D losing RX audio.

Things are still hot and heavy on 14.262.5 MHz.  Really appreciate everyone’s help.

As of 11:21 Local (15:21 UTC), the activation became official.  Nashawena Island is now officially US Islands MA017S.

As of 10:50 Local, they are on the air.  IARU Contest making 20 a full band.  They are on 14.262.5 MHz.

According to Captain Pete W1LAB, the crew received permission to land at Nashawena Island (Quicks Hole side) MA017, FN41nk.  This is another new island (never officially activated), and they are on the way there. Expect them on-air around 10:30 AM beginning with 20 meters around 14.260 MHz

Pete W1LAB hears that happy news that Nashawena can be activated

Activation location should be on the East shore


*** Friday July 7 Update – Now QRT ***

The crew pulled the plug at 2:40 PM local time.  They are heading back to their temporary home to get ready for tomorrow’s activation of Naushon Island, about 10 nm to the NE from Cuttyhunk.  Expect them to begin operating around 10:30 AM on 20 meters near 14.260 and transition to 40 meters after lunch.  The weather is expected to be much better tomorrow, but there is always a chance of a pop-up thunderstorm.  Check back for updates tomorrow.  Thanks to all the many stations that worked W1SYE on Penikese Island today!

As of 2:10 PM Local, W1SYE is on 40 meters, 7.233 MHz.  They had some antenna issues and are using a temporary antenna.  They will be on for another hour if the band holds up.

As of 11:55 Local (15:55Z) they are on 14.256 MHz in heavy rain.

As of 11:06 Local (15:06Z) the activation became official with the required number of contacts (25 total and 2 DX).  Thanks to Don, W9DC, for being #25  MA060S 

As of 10:25 Local time, they are on 14.260  — they will be on 40 meters a bit later in the morning.  There is quite a bit of bad weather to the west and south of them, but so far its dry.  Penikese Island is pointed out in the image below.

The crew spent the night in Cuttyhunk and despite what is supposed to be very foul weather between 10 AM and 3 PM, are planning on setting up their station this morning around 9 AM.  They should be on Penikese Island and on the air around 10 AM.  The plan has changed to start on 40 meters, change to 20 around noon, and change back around 2 PM.  Try 7.233 and 14.265 +/- QRM.


The NCRC Activation Crew will be going on a multi-day sea adventure starting next week, planning on activating several Elizabeth Islands that have not been on the air before, using the club call W1SYE.

        Friday  July 7 – Penikese Island (MA060S) FN41mk
        Saturday July 8 – Naushon Island (MA006) FN410l
        Saturday July 8 – Nashawena Island (MA017) FN41nk


In general they will be on the air starting around 10:30 AM (perhaps a bit earlier), on 14.260, and shifting to 7.235 after lunch for a couple of hours, then switching back to 20 meters to finish up between 3 and 4 PM.

Check back here from time to time for updates.


Gooseberry Island Activation Success

The following comes in from Jim WA1ZOU, reporting on the Gooseberry (West Passage, off Hope Island) activation of RI002S (Note, RI002S was originally listed as Gooseberry off of Hazard’s Beach in Newport, for indeed there are two, that second Gooseberry Island will be renumbered in the future):


The NCRC Bay Activators were finally able to activate Gooseberry Island (West Passage) on August 7th.  An earlier attempt was abandoned when it became evident that several species of gulls were actively nesting.  This activation was our Scarborough Reef—steep rocky flanks with very little surface for our station setup.  With clever engineering by Willy, W1LY, we were on the air by 11:00 AM.  In response to requests from local hams, we started on 40 meters and it quickly became clear that we were on the downhill side of solar cycle 24.  Contacts were slow in coming, but picked up in mid-afternoon on 20 meters with strong QSB. The final log shows 75 contacts and 4 DXCC entities.

Thanks to Pete, W1LAB, who is behind the lens in these photos, and provided transportation for the crew as well as on-air talent.


Rocky shoreline of Gooseberry Island is evident


Wily, W1LY, sets up the 4BTV


Willy, W1LY (on left), and Jim, WA1ZOU (on right), on the air


Two wild and crazy guys enjoying a rocky activation!