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*New IOTA Ref* SA-097 | Radioaficion Ham Radio

*New IOTA Ref* SA-097


Dx Adventure Radio Club (DA-RC) Members whom are interested in the IOTA DX concept will be excited to learn

that South America’s Diego Ramírez Islands have been added to the official Islands On The Air (IOTA) database and issued a brand new SA reference number by the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB).

Now carrying the IOTA tag SA-097, the Diego Ramírez Islands are a diminuative group of lesser islands located in the southern most extreme of Chile (32 Division) about 100 km south-west of Cape Horn and 93 km south-south-east of Ildefonso Islands (SA-050), stretching 8 km north-south.

This QTH has a land area of little more than 1 square kilometer and one of the challenges for dx adventure teams will surely be that all ham friendly lodgings are situated at the bottom of the hills/mountains.  This will mean that to get the appropriate yagi take offs on the top of the island that a station will most probably be conducted as a portable with teams having to undertake a substantial trek to assume their positions.

These unique island dxstinations belong to the Commune of Cabo de Hornos.  They are divided into a smaller northern group with six islets and a larger southern group separated by a passage 3 km wide.

The two largest islands of the Diego Ramírez Islands, Isla Bartolomé and Isla Gonzalo, both lie in the southern group.

The islands contain the southernmost point of the South American continent, a title often incorrectly awarded to Cape Horn.  Águila Islet (Islote Águila), the southernmost land of the group, is at 56°32’9″S.

The Chilean Navy established a meteorological station above Caleta Condell, a small cove on the northeast side of Isla Gonzalo (Gonzalo Island), in 1957, and resupply it several times each year.  This is the southernmost manned outpost of South America (including islands), even if the South Sandwich Islands (AN-009) are regarded as part of South America, since the Argentinian station on Thule Island was dismantled in June 1982 (in the aftermath of the Falklands War).

The next southerly manned outpost of South America is the lighthouse of Cape Horn (ARLHS: CHI-006) (Pictured below).  Cruise ships occasionally pass by on their way to and from Antarctica (140 division).

The islands are an important nesting site for a number of southern seabirds, including the Black-browed Albatross, Shy Albatross, Grey-headed Albatross, Rockhopper Penguin, and Southern Giant-Petrel.

No doubt these dxceptional islands will be active on the bands soon!

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