PT0S, St. Peter & St. Paul Rocks DXpedition, SA-014

PT0S, St. Peter & St. Paul Rocks DXpedition, SA-014


The Araucaria DX Group, in conjunction with the TX3A Team, is pleased to announce a DXpedition to St. Peter and St. Paul Rocks, PY0S, under the call sign PT0S. The DXpedition will take place in the late November to mid December, 2012 time frame. The actual dates will depend on weather conditions and will be announced later on this website.

St.Peter & St.Paul Rocks

There has been an official ban on Amateur Radio activities from PY0S. Although the ban, which was created for environmental and safety reasons, remains in place, the Araucaria DX Group was given a special permit by Brazil’s SECIRM (Secretaria da Comissao Interministerial para Os Recursos do Mar), the Brazilian Navy, Ministry of Environment and LABRE to conduct a two week long operation.
The operation will have a strong low band focus. There will be a dedicated 160 meter station operating on 160 meters from sunset to sunrise. A second station will be on 80 and 40 meters at night. During the day we will operate two stations on the higher bands — and 6 meters — based on conditions. RTTY will also be supported.
The DXpedition’s goal is to give this rare and difficult entity to as many amateurs as possible, taking maximum advantage of this unique opportunity. The group will be using newly designed RX antennas and receiving equipment to allow small and QRP stations to work PT0S on all bands, but especially on 80 and 160 meters.
All QSO-s will be loaded onto LoTW within 36 hours of taking place.
Operators will be Fred Carvalho PY2XB (PY2XB/PY0F, PQ0F, VP5/PY2XB, 8P9XB), Peter Sprengel PP5XX/PY5CC (PY0FM, PW0T, HK0NA). Tomi Pekarik, HA7RY and George Wallner, AA7JV. Due to environmental considerations, we have been limited to four operators.

About The Araucaria DX Group 

The Araucaria DX Group (GRUPO ARAUCARIA DE DX) was formed in the 70s by mostly Brazilian amateur radio enthusiasts. Today it has become a multinational group focused on contesting and dxing. The group currently has 340 members, of which about 100 are from outside Brazil. The group includes 15 top of Honor Roll and several Contest Hall of Fame members. For details go to: 

About the TX3A Team:

The TX3A Team of HA7RY and AA7JV have conducted a number of two-man DXpeditions to Chesterfield Reef (TX3A), Mellish Reef (VK9GMW), Serrana Bank – Bajo Nouveo (5K0T) and Willis Islets (VK9WWI). The team focuses on putting difficult places on the air, especially on the low bands.


Coordinates: 00 deg 55.0′ N 29 deg 20.1′ W

The Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago (ASPSP) is a group of 15 small islets and rocks in the Atlantic Ocean, lying close to the equator and about 520 nautical miles (990 km) east of the Brazilian city of Natal. The rocks are close to the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), are area of constant and severe thunderstorms, resulting in permanently noisy radio conditions, especially on the lower bands. The rocks are located relatively close to both North America and Europe. We hope that the proximity of the rocks to Europe and North America will allow relatively small stations to work this rare entity.
We will be operating from the largest rock, called Belmonte. This is a very a difficult place to operate from. Although the Brazilian navy maintains a scientific research station on Belmonte, which is manned year around, we will have to be totally self-reliant and will be unable to use station’s facilities. Apart from the location of the research station, there is no flat ground on the rocks. We will be taking a pre-fabricated platform on which we will erect our tent.
Due to their strategic importance, the Rocks of St. Peter and St. Paul are treated differently by the Brazilian government to other islands in its territory. The Secretariat of the Interministerial Commission for Sea Resources (SECIRM) manages the archipelago in a manner the maximizes protection of national and environmental interests in the region. The infrastructure of the archipelago is very complex. Researchers take turns constantly on the research station located on Belmonte islet. The conduct research in areas of geology, biology, oceanography, meteorology and other academic and national interest. The difficulties of access in terms of almost 1,000 km distance that separates this small part of the country from the continent, the absence of drinking water, the frequent earthquakes; are just some of the difficulties encountered by the Brazilian government in managing the site.

As a consequence of several meetings with the Brazilian authorities, the organizers of the Expedition, represented by the Araucaria Dx Group’s Chairman (PY5EG Atilano de Oms), had the opportunity to show the relevance of ham radio activity to the communications community as well how the Dx-Pedition intends to cooperate to meet the requirements of the occupation of the archipelago and demonstrate its compatibility with the ongoing activities. The Brazilian Navy through SECIRM is giving total support to the expedition.
Due to the fact that the archipelago is a very important natural Brazilian reserve, a special permit from Ministry of Environment ( ICMBIOS) has been issued (NR 01-2012).
The expedition has also received a fundamental support from the Brazilian Amateur Radio League LABRE, as well from ANATEL (Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes). A special call has been assigned PT0S.
During all contacts with the Brazilian entities, we emphasized the importance of the work done by radio amateurs and reciprocity that could derive from this understanding. The operation is aimed not only at bringing this rare location to the DX community, but also to demonstrate that Amateur Radio is in fact totally compatible with the scientific and environmentally sensitive nature of the St. Peter and St. Paul Archipelago.
The Araucaria DX Group greatly appreciates the understanding and support of all its friends and Brazilian authorities.

Additional Background: 

The archipelago of St Peter and St Paul is a group of small rocky islands and rocky which is situated in the central equatorial Atlantic Ocean, lying 627 km from the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, 986 km the nearest point on the mainland and 1010 km from Natal, in Rio Grande do Norte. It was declared as part of the Brazilian territory, according to IBGE belonging to the state of Pernambuco, despite being closer to the state of Rio Grande do Norte. In 1998 a scientific station was opened on the island Belmonte, initiating the program Archipelago of Sao Pedro and Sao Paulo (Proarquipelago) administered by the Secretariat of the Interministerial Commission for Sea Resources (SECIRM). The permanent presence of scientists in scientific station is required to prove the livability in the archipelago, which is seen as crucial for its international recognition as the archipelago as Brazilian territory.


Transport: We will travel from the city of Natal aboard a Brazilian fishing vessel. The distance is 550 nautical miles (990 km) which is a four day trip. Cargo capacity is limited and these fishing vessels are not overly comfortable. 
TX Antennas: There will be three TX antennas: Two SpiderPole based verticals, each fed by an antenna coupler, and the newly developed Garden Beam, a rotatable tri-band vertical parasitic array. Conditions on Belmont do not allow for the installation of antennas with large footprints and we must be sensitive to the environmentally critical nature of the rocks, therefore the use of simple and light antennas. The main TX antenna, intended for 160, 80 and 40 meters, will be an inverted L, mounted on the edge of the rocks on the northernmost tip of Belmont, about 3 meters above the water’s edge. Grounding will mostly be through the salt-water. The antenna will be fed via a high power automatic antenna coupler, similar to the one used on our previous DXpedition. A second vertical, to be used on 80, 40 and 30 meters, will be located on the east side of Belmont, approximately 50 meters from the main TX antenna. The Garden Beam, which covers 20, 15 and 10 meters, will be located on a small stand 2 meters above the rocks.. The GB is a unique vertically polarized antenna that provides substantial gain and front-to-back even when mounted low above the ground. Unlike a regular Yagi, which must be mounted high above the ground for low angle radiation, the GB achieves low angles even when mounted very close to the ground. This eliminates the need for a tower or mast. For details go to :
RX Antennas: Because of the lack of space on Belmonte, we will install two remotely controlled small DHDL antennas, and their associated filters and pre-amplifiers, on a rock named Cabral, about 70 meters north of the main TX antenna. The coax and control cables will run underwater to Belmont. We hope that this arrangement will allow us to operate simultaneously on two bands, especially on 160 and 80 meters, without compromising our low-band RX capability. A description of the DOUBLE HALF DELTA LOOP antenna used by TX3A can be downloaded from the following URL: 
Transceivers and Amplifiers: 
We will have two stations. Both stations will use K3 transceivers. The main station will have two combined SG-500 amplifiers for an output of 1000 W, while the other station will have a single SG-500 amplifier for an output of 500 watts.

AC Power: 
Two 240 V, 1.5 kW Honda generators will provide AC power. All radios and amplifiers will run on 12 V DC. There will be two battery banks: two paralleled 12 Volt 60 Ahr car batteries for the transceivers and six paralleled batteries for the power amplifiers. The batteries will be continuously replenished via two 80 A battery chargers. This arrangement, which we have tested and refined on VK9GMW and TX3A, provides the most efficient use of the generators, as the batteries act as buffers, allowing the generators to run in their Eco mode most of the time. This will be critical, as our allowable fuel load is only 400 liters, which works out to around 28 liters (or 7 gallons) per day, for a 14 day operation. Fuel efficiency will be key to being able to use full power during the entire operation. Also, by being very fuel efficient, we will be complying with the mandate to be extremely environmentally friendly, and bring a minimum impact to this sensitive area.


QSL via HA7RY 

Direct QSL:
The preferred way for requesting PT0S QSL cards is using the Online QSL Request Service (OQRS) on our website. 

You can use that form to request your direct QSL, and cover the costs of sending the QSL card to you direct by using PayPal. We request a minimum of US$ 5 or EUR 4 for this service. This might look expensive, but do not forget that you save the costs of sending your own QSL and SASE to us. Any funds remaining after our costs will go to help the PT0S expedition budget. This method allows us faster processing, helps us protect the environment and you will receive your PT0S card faster. If you choose this method (which we prefer), please do NOT request a bureau card or send us your own QSL card. 

If you decide to send us your QSL direct by postal mail, please try to follow the below suggestions: 

  • Please include at least $2 with every direct QSL request for up to three cards per envelope. Unfortunately the traditional “green stamp” — i.e. US $ 1.00 — no longer covers the cost of international postage.
  • If you send International Reply Coupons (IRC), please make sure that it is not expired or is not about to expire.
  • If possible, the return envelope should be C6 size (162 x 114 mm) or C6/C5 size (229 x 114 mm) and NOT marked for AirMail or Priority. Any other size envelopes cost extra postage. If you do not have access to such envelopes, we prefer a self-addressed label which we can stick on the envelope ourselves.
Please be patient, as it will take us time to design and print the QSL cards.
Mailing address: 

Tamas Pekarik
Alagi ut 15.
H-2151 Fot


The log will be placed on LoTW, generally within 36 hours of the QSO taking place. 

Note that unlike many large DXpeditions who sometimes delay their LoTW postings because they want to make sure they get $5 donation for each QSL card, we will place all valid QSO-s on LoTW. That does not mean we don’t need your donation! We will be incurring substantial expenses to bring you this rare and difficult location and will appreciate all the help we can get. To make a donation please see the Support page or click Donate!


We will launch an Online QSL Request Service (OQRS) available through this website. 

If you want to receive your QSL via the bureau, please use that form to request the card. We will check your QSOs against the log and send your card to you via the bureau. This method allows us faster processing, helps us protect the environment and you will receive your PT0S card faster. If you request your bureau card online, please do NOT request a direct card and do NOT send us your QSL card.