CQWPX from JW Svalbard

In late March I was active from Svalbard, Norway, in order to attend the CQWPX SSB contest as JW2T. Outside the contest periods I could be heard as JW/LB5SH on SSB and FT8.

It really started as a coincidence, as I stumbled across JW5E‘s website and found that their booking calendar was not checked for the CQ WPX dates. I cross-checked with a couple of airlines, found some decent prices and booked everything before I had the chance to reconsider.

Upon arrival I was welcomed in person by JW4PUA Sander, who introduced me to the JW5E shack and all its bells and whistles. Shortly after a familiar face showed up, JW7QUA Peter and chimed in with good and friendly advice. They were both extremely friendly and welcoming, and gave me invaluable advice regarding the conditions, and how to work from Svalbard. Turns out, I’m not in Kansas anymore, and things are a bit different up in polar bear land.

Their shack has pretty much everything you need to get started. Their PA systems are not for rent, so bring your own if you need more than 100W. I brought a small 400W transistor PA and it really helped me out a lot, and I recommend anyone going to bring their own. For CW and FT8 you’re good without, but SSB needs a bit more punch.

Here are some of the photos I took during my stay in Longyearbyen.

If you’re ever on Svalbard I highly recommend renting JW5E‘s shack, and no, I’m not paid to say this. Their shack is merely a 5-minute walk from Longyearbyen town centre. It’s well heated, tidy, clean, and equipped with an IC-7300 guest radio with access to good antennas, fast internet connection, and a small but functional kitchen and living room, and almost everything else you might need.

Thanks, guys, I will be back for sure!