Jim, ND9M, is once again active as VQ96JC from Diego Garcia Island (AF-006). He informs OPDX, “Im hoping to be back on the air later this week….. First I have to make new antennas; the old ones disappeared while I was gone. The operation will be the usual Field Day portable style each evening my time (GMT +6 all year) (see OPDX.1283 for details); that is take the boat to the island, lug everything to ‘Fire House Park’ (where there’s actually 110VAC!), set up the rig and antennas, operate for 3 hours or so, break everything down, and pack it all back to the ship [ed. this is because of no more club station on the island].
My VQ96JC license is still valid until July, but I’m trying to get in touch with the licensing officer to see if I can change it to “VQ917JC”.
I’ve been using year-specific special calls every year starting in 2007 when I started with VQ97JC; my current ’96′ call is the 10th and last in the string of two-digit calls, so I figured I’d add a digit instead of recycle a previous callsign. All calls here must start with VQ9, so ’17′ for the year seems like the logical next step. There’s no guarantee of the callsign change happening until the ticket is in my hand, but they’ve always been very cooperative with my special prefix requests.” Look for more details to be forthcoming.