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The list of Donors has been updated

Feb 24, 2012

All direct QSL requests have been mailed this evening.

Feb 21, 2012

QSL cards arrived today from the printer and will be dispatched soon.

Jan 14, 2012

QSL cards have been printed and will be shipped from Italy on Monday Jan 16.

December 23, 1011

The QSL card design has been finalized by Alfio/IT9EJW. Cards will be printed over the next little while. I will let everyone know when will the cards be shipped to me from Italy. I appreciate that it would be difficult for those who requested the cards by direct mail or paypal to receive them in time for the annual IOTA upgrade at the end of January. Please return to check the site for further announcements.

November 29, 2011

In the following I would like to give you a quick overview of the CE4A operation from Pupuya Is., SA-095. The delay in providing this info was due to the time necessary to recover the fatigue, to undertake a thorough cleaning of the equipment and clothing, to get up to speed on my business activities, return back home, and overcome the loss of my father-in-law last Friday – which obviously affects the entire family, but especially my wife.

A team of three (myself, Christian/CA3TAM, and Juan/CE5PHI) landed on Pupuya with the help of four sailors (Manuel, Beto, Paolo, and Manuel Jr.). All of the above except Manuel, who remained with the boat, had to swim 50 m in the 10C water wearing wet-suits. All the equipment and camping gear arrived on the island in excellent shape. Only one of the gas canisters leaked a little in one of the sealed drums, nothing serious though. The station was in operating condition for 64 hours, but I only operated it for 55 (slept 5 hours total, took 1 hour to explore the island, and couldn’t operate for 3 hours due to technical problems I will touch upon later on). Almost 2,500 QSOs were made with all 7 continents, approximately 28% in SSB, the rest in CW (more statistics will be available soon).

The operating tent wasn’t closed on the bottom. In order to install it, a lot of rocks had to be moved around. Leveling the rocks was virtually impossible, but we managed to install the tent on the grounds of a bird cemetery. The problem was that without a bottom, every walk or move of the foot paddle would raise a fine dust, a mixture of real dust and bird excrements, which was felt deep in the lungs with every breath.

The first day was relatively calm, but after sunset millions (or should I say billions?) of flies would be wildly attracted by the faintest source of light, such as the LCD screen of the radio, not to mention my head-lamp. They made it impossible to operate. Not by picking us, but by simply covering everything with a dense insect layer. I couldn’t see, write or breath. Nothing worked until we replaced the white light with red light inside the test, in combination with white light lamps outside of the tent. Next two days the weather was very windy and the flies mostly disappeared at night. However, I kept using the red-light head-lamp to avoid any potential nuisance.

A fine dust would cover everything during the day. From over 30C under the daytime sun to barely 3C at night, the huge temperature difference led to condensation which turned the fine dust powder into an oily and acidic liquid, which would glue like a paste to everything inside and outside the operating tent. Starting the second night, I noticed a high SWR on 40m, but continued to use it with pretty good results (working as far as Europe, JA, VK/ZL). Once the sun rose, however, the SWR would get to expected values in minutes. The last night on the island though, the oily and acidic paste was so thick and spread out by the wind so homogeneously that the antenna wouldn’t tune on any band for almost 3 hours, until the propagation on 10m opened up (the 10m antenna has only one piece, so its functionality is not be affected by the above).

With the MUF in high values, it should have been clear that during the time that 10m was open, no lower band would open satisfactorily. However, the propagation on 10m was touch and go. As such, periods of great runs will alternate with periods of no propagation at all. At first I kept CQing, later changing from band to band, trying to find any drop of propagation I could. Most of the contacts during daytime were on 10m, while in the evening 20m will take over, and then 30/40m during the night. I operated mostly CW because I constantly received better reports in CW compared with those in SSB. However, I operated in SSB every day, at times looking in for new stations only.

Pupuya is a small but very dense bird paradise, with a colony of cormorants tens of thousands of individuals strong, pelicans, Humboldt penguins, and several other bird species. We were constantly under bird droppings. Numerous sea lions lie on the rocks, rapidly moving toward the water when humans approach from afar.

For extraction, Beto and Paolo wore dry-suits, but they brought a small inflatable this time, which they used to carry one sealed drum at a time, filled with equipment, camping gear and clothing, until everything was in the boat. We were transported at the end, one at a time.

Christian and Juan worked hard on the island to bring everything on the rocks, set up the camp, move batteries and generators around, re-set the camp in strong winds, etc. They took turns operating CE4A for the CE hams on 40 m SSB. Their enthusiasm, humor, and team spirit were unsurpassed.

A big Thank You to Dino/CE3PG for his help with the necessary permits and licenses, and Marisa/CE2MT for her intense work on the logistics.

November 19, 2011

Arrived with Christian and Marisa at Matanzas, relatively accross from Pupuya. We had a wonderful dinner with several others hams from the RadioClub de Chile, who arrived here ahead of us. Weather looks good, not a lot of wind, and it is expected even better tomorrow morning, when we will attempt landing. If everything goes well, I hope to be on the air by no later than 18 UTC.

 Cezar, Manuel (center) and Christian (CA3TAM)

November 18, 2011

I am flying tonight from Kingston (Nov 19 at 0:56 UTC), arriving in Santiago tomorrow lunch time (15 UTC). I will be meeting with the CE team at the Radioclub de Chile. After the equipment, camping gear and food provisions will be checked one more time, everything will be loaded into the rented pickup truck and we'll drive south-west, towards the shore, where we will stay for the night. Landing on Pupuya will be attempted on Sunday morning, and I will be joined in this attempt by Christian.

Please note the following:

- There will be no SAT phone or email communication between the island and mainland. We will use VHF radios in case of emergency.

- Refrain from posting band/mode requests on the DX cluster, since I will not have access to them.

- In case of significant developments, updates will be posted on this website.

October 11, 2011

Preparations for the CE4A expedition are on track and progressing very well. For transportation we have retained the services of Manual Berrios, a very experienced sailor and fisherman, who will be available 24 hours per day during the expedition, including any delay due to unfavourable weather conditions. In view of the serious landing challenges, the landing team has been reinforced with Christian (CA3TAM), who is an experienced diver and fisherman, very enthusiastic about this adventure. The supporting team will include Marisa (CE2MT), Pepe (CE3BCO), and Julio (CE3OPE). At least one of them will be available on mainland at any time. Any information from the operating team will be posted on this website through our webmaster, Maury (IZ1CRR).

Our purpose is to service as many members of the IOTA community as possible. As such, please refrain from logging us on different bands and modes. Give others a chance. Also, please remember that the operator’s instructions are not optional! If we are switching bands/modes is to target different regions around the world and operators who are not comfortable wCW. Generators, chargers, batteries and waterproof drums have been rented/purchased and checked. If the weather cooperates, we should be on the air on November 20.

I will not return back to Canada before the end of November. Keeping in mind that December includes some winter holidays, it is unlikely that the QSL cards will be designed, printed, shipped to me, and mailed to those with direct requests all in time for the annual upgrade submission. I hope that the IOTA chasers will understand.

September 15, 2011

Visiting Chile, I had the opportunity to meet in Santiago with Dino – CE3PG, Pepe – CE3BCO, and Marisa – CE2OPJ, members of the “Team Pupuya”, and go with them over the logistics of our DXpedition. Based on reliable information it was concluded that dry landing on Pupuya coming from the sea is impossible. This is because of numerous subsurface rocks that prevent the Zodiac from approaching the shore. The only option is to bring it as close as possible and then swim to the island by avoiding the rocks. The water temperature is expected around 10 C, so wetsuits should be worn. All the radio equipment, generators, batteries, camping gear and personnel effects must be transported inside waterproof, 200 liters sealed drums.

The best camp site is on the east side of the island, on a ledge clearly visible in the photos posted in the gallery section of this site. It offers protection from the winds which can blow from the ocean. We expect that the ledge remains mostly above water at high tide, but this won’t be confirmed until we land and spend the night there. A rock wall raises high northwest from the ledge, potentially rending the propagation path to Far-East Asia challenging. However, I am very optimistic that by listening directionally to various parts of the world at their best propagation times logging stations in all areas won’t be a problem.

Team Pupuya will continue working on the various contingencies required to bring this project to life. Your support in defraying some of the costs will be gratefully appreciated and acknowledged promptly here.

July 17, 2011

The CE4A expedition to Pupuya Is. will take place between November 20 and 23, 2011. Please note that these days can slip in case of bad weather conditions.
I would like to use this opportunity in order to re-iterate that we are looking intensely for interested groups and enthusiastic individuals willing to support this project. We are looking for any island chasers who appreciate the difficulties and expenses associated with such an operation and are keep help us offset some of the costs. All support received will be acknowledged on this website.


Cezar/VE3LYC and Dino/CE3PG will attempt to operate from Pupuya Is. (SA-095) for at least 3 days in mid-November 2011. To date, this IOTA reference still awaits its first activation. Pupuya is made up of several rocks located in close proximity to the continent. The landing on these rocks, however, is difficult due to the abscence of a beach, the strong ocean and tidal currents and the presence of sharp, under surface boulders. The team will try to land on its central-eastern part, on a low and narrow ledge, evaluating if it offers sufficient room for setting up camp, and if it remains dry at high tide. Even if the ledge can be used for camp site, the team may have to place one of the verticals higher up on the rocks, in order to ensure an unobstructed path to Asia and Oceania. Weather and sea conditions can influence significantly the landing and operation schedule.

Callsign, license, permits:

The team is in possession of legal licenses and permits required for this operation.
Expedition callsign will be CE4A

Bands and modes:

The operation will take place on 17, 20, 30 and 40 m, SSB and CW. The team will attempt to operate around the clock, looking for propagation windows to every region of the world. 


(1) We urge all those who wish to contact us to read once again the DX Code of Conduct as available on the FOC web site FOC website www.g4foc.org, in March 2010 issue of QST, at www.g4ifb.com/html/dxing.html#PileupTips, and in more detail, at www.on4ww.be/OperatingPracticeEnglish.html.

(2) CE is not a rare DXCC, and CE4 is not a rare prefix. Please refrain from having multiple QSOs, give others a chance to log a rare IOTA!

Thank you!  


This is not only a difficult but an expensive operation. Donations are sought from anyone who wishes to assist in defraying some of the project costs. Support can be sent to Cezar/VE3LYC by PayPal at tiberius.trifu@gmail.com or by mail. All contributions to this project will be acknowledged. 



We wish to thank the Radio Club de Chile for their strong and very enthusiastic assistance in obtaining the licenses and permits required for this project, as well as ensuring the necessary logistical support.


Pupuya Island Google map 

Website by IZ1CRR 

Photo of Pupuya on the top courtesy Horacio Parragué, Chile 

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