JW6VJA - IOTA EU-026
I have been on the air from Svalbard/Spitsbergen on several occasions, resulting in several thousand QSOs from the QTH of JW5E in Longyearbyen. For details regarding the JW6VJA activations, please read on.
The QTH of all JW6VJA operations has been the JW5E club station in Longyearbyen, QTH-locator JQ78TF, IOTA EU-026. Svalbard is located midway between Norway and the North Pole. In accordance with the Svalbard treaty of 1920, the Spitsbergen archipelago is Norwegian sovereignty.
Sometimes the conditions just aren't there. Switch off the radio and do something else! A visit to the museum is highly recommended, and so is also a brisk walk over the Longyear plateau. Be sure to bring your camera and a rifle. A visit to the swimming pool in Nybyen is also highly recommended. The view of Longyearbyen from the edge of the swimming pool is magnificent. There is also a wide range of activities available for those interested.
For a scientific approach to propagation, a few of the available - and valuable - sources of information are listed below:
- Geomagnetic data (courtesy of the University of Tromsoe)
- Some articles about the Aurora
- observed Aurora Borealis
- LA4LN/LA7SL's realtime monitor for geophysical activity and radio propagation
- qsl.net propagation report
- VHFDX.info real-time maps
Scheduled JW6VJA activations
Previous JW6VJA activations
- 1997-08-01 to 1997-08-03
- 1998-07-17 to 1998-07-19
- 1999-06-25 to 1999-06-27
- 2000-06-30 to 2000-07-02
- 2001-06-29 to 2001-07-01
- 2002-03-25 to 2002-03-28
- 2002-08-09 to 2002-08-11
- 2003-08-08 to 2003-08-11
- 2004-08-05 to 2004-08-09
- 2009-07-03 to 2009-07-05
- 2011-05-07 to 2011-05-09
- 2012-08-10 to 2012-08-12 (with JW6TMA)
QSL info is direct/mail or via the bureau to LA6VJA. Bureau cards should be addressed to JW6VJA via LA6VJA as the LA bureau handles incoming JW cards for callsigns normally located on the mainland.
No card is sent until a request for a QSL card is received either by direct mail (not by email) or via the QSL bureau. QSL processing is up-to-date with cards being shipped to the bureau each month and direct cards being answered within a few days after their arrival.
QSL address for direct cards
Please use the address below for direct QSL cards. It should be typed exactly as shown, to minimize postal delays. Please do not write "Svalbard" anywhere in the address field (quite a lot of geniously designed log programs do this; however, my address is on the mainland and there is no need to cause confusion by placing "Svalbard" on the envelope). Sorry, no eQSL cards accepted and no plans to do so (I do, however, upload the log to ARRL's Logbook of The World project after each visit to Svalbard - last upload: 2012-02-13. Next upload expected in June 2013, to allow time for QA control of the log).
NEW postal address, effective from 01-Nov-2011:
Torkel M. Jodalen
P.O.Box 1036 Jeløy
Important: read the section below if you are a "direct QSL'er".
An important note on direct QSL cards
Thanks to the Government of Norway and the never-ending desire of certain socialist parties to increase the tax burden on Norwegian citizens, a 25% VAT has been imposed on postal service charges. As a result, USD 3.00 is required to cover the postage for a QSL card to anywhere outside of Norway (Norway Post's 2012 price list available here, for those interested). Also, the currency exchange charge collected by Norwegian banks makes it extremely unfavourable receiving foreign currency as "green stamps". Please send your "green stamp" as an IRC coupon (in addition to the self-addressed envelope and your QSL card). QSL cards with foreign notes will be returned via the bureau, as I cannot afford running a charity service.
Again: one IRC + a self-addressed envelope is the required means of handling a direct QSL request.
A few words on the JW6VJA QSL cards
The first JW6VJA QSL card was designed and printed in 1997. The front shows a walrus having a rest on a piece of drifting ice near the former Russian settlement of Pyramiden. The photo was taken by JW6VJA in 1997.
The reverse side contains a short description of Svalbard. Certain facts are, however, no longer up-to-date:
- The Russian settlement of Pyramiden was abandoned in 1998. Thus, there are no longer any Russians residing there (correction: a caretaker or two is reported to still be lurking around there).
- The web address printed on the card is no longer correct, the correct URL is http://www.qsl.net/jw6vja/
- New mailing address from November 2011.
A new QSL card was designed in August 2002. The cards were printed by ELLI Print (OK1FXX). A highly recommended QSL printer.
Unfortunately, there are two minor misprints at the reverse side of the card: while the text on the card reads "...located between 71° - 81" N and 10° - 35" E", the correct text is supposed to read "...located between 71° - 81° N and 10° - 35° E". Also, new postal address from 01-Nov-2011 - the address printed on the QSL card is no longer in use.
Getting there, staying there and going home again
Planning to visit Svalbard yourself? Here is what you need to know:
SAS provides a regular air service between Longyearbyen (IATA: LYR, ICAO: ENSB) and the Norwegian mainland. Flights depart from Tromsø and Oslo and are flown with Boeing 737 aircraft. Flight time from Tromsø is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes, directly from Oslo the flight time is close to 3 hours. Try to arrange for a ride on the flight deck, the panoramic view of Bear Island and the eastern coast of Svalbard is magnificent. Be aware, though, that actually seeing Bear Island is rare - it's normally covered by clouds.
It is possible to stay at the JW5E club station. Please refer to the JW5E information page for further information. If staying in a hotel is preferred, several options are available. The SAS Radisson Polar Hotel is located only a few minutes of walking from the radio shack (~600m), Mary-Ann's Polarrigg is even closer and has a unique atmosphere and a friendly owner. Spitsbergen Hotel is also a good place to stay. No matter where you stay, a bike is recommended in summertime to make your way around in Longyearbyen. Remember to bring with you a wide selection of warm and comfortable clothes even during the short summer months.