September 14, 2017

Polish Antarctic Station Arctowski

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Beautiful picture from the HF0ARC page.
In the evening of September 9th, 2017, I managed to make a JT65 QSO on 40m with HF0ARC. Amateur radio station HF0ARC is located at the Polish Antarctic Station Henryk Arctowski on King George Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. It is operated by Sebastian Gleich SQ1SGB who is part of the current overwintering crew of the 41st Polish Antarctic Expedition (2016/2017) to Arctowski. Austral winter is coming to an end though, and at the end of October, Sebastian will be leaving the station and head back home for Poland. So I feel very lucky to have already managed to put HF0ARC in the log, as time will be running out soon.

I was running my Yaesu FT991 at 35 Watts and used my sloper HyEndFed 10/20/40 wire antenna. I was surprised when I managed to make the contact already on the first attempt! An eQSL for the contact followed the next day. This contact definitely is one of the most special and memorable moments of my ham radio career!

Location of King George Island in the South Shetland Islands (source)
HF0ARC replaces the old Arctowski callsign HF0POL. The old HF0POL call was associated with Arctowski Station up until March 2016, and had been in use at the station since the late 1970s. In 2015, the Polish licensing regulations changed, making it possible to have the HF0 prefix issued to any Polish ham operating from Poland as well. Previously, the HF0 prefix was assigned exclusively to Polish hams operating from the South Shetland Islands. HF0POL is now in use by ham SP9GMK for ham operations from Poland, and is not associated with Arctowski Station anymore.

Polish Antarctic Station Henryk Arctowski was established in February 1977. On the beaches near the station numerous whale bones can be found, remains from the time when the site was used by whalers to process whales killed nearby. Nearby the station are various colonies of three different types of penguins. The station is named for Henryk Arctowski (1871-1958) who as a meteorologist accompanied the 1897-1899 "Belgica" expedition, the first expedition to overwinter in Antarctica. According to Wikipedia, Arctowski proposed the original notion of a wind chill factor, arguing that wind could be as damaging to human flesh as cold in harsh climates.

The South Shetland Islands are IOTA AN-010.

Arctowski Station (source)
Penguins n front of Arctowski Station (source)
Whale bones at Arctowski. Photographer T. Janecki (source)
Winter at Arctowski. Photographer T. Janecki (source)
Arctowski Station. Photographer T. Janecki (source)
eQSL to PA7MDJ from HF0ARC


  1. Hallo Michael, ja dit zijn mooie contacten. Sommige QSO's met verre landen blijven je altijd bij. Prachtig verhaal...73, Bas

  2. Bedankt voor het lezen en de reactie, Bas! Ik ben ook een regelmatige bezoeker op jouw blog en lees altijd met veel interesse je boeiende posts!
    Ik ben iedere keer weer verbaasd over de DX die ik kan werken op 40m met de simpele HyEndFed draadantenne. Niet alleen in weak signal modes, maar ook in CW en nu en dan zelfs in SSB.