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TF3JB Iceland flag Iceland

alias for: TF2JB

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Platinum Subscriber Lookups: 113203

QSL image for TF3JB

I was issued the call sign TF3JB on January 14, 1974; license No. 80 in Iceland. From January 2007 to July 2012 I was QRV as TF2JB, but as of August 2012, I became TF3JB again. Privileges include all bands, all emission types and full RF power.

I have been a member of our national association, Icelandic Radio Amateurs (Í.R.A.), more or less since 1973. During that time I have had the opportunity to participate in various activities of this great hobby and recently finished serving as the association's president (2009-2013).

I was granted a reciprocal license by the FCC when we lived in the United States (1990-1995). During that time I completed my postgraduate studies in NYC and CT. Helga María (my XYL) also earned her academic degrees during that time. We both loved the time in the States.

A QSL card is sure via bureau or direct for TF3JB and TF2JB. If you QSL direct, kindly include a self-addressed envelope with an IRC or 2 USD. Please note that I do not use E-QSL, LoTW or the QRZ Logbook system.

My grid square is HP94bc. When QRV as TF3JB/1 (at the summer house in Grímsnes) the grid square is HP94ma.

73 de TF3JB.

Member of Rotarians of Amateur Radio

PHOTO 1   The TF3JB operating position.

Equipment for HF (see photo above).

  • ICOM IC-7600 100W HF/50 MHz Transceiver.
  • LDG M-7600 External Meter for the Icom IC-7600.
  • HEIL PR-40 Dynamic Microphone with original Heil accessories.
  • ICOM HM-36 original hand microphone (brilliantly modified by AB5N).
  • W2IHY 8 Band Audio Equalizer and Noise Gate and the W2IHY EQplus Adjustable Compressor.
  • ASTRON RS-35M Linear Power Supply.
  • SOUNDS SWEET Communications Base Station Speaker.
  • DAIWA CN-801P 1.8-200 MHz Cross-Needle SWR/Power Meter.
  • ETM-4C C-MOS-Memory Keyer by Hermann Samson (DJ2BW).
  • M.P. PEDERSEN original hand key (not to be confused with the near identical Amplidan Model 50713)

Equipment for VHF/UHF (see photo above).

  • ICOM IC-2820H 50W VHF/UHF FM Transceiver.
  • ICOM PS-300 Linear Power Supply.
  • ICOM HM-133 and HM-154 hand Microphones.
  • PALSTAR SP-30 base station communications speakers (for the simultaneous reception on VHF and UHF).
  • DAIWA CN-801V 140-525 MHz Cross-Needle SWR/Power Meter.

Other equipment.

  • ICOM IC-7410 100W HF/50 MHz Transceiver (for back-up and portable use at TF3JB/1).
  • COLLINS 75S-3C Receiver (round emblem).
  • YAESU FRG-100 Receiver.
  • YAESU FP-1030 Linear Power Supply.
  • ASTRON SL-11A Linear Power Supply.


PHOTO 2   With John Devoldere, ON4UN,
renowned radio amateur, contester and author in Reykjavík Iceland on August 4, 2011. What a great guy!


PHOTO 3   With David G. Sumner, K1ZZ,
ARRL CEO, in Friedrichshafen Germany on June 22, 2012.


PHOTO 4   With Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T,
President of IARU Region 1 in the Í.R.A. headquarters in Reykjavík Iceland on May 5, 2013.
(Thanks to Hans for the many enjoyable QSO's).


PHOTO 5   With Timothy St. John Ellam, VE6SH,
President of IARU in Friedrichshafen Germany on June 29, 2013.


PHOTO 6   TF3JB is the authorized Check Point for CQ Magazine Awards in TF (as of April 16, 2009).
TF8GX was the first to hand in an award application on May 19, 2009; an application for the CQ WAZ Award.


PHOTO 7   In 2010 we commemorated that 30 years had passed since a record was set in the 1980 CQ WW DX PHONE CONTEST by our contest group from TF3IRA, in the Multi Operator Single Transmitter category.

The photo below was taken in the TF3IRA operating room and replicates the photo taken of the group during the actual contest (by TF3AC). It is TF3CW who holds the photograph from 1980. In the frame there is also a photocopy of CQ Magazine's cover page of the contest article published in the September 1981 issue of the magazine. Our record was finally broken 32 years later (in 2012) by TF3W.

From left: Yngvi Harðarson TF3Y (ex. TF3YH); Jónas Bjarnason TF3JB; Sigurður R. Jakobsson TF3CW; and Óskar Sverrisson TF3DC.


PHOTO 8   In 2008 we commemorated that 30 years had passed since the TF6M DXpedition to "Klaustur" (East Iceland). Almost 11.000 QSO's were made in the July 1978 operation on CW and Phone (on HF) and via the AMSAT Oscar 6 and 7 satellites; a total of 149 DXCC entities were worked.

Participants (from left): Kristinn Andersen TF3KX; Baldvin Þórarinsson TF3-033; Sæmundur E. Þorsteinsson TF3UA; Sigurður R. Jakobsson TF3CW; Jónas Bjarnason TF3JB; Gísli G. Ófeigsson TF3G (ex. TF3US); Mathías Hagvaag TF3MHN; and Yngvi Harðarson TF3Y (ex. TF3YH).


PHOTO 9   The TF4F DXpedition to Flatey Island (West Iceland) took place in July 1977. Despite almost "black-out" conditions we managed over a thousand QSO's on CW and Phone (on HF) including QSO's via the AMSAT Oscar 6 and 7 satellites. Photographs of the participants can be seen below on the special QSL card made for the expedition.

From left: Brynjólfur Jónsson TF5B (ex. TF5BW), Jónas Bjarnason TF3JB, Baldvin Þórarinsson TF3-033, Sæmundur E. Þorsteinsson TF3UA and Kristinn Andersen TF3KX.




Information and a facts about amateur radio in Iceland by TF3JB

 - Amateur radio in Iceland, in brief

 - There are 10 TF call areas

 - The most active DX stations from TF



1. Amateur Radio in Iceland, in Brief.

THE COUNTRY.   Iceland is a republic. We became independent on June 17, 1944. Prior to that we had been subjects of the King of Denmark (and earlier, the King of Norway). Population is currently approx. 335.000 (spring 2014). Total land area is 103.000 square kilometers. Much of the country is uninhabitable because of glaciers, volcanoes and sand deserts. The native language, Icelandic, is most closely related to old Norse. Weather-wise, Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle.

    View from the TF3JB/1 summer house at Swan lake QTH in Grímsnes in July 2013.

1. BANDS.  In addition to the "usual" bands we have the following band privileges:

  • 630 meter band (472-479 kHz); as of January 16, 2013 (on primary basis).
  • 160 meter band (1850-2000 kHz) in addition to 1810-1850 kHz; as of January 6, 2011, with full power (1kW) during contests.
  • 60 meter band (5260-5410 kHz) on CW and USB; as of January 2, 2008. And, PSK-31, as of June 12, 2012.
  • 4 meter band (70.000-70.200 MHz); as of February 19, 2010.

2. LICENSING.  There are two license classes based on the HAREC requirements. The basic license is an N-license and the full license is the G-license. A basic TF license holder can easily be identified, since the suffix of the call sign will always have three letters ending with the letter "N". For example: "TF3XXN". The N-license class is limited to 100 Watts and less band privileges. G-licensees have all bands, all emission types and and full RF power (1kW).

3. NUMBER OF LICENSEES.  Just over 450 TF call signs have been issued to date (spring 2014) by the Icelandic PTA since the first amateur radio regulation took effect on February 7, 1947. The corresponding number of licensees is approx. 350.

4. Í.R.A.  Our national association is Íslenskir radíóamatörar (Í.R.A.), founded on August 14, 1946. Currently, we have approx. 200 members; YL's are 3% of the membership. The association's headquarters is located in Reykjavík (the capital) and we have an open house for members and guests every Thursday from 20:00 hours.

5. IOTA, CQ AND ITU ZONES.  There are 3 different IOTA numbers allocated to Iceland. Firstly, EU-021 for the country itself. Secondly, EU-168, that is allocated to the many islands around Iceland, except for Vestmannaeyjar (and surrounding islands), that have the special allocation: IOTA EU-071. Iceland is located in CQ Zone 40 and ITU Zone 17.

6. CALL AREAS.  Further down this page, our call areas are explained. In addition, there is brief information about the activity to be the expected from each of them.

7. DX ACTIVITY FROM TF.  Further down the page, you will find a discussion about DX activity from Iceland.


2. There are 10 TF call areas.

Iceland is divided into 10 call areas. Prior to 1981, the prefixes TF1, TF8, TF9 and TF0 were not in use. At that time, some of those call areas were also differently allocated, geographically. For example, the current TF8 call area used to be TF2 call area, etc. Most activity is to be expected from the TF3 call area which is Reykjavík (and the surrounding capital region), but approximately 70% of the population lives in that geographical area.

The enclosed map depicts the TF call areas (courtesy of TF2MSN).

In the list below, call signs of TF stations potentially QRV (in spring 2014) is shown by call area.

  • TF3 Too many to list (approximately. 200).
  • TF4 TF4M and TF4X.
  • TF6 TF6GE, TF6JZ, TF6KZ, TF6PZ and TF6RXN.
  • TF7 TF7GGE, TF7THT and TF7VM.
  • TF9 Currently, none.
  • TF0 The uninhabited highlands (mostly "/M" activity).



3. The most active DX stations from TF.



In April 2014, there were almost 130 TF call signs registered on QRZ.COM. Of that number, 35 call signs had more than 10.000 lookups. Supposedly, these are the stations most active in DX from Iceland. Taking a closer look, I was able to extract the data displayed below.(1Although the conclusions drawn are accurate, the outcome of this exercise should be regarded as an indicator, since it is not a scientific study.

The following variables were examined: (1) Type of primary transceiver; (2) Type of primary linear amplifier; (3) Type of primary antenna; (4) Primary activity by emission mode; (5) Age of licensee; and (6) QTH by TF call area.

    The TF3IRA SteppIR 3E Yagi antenna photographed in winter sun in December 2012.

Type of transceiver.  The transceivers favored are from Icom and Yaesu; each brand has a 33% stake. Other brands: Kenwood (18%), Elecraft (15%), FlexRadio (3%) and Other (3%).

Linear amplifier.  It turns out that 78% of this group use/own a linear amplifier. The most popular brands: Acom, Yaesu and Other (surplus, homebrew, etc.); each with a 12% stake. Ameritron, AMP Supply and SPE have each a 6% stake. Other brands: Alpha, Dentron, Drake, Emtron, Heathkit, Icom, Kenwood and OM Power.

Antennas.  52% use directional antennas, 27% wire antennas and 21% verticals. The most popular directional antennas are from SteppIR, OptiBeam and HexBeam. Other directional antennas (in primary use) are from Fritzel, Hy-gain, UltraBeam, XY antennas or homebrew. The most popular wire antennas are Cobwebbs, Deltas/loops and Long wires. Verticals: Butternut, Cushcraft, New-tronics Hustler, SteppIR, Zerofive and homebrew.

Mode of emission.  SSB is the favored mode with a 41% stake. Digital modes (RTTY, PSK, etc.) have a 33% share, and CW has a 26% share.

Operator age.  Average age is 58 years. Broken down, most operators are between 50-59 years of age, or 47%. About 20% are between 60-69 years; 17% are between 70-84 years; and 16% are between 24-49 years of age.

Call areas.  Most operators reside in the TF3 call area (70%). DX activity is though also to be expected from TF2, TF4, TF5 and TF8 call areas.

Approx. 24% of this group of active DX-ers in TF have acquired the DXCC Award. A similar percentage has acquired the WAZ Award.

Points of interest:

  • A DX station is most likely to encounter a TF station operating on SSB.
  • The TF station will either use an Icom or a Yaesu transceiver;
  • use/own a linear amplifier;
  • use a directional antenna;
  • live in the TF3 call area; and
  • the operator age will be between 50-59 years. (Currently, there are no TF YL's that have over 10.000 lookups on QRZ.COM).

Questions and/or comments on this text are welcome. E-mail address: jonas.bjarnason.hag@gmail.com

 73 de Jónas, TF3JB.


(1) Additional data needed was acquired from sources outside the QRZ.COM website.



When I passed my Novice license examination in December 1973, I discussed with my father that I would need a QSL card once I got on the air. He suggested that I should pay a visit to an artist friend of his, Mr. Halldór Pétursson (1916-1977) who happened to have his art studio close to our home. He then called Mr. Pétursson on the phone, and it was arranged that I could visit him the next day.

I was received warmly by the artist. He asked me what kind of a drawing I would like for my QSL card; but I had no idea at the time. Then he asked me to tell him all about amateur radio and DX'ing. So I told him about the hobby and ended by saying that QSL cards were the final courtesy of a QSO and exchanged to confirm the contact made over the airwaves.

I guess it took me a few minutes to explain things since while I was talking, the artist finished the drawing you can see above and which is displayed on my first QSL card. I have always been pleased with this drawing. I still have the original artwork and nowadays I could probably sell it since his work is much appreciated in this country. Although this was a simple drawing, he did put his initials on it, "HP.73". This artwork will however never be up for sale.

I still have a few hundred of these cards left but have, in the years gone by, had a more basic card made for TF3JB operations; almost identical to the one I had made for my TF2JB activity when we lived the Hvanneyri QTH (2007-2012). Feel free to request the original card if you send your QSL via direct.

73 de Jónas, TF3JB.




Photo of TF3JB on top of the page - Mrs. Guðrún Jónsdóttir (Borgarnesi).

Photos 1, 2, 4, 7 and 8 - Mr. Jón Svavarsson, TF3JON.

Photos 3 and 5 and 6 - Mr. Erling Guðnason, TF3EE.

Photo 9 - TF3JB.

Photographs included the text about amateur radio in Iceland if brief are by TF3JB.

The map of TF call areas was designed by TF2MSN.









1190762 Last modified: 2014-08-16 14:57:38, 34356 bytes

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