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DX entities without ham activity

Chasing the famous DX...

Calling DX...  in vain !

After some years of activity, maybe a decade for the less active amateurs, you will have probably contacted or heard most entities of the DXCC list, so about 339 entities among them about 150 islands widespread in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. This is already a performance to work so many entities and still more on various modes from phone or CW from 160 to 6 meters or by satellite.

Checking DX entities that are missing, you will quickly discover that they are all small islands mainly located in the Pacific ocean, e.g. VU4 Andaman, KH1 Baker & Howland or T31 Central Kiribati to name a few.

The final question comes then, is there a way to contact these last DX one time or another ? For sure, and each month or so a new amateur writes his name on the DXCC Honor Roll palmares, having just received the QSL confirming his last entity (I remind you that in 2013 the DXCC Honor Roll requests the confirmation of at least 331 entities, excluding the deleted entities).

To write your name on the DXCC palmares or another prestigious award, there is only one solution : there must be an ham activity of these islands or entities to confirm your QSO ! Most of these entities are indeed wildlife refuges and are not occupied by man, others receive only visitors a few weeks each year in the best case. So it should be interesting to draw the list of all such small entities without the slightest "life", specially hams and that receive only an isolated visit or DX-peditions from time to time. That will prevent you to call or try to hear these islanders in vain... !

I have thus published the next list, mainly based on visits and contacts made by Ted Brattstrom, NH6YK, living in Hawaii that I warmly thank for his collaboration. The second source is the ARRL. Here is this list :




1st most wanted entity. Andaman island located in South-West India is forbidden to access. The governor and militaries want to preserve the 3 last primitives tribes. This is the oldest living civilisation to date in the world.

Andaman was active in the '70 under various call signs


2d most wanted entity and the first accessible to radio amateurs.

Scarborought reef is located in South China sea. It is free of access but has currently no active hams.

Last activation in 1995 and 1997 by BS7H (Mgr. JA1BK)


3d most wanted entity. Lakshadweep and Laccadive islands are forbidden to access. There is no authorisation to hope for the next decade

Last activation in 1997 by YL VU7CVP and OM VU7DVP (Mgr. VU2CVP)


4th most wanted entity. North Korea and specially Telecommunications officials in Pyongyang accept hamradio but the license is hard to get (can last over 1 year) and only to work in SSB. First activation in 1995, last activation by P5/4L4FN in 2002 (Mgr. KK5DO). His QSOs have been approved for credit by ARRL





Mariane islands (including Tinian) has few but active hams

There is no nobody on Baker and Howland. This is a US Fish and Wildlife Refuge

Guam island has few but active hams

Johnston island has occasional residents with ham licenses and they are operational. More often military based visitors get on the air


Midway island has occasionally resident hams. At the moment (july 2003) the human population is down near 40 people make up the staff of US Fish and Wildlife Service and their services cooperator. No hams resident currently, but there is a great ham shack there !







Palmyra island has few people. Occasional volunteer workers are hams and get on the air

Kingman Reef has no residents. This is a US Fish and Wildlife Sanctuary

Hawaii has few but active hams on The Big island and around

Kure island has no residents. There are occasional researchers on the island. Rarely one is a ham

American Samoa has few but active hams

Wake island has some people. If there are hams, they are non-active. Activity is done by visiting hams, usually with US Military ties.



Desecheo island is free of humans. Requests a permission to access.

Pitcairn island is occupied. Like Ducie, it is under Britannic protectorat as Henderson and Oeno islands (IOTA). There is no more resident amateurs, only visiting DX-peditions


Ducie is located at 460 km east of Pitcrain island. Is it well-know after the DX-pedition in 2003. Indeed, it receives only visitors hams who activate the island














West Kiribati is occupied, occasional resident and active hams

Central Kiribati is occupied, but no resident hams

East Kiribati has active hams

Banaba island is occupied, but no resident hams

North Cook is occupied. Some licensed hams, not particulary active

South Cook is occupied with active hams

Niue island is occupied, but no active hams. Has only visitors hams.

Tokelau islands are occupied, but no active hams. Have only visitors hams.

Fiji island has active hams

Rotuma island is occupied, but occasionally Tony flies from Suva to Rotuma to activate the island

Conway Reef has no population. This is a wildlife reserve that only receive DX-peditions

Easter island is occupied, but no resident ham. It receives occasionally DX-peditions

Clipperton island has no population.It receives occasionally scientists, military patrols, and DX-peditions

Here are already about 30 entities hard if not impossible to confirm as short term. And there are a few of these rocks... including many entities in Antarctic and Asia that you must confirm for the ITU zones award. So do not be surprised to encounter difficulties to work your last DXCC. As long as there is no DX-pedition to these territories you could never work or heard these remote stations, whatever the power and sensitivity of your installation !

Hopefully there are rumors according which some of smallest  inhabited "rocks" should be removed from the DXCC list by the ARRL DX desk. To follow in the next years.

For your information, each year The DX Magazine, a bi-monthly edited by Carl Smith, N4AA, publishes the list of the most wanted DX entities, and monthly, ham magazines publish the list or current and forecoming DX-peditions to IOTA and other spots coveted by amateurs. These lists are also available on the Internet (see my download page).

At last, for your information, the Index Mundi database can provide you the number of resident living in any country and many islands.

To watch : DX-peditions in video, James Brooks, 9V1YC, Dailymotion

QSL with a flap from a seldom IOTA, Cacaluta island, XF4IH, NA-188.

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