Rare IOTA Activation

The MSØINT team are embarking on a DXpedition as part of this event to try to activate the remote North Atlantic island group of the Flannans, 20 miles northwest of the Outer Hebrides.

Icom UK have loaned 2 IC-7000 HF/50MHz/VHF/UHF mobile transceivers to the team for use at the station.

Activated in 1989, 1995, 1999 and 2002, the mysterious Flannan Isles 20 miles north west of the Outer Hebrides are a much needed and hard to reach IOTA. As one of the rarest prefixes in Europe (EU-118), MSØINT has only been “claimed” by 31.9% of participants in IOTA so the team will have their work cut out!

The MSØINT DXpedition team, consisting of SMØMDG Bjørn Mohr (Sweden), EA3NT Christian Cabre (Spain), EA2TA George Moreno (Spain), EA1DR Oscar Luis Fernandez (Spain), F4BKV Vincent Colombo (France) and leader MMØNDX Col McGowan (Scotland) will try to be on the air from Friday the 18th of June until Monday the 21st of June.
There will be two 24 hour stations operating on all bands from 160-10 meter (both SSB and CW). They will be situated on the highest point of the island Eilean Mòr, some 88 metres (290 ft) above sea level.

Col McGowan explains the journey that the team will have to take to reach the remote islands off Britain’s north coast, “Firstly we’ll fly from Edinburgh to Stornoway and then we’ll cross the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides by car. From the west coast of the Isle of Lewis we’ve got to jump in a fast sea RIB and head 20 miles out into the Atlantic to finally reach the Flannan Isles.”

When asked why they were undertaking such an ambitious Dxpedition, Col commented, “We are all very keen enthusiasts of the RSGB/Icom UK sponsored "Islands On The Air" (IOTA) program, which promotes ham radio expeditions to any island. The Flannans are a group of islands which haven't been on air for nearly 10 years and due to the lack of on air activity from there, the island group is now becoming one of the world's most needed islands to make contact with. We have high hopes of putting Flannans on the air.”

So why did the team approach Icom for use of some IC-7000 HF/50MHz/VHF/UHF mobile transceivers ?
Col explained, “Due to the fact that the Flannan isles are very hard to land on (and only while having excellent weather/sea conditions) the team has focused on having the lightest gear they could get whilst still securing the standards of quality in order to achieve the highest possible number of radio contacts around the world.

Col added, “We must emphasize we need near perfect weather conditions and good seas. This is why we chose the month of June - it's generally and historically calmer seas that time of year. If we fail to have good weather, the team may decide to go to another island, possibly even St Kilda Archipelago - although all actions will be undertaken following advice from our RIB skipper.”

Island Name: Eilean Mor
Coordinates: 58° 17.0' N, 007° 35.0' W
OTA: EU-118 I
OSA: OL-01
WLOTA: LH-0023

Flannan Islands DX-Pedition


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