The Daily DX is reporting that the 7O6T Yemen DXpedition will start 2100 UTC Monday, April 30 and will continue through 2100 UTC May 15. Yemen currently sits at #5 on DX Magazine’s most wanted list, behind North Korea, Navassa, Bouvet and Heard Island. The ARRL DXCC Desk will review the 7O6T DXpedition’s documentation before granting approval for the operation to count for DXCC credit.
The DXpedition will be on Socotra Island — the largest island in the four-island Socotra archipelago located in the Indian Ocean — about 353 kilometers south of the Yemen mainland. Socotra Island (AF-028) is also ranked #1 on the RSGB’s Islands on the Air (IOTA) list, with only .3 percent of IOTA participants claiming it. Due to Socotra’s location, Yemen is one of the few DXCC entities that cross continental borders (Asia and Africa). Socotra also counts for one of the three Diamond DXCC Entities that make up today’s Yemen (including Aden City and Yemen itself) from the 1937 DXCC List.
The DXpedition is led by Dmitri Zhikharev, RA9USU, and assisted by Harry Booklan RA3AUU, and Dave Collingham, K3LP. Currently, there are 11 operators on Socotra, with a rotation planned later in the operation. Operators plan to be on 160-10 meters on six stations using CW, SSB and RTTY. Five of the stations are equipped with an Elecraft K3 and ACOM 1010 amplifier; the sixth station has a Kenwood TS-590 and THP-400 amplifier. There will be various beams, verticals and vertical arrays, as well as Beverages and other receiving antennas. Look for 7O6T on the following frequencies:
Logs, photos and propagation forecasts will be posted to the 7O6T website as the DXpedition continues. QSL via Nick Averyanov, UA3DX. Updates regarding OQRS, direct, bureau and LoTW QSLing will also be posted to the website.
Only one Amateur Radio operation has taken place from Socotra Island: VS9SJF (VS9 Socotra Joint Forces), operated by John Farrar, G3UCQ (ex 5B4JF) during a Royal Air Force/Army expedition. At that time, Socotra was under British rule. “The Expedition was on the island for two months (December 1964-February 1965) and I contacted over 100 countries with my little 75 W rig, including, many from USA,” Farrar recounted. “The Heathkit DX-40U transmitter gave 74 W input on CQ and 60 W input controlled carrier modulation (AM). The receiver was an RCA AR88D. No electronic keyers in those days, so a good wrist was needed! The antennas comprised a W3DZZ trap dipole (80-10 meters) and a V-beam was later erected, aimed at USA, with the legs about 200 feet long and 30 feet high.”
Except for two brief periods, Socotra Island belonged to the sultans of Mahra. During the early 16th century, it was occupied by the Portuguese. In 1886, it became part of Britain’s Aden Protectorate until 1967, when it was joined with the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen), which became the Republic of Yemen in 1990. – Thanks to The Daily DX and the K8CX Ham Gallery for some information