The World’s smallest nation, Nauru (271 Division) (Also known as Pleasant Island), is situated in the vast Pacific Ocean, a spear’s throw from the equator, at latitude 0 55’S and longitude 166 ° 55’E.

6km in length and 4km in width, its total land area is 21.1 sq. km, representing a tiny oval-shaped spec of DX appetite indeed within an extensive menu of Oceania islands, atolls, sand and coral cays.

According to Google Earth, the diminutive coral atoll’s nearest neighbour is Banaba Island (320) in the Republic of Kiribati, 330km to the east, while the coast of Papua New Guinea (101) lies 2150km to the south west.

Team DA-RC’s activity on the atoll extended for 12 days, providing DX Hunters with a fantastic opportunity to work a “Most Wanted” DXCC/IOTA entity on arguably the hobby’s best DX band…11m.

The fact Nauru had not been active on this band for some 14 years meant the activity also provided many operators with a “New One”.

iotaiiThe Nauru Atoll DXpedition was undertaken by 43DA021 Brian (Pictured above) and 43DA001 Darren of our own Dx Adventure Radio Club (DA-RC), with the guys reporting a very enjoyable dx adventure on so many levels.

Here is a summary of their experiences…

The Station

With the assistance of Sponsors, the following equipment formed the crux of the station for this exciting Pacific Ocean sojourn:

  • 2 x G4ZU Spider Beams by 30DA016 Dave
  • 3 element home brew yagi
  • 2 x 15m run + 1 x 23 run of RG58 Coaxial cable + 2 x barrel connectors
  • 10m NBS telescopic mast with guy wires, guy plates, pegs and other accessories
  • Sennheiser HD-280 Studio Monitoring Headphones
  • Military grade compass
  • Manson (60A Continuous) Power Supply
  • Dick Smith switching mode 60A Power Supply
  • OCF Dipole, Rippletech TZ-230D-4M 4:1 Multiband Antenna (500 watt)
  • IMAX 2000 vertical antenna by Solarcon
  • Off Centre Fed (OCF) Dipole antenna
  • 2 transceivers


OCF DipoleTeam members took rostered shifts of approximately 2-3 hours on the microphone to ensure a continuous presence on the band.

Both simplex and split frequency operations were used with the behaviour of operators in the pile-ups reportedly first class.

South America (SA) proved to be the second biggest DX market as openings from 22:00 UTC until 04:00 UTC via the short path (SP) were regular.

The following SA DXCC were logged: Brazil (3), Venezuela (5), Colombia (6), Paraguay (67), Uruguay (12), Chile (32), Argentina (4), Panama (24), Nicaragua (126) and Costa Rica (69).

32AB001 from Chile, 3DA012 Roger in Brazil and a host of other Brazilian big guns were all substantial signals into Nauru.

As predicted on VOACAP 11, sporadic e opportunities with Oceania (OC) DXCC from 20:00 UTC until 11:00 UTC occurred daily and provided the majority of contacts for the 271DA0 team.

The following 11 OC DXCC were logged:  Hawaiian Islands (17), New Zealand (41), Australia (43), Philippines (79), Indonesia (91), Fiji (99), New Caledonia (172), French Polynesia (201), Norfolk (130), Federated States of Micronesia (230) and Tuvalu (276).

Prominent signals from 172SD031 Patrice on Grande Terre (OC-032), 201AT102 Camille on Tahiti (OC-046), 43DA007 Mike on Curtis (OC-142) and 79SD125 Jairo on Mindanao (OC-130) were noted.

Congratulations to 41AT012 Tim from the Alfa Tango club for his fantastic work as 276AT/DX on Tuvalu (OC-015) and 99AT/DX on Suva (OC-016).


Tim was active at the same time as us and we were able to exchange reports on a number of occasions.

Well done also to 43AT011 Bob in Sydney, New South Wales, on being first in the log. 

imageIn most people’s eyes, this is always a prestigious honour to achieve!

Due to the failings of SP and inefficient grey-line dx, openings with Asia were poor and only 3 DXCC and a handful of stations were logged from this region.

These included: Japan (25), Thailand (153) and Asiatic Russia (302).

19 Division expat 153DA012 Andre in Bangkok and 302CA200 Slava on Sakhalin Island (AS-018) were well ‘up into the red’ on the S-meter.

Four profitable openings with EU via the LP were achieved. 

NauruThe first occurred at 11:00 UTC (11pm local). 

At just 29 minutes, the opportunity was brief and only 12 stations were logged.

Most contacts were difficult with delays between stations calling and/or multiple callsign clarifications required.

Well done to 1AT282 Matteo who appeared first on the band from EU, with sizable signals soon coming from 14RC011 Cedric in France, 161SC064 Jacek in Poland and 47DX117 John in Scandinavia.

Anibare harbourThe second chance commenced at 11:14 UTC (11:14pm local) for 40 minutes in which 12 stations were logged. 

Italian station 1SD136 Luca and 47DX002 Soren in the Kingdom of Denmark were the loudest stations worked.

The third and most profitable opportunity was possible at 10:43 UTC (10:43pm local). 

In just 73 minutes, 151 stations from all over EU were logged via the LP.  The pile-up here was intense with a wall of 5/9 signals noted 20 KHz up the band at one stage during split ops.

nauruan peoplePerhaps the most unlikely of all openings occurred however, on Day 6 at 14:50 UTC — 2:50 am Nauru local time — with some 50 stations worked via the LP.

This was an incredible situation indeed, realized not only by the commitment of the dxpedition team to continue monitoring the band at this time of the day/morning. 

But also as a result of a large number of operators in EU who continued to monitor the QRG for an unlikely opportunity.

Strangely, no EU stations were logged via the SP for the entirety of the activity which contradicted VOACAP 11 forecasts of extensive possibilities with major dx markets…France (14) and Italy (1).

The following 18 EU DXCC were logged:

Italy (1), Germany (13), France (14), Switzerland (15),  Belgium (16), The Netherlands (19), Norway (20), Sweden (21), England (26), Spain (30), Portugal (31), Austria (35), Denmark (47), Balearic Islands (49), Finland (56), Northern Ireland (68) and Corsica (104), Poland (161).

2 DXCC from Africa (AF) were worked…the Canary Islands (34) and Ceuta and Melilla (106), both via LP in late UTC hours.

34RC213 Paco on AF-004 proved, once again, that effective listening and patience is a station’s most powerful DX weapon.


Situated in the midst of town, Od’n Aiwo is a family owned and operated ham-friendly accommodation. 

It is 1 of only 2 hotels in Nauru, the other being the Menen.

This lodging was deemed the most suitable due to its positioning by the sea and large, flat roof which was seen as the ideal platform for an antenna array. 

od-n-aiwo-hotelIt had also been rated highly by previous ham DXpedition teams to the island (e.g. C21SX, C21XF, C21HC & C21DL).

The Od’n was booked from December 27-January 8, 2016. 

The team shared 2 rooms on the third floor, at $120 AUD per night per person,  and were given permission by hotel administration to access the rooftop for antenna installation under the proviso that care was taken with the solar panels.

CultureAntennas were mounted on the roof of the hotel (See above) on 3 different masts with team members needing to dodge a mangle of deadly electrical wires to achieve safe passage.

The hotel reportedly had a billiards room, DHL service and convenience store for the team’s daily needs. 

WiFi internet access was seemingly satisfactory, though extremely expensive, with $200 AUD spent over the 12 day period.

Christmas lights at the Od'nThe only problem with this lodging, according to the Team, was the high level of QRN (S7-9) emitted from the thousands of multi-coloured Christmas lights which lit up the hotel each night for approximately 5 hours and the dirty electricals which proved to be dangerous obstacles for Team members as the moved around the complex . 

Other than that, it was exceptional and met every need!


The Restaurant beneath the Od’n was offered a wide range of traditional Chinese dishes at approx. $7.00 AUD per dish. 

Sweet and Sour Pork with Rice was a popular choice amongst the team members.

‘The Bay Restaurant’ at Anibare Boat Harbour was another popular eat-out. 

Here, the seafood pizza, topped with fresh fish, crab, calamari, prawns, mussels and oysters caught by local Nauruan fishermen, was a highlight.

cafeBeer on the island was $85.00 AUD per carton from the Capelle Supermarket. 

A can of coke was $1.00 AUD, as was a bottle of water. 

Due to limited natural freshwater resources on Nauru, bottled water for the Team was an essential.


During their stay, 43DA021 Brian and 43DA001 Darren were fortunate to meet a small number of the 1000 refugees detained on the island; former politicians, doctors, artists, musicians, teachers and chefs, everyday people whom had fled their war torn homelands in Iran, Somalia and Afghanistan to seek a safe haven in Australia/New Zealand.

That the majority of asylum seekers had been on the island for more than 3 years and were yet to be processed, however, painted a shameful picture of the Australian Government and its immigration policy indeed.


Darren and Brian describe Nauru as a country in somewhat disarray.

They noted the crumbling infrastructure (roads, houses, shops, paths, schools, etc.) in serious need of repair, rubbish littering the streets and beaches, feral dogs and cats, chickens and roosters, and the confusion of traffic laws, as a sorry state of affairs.

While making for interesting photographs, the rusting Phosphate works machinery, scattered around the island, was a stark reminder to the Team of the environmental catastrophe which rocked Nauru to the very core in the early 2000’s.

This resulted in the majority of soil and vegetation being stripped away, thus preventing agriculture, and creating a very hot interior indeed.  

So hot in fact that rising hot air prevents rain clouds from settling over the island.

Brian Anabare

Nauru FortBeneath the chaos though, both Darren and Brian agree, lies a degree of innocence and incorruptibility that western countries were unable to blot.  

A raw and natural seascape with coconut palms, forests of sun-kissed frangipani trees with clusters of delicate tropical sunset coloured flowers, sandy beaches teeming with shells and rolling blue reef breaks crashing onto a shoreline dotted with white phosphate pinnacles, belie the madness of its interior and the miscellany of humans who dwell there.

This is the beautiful side of Nauru; a country where tourists are as rare as hen’s teeth and “tourism” is a foreign word.

The 10,000 strong people of Nauru are comprised of 12 tribes, as symbolized by the 12-pointed star on the Nauru flag and are believed to be a mixture of Micronesian, Polynesian and Melanesian descent. 

Their native language is Nauruan but English is widely spoken as it is used for government and commercial purposes.

After discussing recon options for many months via email, the team were privileged to eventually meet up in person with the country’s only licensed ham radio operator…CD21DJ Mr Darkey.

A former member of Alfa Tango back in the 1990’s, Darkey spent some time with the team on other bands and quickly rediscovered his passion for radio communications.

We look forward to hearing 271DA101 Darkey on the bands again soon thanks to Darren and Brian who donated some radio equipment to help get him back on the air.


The 4.5 hour flights to and from Nauru were on Our Airlines, direct from Brisbane.  The approximate cost was $1400 per team member return.

VISAs were $50.00 AUD per person and obtained only after an intensive interview and scanning process had taken place at the Nauru Consulate in Brisbane which extended for more than 3 months.

Excess baggage was $15.00 AUD per kg and totaled more than $1000.00 AUD.  Ouch!

The return flight from Yaren International Airport on January 8 was delayed by some 2 hours as the petrol bus did not show up.  Apparently, the drivers had slept in hihi.

A free community bus service ran on the island but was unreliable at best. 

Quite often the bus reportedly drove straight past the team, refusing to stop and pick them up due to the fact they were perceived  as detention centre workers.

One of the Afghan refugees detained on the island also operated a cheap taxi service which was used on one occasion during sweltering 40 degree temperatures.


In addition to the comprehensive 32 page ‘Logistics Program’ sent out to sponsors prior to the activity, private reports and proofs provided to sponsors via email every couple of days were reportedly very well received. 

A number of scheds enabled some sponsors to achieve a contact also, which delighted the DXpedition team.

All up, 45 postcards (Pictured right) were sent direct from the island to sponsors in some 26 different countries as a thanks for their financial support.

Without it, DXpeditions of this nature simply do not occur.

QSL Card

A triple QSL card was ordered through Radek at Cool QSL on January 12, 2016 — 4 days after the completion of the activity.  

The design will incorporate proofs, photographs taken by the team, and traditional DA-RC logos and banners, as well as the QRZ of all sponsors.  A summary of the official log will also be displayed.

This QSL will be available from DA-RC Bureau EU soon. 

Notification of its delivery from Cool QSL will be made on the DA-RC website.

Contribution is standard ($2 US per callsign + SAE) thanks.

Log Summary

DXCC Worked:  52 [Italy (1), United States of America (2), Brazil (3), Argentina (4), Venezuela (5), Colombia (6), Canada (9), Mexico (10), Puerto Rico (11), Uruguay (12), Germany (13), France (14), Switzerland (15), Belgium (16), Hawaii (17), The Netherlands (19), Norway (20), Sweden (21), Panama (24), Japan (25), England (26), Spain (30), Portugal (31), Chile (32), Alaska (33), Canary Islands, (34), Austria (35), New Zealand (41), Australia (43), Denmark (47), Balearic Islands (49), Finland (56), Paraguay (67), Northern Ireland (68), Costa Rica (69), Philippines (79), Indonesia (91), Fiji (99), Corsica (104), Ceuta & Melilla (106), Nicaragua (126), Norfolk Island (130), Martinique (136), Thailand (153), Poland (161), New Caledonia (172), Guadeloupe (196), French Polynesia (201), Tuvalu (276), Asiatic Russia (302), Federated States of Micronesia (230), Curacao (347)]

Islands Worked: 43 [Australia (Main Island) (OC-001), Norfolk (OC-005), Tasmania (OC-006), Chuuk (OC-011), Tuvalu (OC-015), Viti Levu (OC-016), Maui, Kauai, Molokai & Hawaii (Big Island) (OC-019), Java (OC-021), Bali (OC-022), Grande Terre (OC-032), North (NZ) (OC-036), Luzon (OC-042), Tahiti, Maiao & Moorea (OC-046), Bora-Bora (OC-067), Borocay, Cebu, Negros & Panay (OC-129), Mindanao (OC-130), South (NZ) (OC-134), Curtis (OC-142), Sumatra (OC-143), Timor (OC-148), King (OC-233), Honshu (AS-007), Hokkaido (AS-078), Sakhalin (AS-017), Kyushu (AS-077), Hokkaido (AS-078), Puerto Rico (NA-099), Martinique (NA-107), La Palma, Gran Canaria & Tenerife (AF-004), Melilla (AF-036), Balearic Islands (EU-114), Sicily (EU-025), Ireland (EU-115)]

The Nauru DXpedition Team, and DA-RC HQ Team, wish to thank everyone in the 11m DX Community for their overwhelming support of this very rewarding initiative.

We look forward to providing you with similar experiences in the years to come and another positive contribution to our wonderful hobby!