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TF3JB Iceland flag Iceland

alias for: TF2JB

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Platinum Subscriber Lookups: 163737

I was issued the call sign TF3JB on January 14, 1974; license No. 80 in Iceland. For a few years (1995-2012) I was QRV as TF2JB, but moved back to Reykjavík in August 2012 and 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, or longer).

Direct cards are mailed off on the same day received by First Class Air Mail. I do not use E-QSL, LoTW or the QRZ Logbook system.

My grid square is HP94bc. However, 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

  • 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 and 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 (for TF3JB/1 and back-up).
  • 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 (quality keyer).
  • M.P. PEDERSEN original hand key (not to be confused with the near identical Amplidan Model 50713)

Equipment for VHF/UHF

  • ICOM IC-2820H 50W VHF/UHF FM Transceiver.
  • ICOM PS-300 Linear Power Supply.
  • ICOM HM-133 + 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; 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 broken in
2012 by TF3W (32 years later).

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; 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.

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

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 (June 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 2015.

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, 1kW in contests.
  • 60 meter band (5260-5410 kHz) 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 is easily identified, since the suffix of such a 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 475 TF call signs had been issued in July 2015 since a regulation on amateur radio took
effect on February 7, 1947.
4. Í.R.A.  Our national association is Íslenskir radíóamatörar, Í.R.A., and was founded on August 14, 1946. We will thus
commemorate 70 years annaversary next year, 2016. Currently, we have approx. 200 members. We are proud of our XY's and
they now have their  chapter, founded in May 2015. 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 AND CQ & ITU ZONES.  There are 3 different IOTA numbers allocated to TF:
  • EU-021 is allocated to Iceland (the country itself).
  • EU-071 is allocated to Vestmannaeyjar (and surrounding islands).
  • EU-168 is allocated to the other many islands around Iceland (except for Vestmannaeyjar islands).

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

6. CALL AREAS.  Look for a map of the 10 TF call areas further down the page (in Part 2).
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 call areas (and 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 approx. 70%
of the population lives in that geographical area.

The map depicts the TF call areas and also shows the three IOTA numbers assigned to the country; EU-021, EU-071 and EU-
168. The call areas are geographically based on local municipalities. If you would like information in detail about the call areas,
feel free to send me an E-mail: jonas.bjarnason.hag@gmail.com  Thanks to TF2MSN for drawing up the map.



Part 3: The most active DX stations from TF


In July, 2015 just over 200 TF call signs were registered on QRZ.COM. Of that number, 36 call signs (18%) had more than
10.000 [accumulated] lookups. Supposedly, these are the stations most active in DX from Iceland. Taking a closer look at
those call signs, I was able to extract the data displayed below.(1)

The following variables were examined:

  • Type of primary transceiver.
  • Type of primary linear amplifier (if applicable).
  • Type of primary antenna.
  • Primary activity by emission mode.
  • Age of licensee.
  • QTH by call area.
The TF3IRA SteppIR 3E Yagi antenna photographed in the 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 and Apache Anan (3%) and Other (3%).
Linear amplifier
About 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,
Elecraft, Emtron, Heathkit, Icom, Kenwood and OM Power.
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 of this group is 58 years. Most operators are between 50-59 years of age (47%).
Call areas 
Most operators reside in the TF3 call area (70%). Ample DX activity is though also to be expected from TF2, TF4, TF5 and
TF8 call areas.
Approx. 24% of the group have acquired the DXCC award and one WAZ award.

Points of interest:

  • A DX station is most likely to encounter a TF station operating on SSB.
  • The TF station will most likely either be using an Icom or a Yaesu transceiver;
  • the TF station will most likely use or own a linear amplifier;
  • and will likely be using a directional antenna;
  • and will probably live in the TF3 call area; and
  • the operator age will likely be between 50-59 years.

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


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

July 1, 2015 Addendum:

The following three TF call signs had the most [accumulated] lookups on QRZ.COM during the
first half of this year, 2015 (January-June):
  1. TF2MSN.  Primary activity: SSB; secondary: Digital modes.
  2. TF3JB.  Primary activity: CW; secondary: SSB.
  3. TF5B.  Primary activity: Digital modes; secondary: SSB.


My first QSL card. The artwork was especially made for TF3JB 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.









6595959 Last modified: 2015-07-27 09:16:23, 41779 bytes

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