*DXPEDITION REPORT* 14DA/59046R, Near Hem Island


Blason ArmentièresOn October 21, in perfect WX conditions, 14DA021 Eric and I (14DA028 Phil) sought to undertake a short outing to an Inland Water Island (IWI) for the World Islands Contest (WIC).

Our choice fell on reference 59046R in the picturesque Hauts-de-France region in Northern France, not far from the Belgium border.


les-pres-du-hemIslands Base Online (IBO) substantiates this as the wee island of ‘Near Hem’, positioned in the city of Armentieres (59) which is part of the Urban Community of Lille Métropole.

For the purpose of IWI work, Near Hem Island is classified as  a ‘River’ island.

1-imageIt is situated within the waters of the River Lys, a 202 km long waterway which flows into the river Scheldt in Ghent, Belgium.

Departing at around 9:00am (7h GMT) to arrive around 9:30am on the Nord department site, we took a little time to choose the place and install the station.

armentieres_plan_deau_des_pres_du_hem_j2-2884743This consisted of the world’s smallest HF/VHF/UHF multimode amateur transceiver, a Yaesu FT-857D, an RM Italy KL501 (200w) amplifier and a homemade 1 element quad ‘Bamby’ antenna.

The eventual choice was to erect the Bamby to a fence alongside the river, on the tranquil shores of the island, and we were soon QRV.


The 1st “CQ DX” call as 14DA/59046R was launched on the International Call Frequency, 27.555 MHz USB, and we QSYed to 27.420 MHz to listen for a reply.

s_aire_sur_la_lys_debut_des_travaux_euroveloroute-00_00_04_03The first contact logged from ‘Near Hem’ Island was with 14AT824 Philippe in D62 at 10:21 am with a thumping signal of 5/7.

He was quickly followed by 14HF177 Olivier and soon after fellow Dx Adventure Radio Club member 14DA049 Frédo at 5/3.

yaesumeter_largeAt 10:27 am, we had a big surprise with our good friend 164DA101 Hervé in the Togo Republic appearing on the frequency.

From his home QTH in the small African DXCC, Herve arrived with a signal of 5/3.


presduhem2013cqs_133copie-720x380From here, the QSO’s chained themselves little by little but propagation was not consistent in difficult band conditions.

The first contact in EU outside of France was with 47PL122 Arne in the Kingdom of Denmark and then well-known island hunter 161EX015 Jurek in Poland as well.

Overall, despite not achieving big log numbers today, an enjoyable time was had by both Eric and myself on this small IWI entity.

22193212_187854258424810_2082582490_nLOG DATA

  • Stations Logged:  21
  • DXCC:  4 [France (14), Denmark (47), Poland (161) & Togo (164).
  • DA-RC members ITL:  5 [14DA049 Fred, 164DA101 Herve, 14DA024 Chris, 14DA028 Phil & 14DA021 Eric]

73 of the FrenChti Gang