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TF3JB Iceland flag Iceland

alias for: TF2JB

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Platinum Subscriber Lookups: 158718

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 moving back to the capital in 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 most recently finished serving four terms as the association's president (2009-2013).

When we lived in the United States (1990-1995) I was granted a reciprocal license by the FCC (one of the last such licenses issued before CEPT). During that time I completed my postgraduate studies in NYC and CT along with Helga María, my XYL. We both loved the time in the States.

QSL cards are important. A QSL card is sure via bureau or direct for TF3JB and TF2JB. If you QSL direct, kindly include a self-addressed envelope with: 

  • 1 IRC or 2 USD for countries in Europe.
  • 1 IRC or 3 USD for countries outside Europe. (2 USD will still suffice for 2nd Class Mail, but may take 5-6 weeks).

Direct QSL cards are dealt with and taken to the Post Office on the same day received and sent by First Class Air Mail. 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 Jónas, TF3JB.

Member of Rotarians of Amateur Radio

PHOTO 1   The TF3JB operating position.

Equipment for HF (photo above).

  • ICOM IC-7600 HF/50 MHz Transceiver and ICOM IC-7410 HF/50 MHz Transceiver (for TF3JB/1 and back-up).
  • LDG M-7600 External Meter for the ICOM IC-7600.
  • HEIL PR-40 Dynamic Microphone with original Heil accessories.
  • W2IHY 8 Band Audio Equalizer and Noise Gate & W2IHY EQplus Adjustable Compressor.
  • ICOM HM-36 original hand microphone (brilliantly modified by AB5N).
  • ASTRON RS-35M Linear Power Supply and YAESU FP-1030A Linear Power Supply.
  • SOUNDS SWEET Communications Base Station Speaker.
  • DAIWA CN-801HP 1.8-200 MHz (average and PEP reading) 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 (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 (average and PEP reading) Cross-Needle SWR/Power Meter.


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


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


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


PHOTO 5   Timothy St. John Ellam, VE6SH.
With VE6SH, the 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 WAZ Award.


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

The photo was taken in the current TF3IRA operating room and replicates the photograph taken of the group during the actual contest in 1980 by TF3AC and published in the September 1981 issue of CQ Magazine. TF3CW holds the framed photograph and the CQ Magazine contest cover page. Our record was finally broken 32 years later (in 2012) by TF3W.

From left: TF3Y (ex. TF3YH), TF3JB, TF3CW and 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 July 1978 on HF and via the AMSAT Oscar 6 and 7 satellites; a total of 149 DXCC entities were worked.

TF6M participants: TF3KX, TF3-033, TF3UA, TF3CW, TF3JB, TF3G (ex. TF3US), TF3MHN and 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 one thousand QSO's on HF and via the AMSAT Oscar 6 and 7 satellites. Photographs of the participants can be seen below.

TF4F participants: TF5B (ex. TF5BW and TF5BWN), TF3JB, TF3-033, TF3UA and TF3KX.




By Jónas Bjarnason, TF3JB

  • Amateur radio in Iceland, in brief 
  • The 10 call areas
  • The most active DX stations from TF



Part 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 approx. 330.000 (March 2015). 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 closely related to old Norse. Weather-wise, Iceland benefits from 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 2014.

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

  • 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 that call sign will always have three letters ending with the letter "N". For example: "TF3XXN". The basic licensee is limited to 100 Watts and has less band privileges. G-licensees have all bands, all emission types and and full RF power (1kW).

3. NUMBER OF LICENSEES.  Over 470 TF call signs have been issued to date (May 2015) by the Icelandic PTA. The first amateur radio call sign in TF was issued after a regulation on amateur radio took effect on February 7, 1947.

4. THE Í.R.A.  Our national association is Íslenskir radíóamatörar (Í.R.A.), founded on August 14, 1946. We will thus commemorate 70 years of our association next year (2016). Currently, we have approx. 200 members; YL's are 3% of the membership. The association's headquarters is in Reykjavík and we have an open house for members and guests once a week (on Thursdays) from 20:00 hours.

5. IOTA NUMBERS, CQ ZONE & ITU ZONE.  There are 3 different IOTA numbers allocated to TF:

  • EU-021 is allocated to Iceland (the country itself).
  • EU-168 is allocated to the many islands around Iceland, except for Vestmannaeyjar islands.
  • EU-071 is allocated to Vestmannaeyjar (and surrounding islands).

Iceland is located in CQ Zone 40 and ITU Zone 17.

6. CALL AREAS.  Further down (in Part 2) our ten call areas are illustrated.

7. DX ACTIVITY FROM TF.  Still further down (in Part 3) you will find a discussion about DX activity from Iceland.


Part 2: The 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 vicinity, but approximately 70% of the population lives in that geographical area.

The map below shows the TF call areas (courtesy of TF2MSN).




Part 3: The most active DX stations from TF.


On May 1, 2015 over 200 TF call signs were registered on QRZ.COM. Of that number, approx. 40 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 2014.

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, home brew, 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.

Antenna.  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 home brew.

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 70 years or older; 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.

DXCC.  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 probably be 50-59 years.

Questions/comments are welcome. 73 de Jónas, TF3JB.


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


My first QSL card. The artwork was made in 1973 by Icelandic artist Halldór Pétursson (1916-1977). 



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.









1969325 Last modified: 2015-05-16 18:55:50, 29588 bytes

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