Market Reef PA0GAM/OH0/OJ0, the longest call sign ever used?

The 1983 Market Reef DXpedition was undertaken by Kee OH0NA, Lars OH0RJ, Steve G4JVG and Gerben PA0GAM (now PG5M), my first ever radio expediton, which was a great experience which I will never forget and I like to share that experience with you. During this DXpedition to the tiny rock Market Reef in the Baltic Sea, the call sign PA0GAM/OH0/OJ0 has been used which is the longest call sign ever used (at that time). The information provided on this site is collected before and during my trip to Market Reef in 1983 and at present could be outdated or incomplete.

Geography and history

Market Reef (or "Märkets Fyr" as it is called in the Swedish language or "Märketin Majakka" in Finnish) is located at 60º18'10"N and 19º08'3"E and is about 300 meters long and 80 meters wide. The highest point is some 3 meters above sea level when the sea is calm. The island is a bare rock and the only vegetation I have noticed was some small plants in the cracks between the rocks. According to geologists, the rock is about 1270 billion years old.

Market Reef was first mentioned in 1809 in the history books when Sweden and Russia were negotiating in Fredrikhavn about their border lines. It was decided that the border line should run along Market Reef and an exact border was never drafted. Also in later discussions the same expression was used and hence Market Reef became a no-mans land. At present, the border line is exact and has a somewhat unusual shape as can be seen from the map. The left half of the island belongs to Sweden and the right site, including the lighthouse buildings belong to Finland. A heli-view shows the rock with the lighthouse and adjacent buildings as the only man-made structures.

Due to this situation it happened that during our stay on the island, a helicopter from Sweden landed on the island for an inspection of the emergency radio beacon, which for convenience was located in one of the Finnish buildings.

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Call: PA0GAM/OH0/OJ0
Start: 26-07-1983
End: 01-08-1983
IOTA: EU053
Island: Market reef

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