Activation in the Northern Marianas Islands

Greetings, all.

I will be in the Northern Marianas islands from about 20-22 March (likely Saipan, possibly Tinian). The reason for my trip is to conduct a military staff ride visit of those islands with other Marine Corps officers.

It appears that there are a couple virgin SOTA summits on those islands and I would like to attempt an activation and also give a demonstration of HF radio capability to some of my fellow officers.

My most likely target is KH0/SA-001, Okso’ Takpochao.

I have a few questions for the group:

  1. What is the nature of amateur radio on Saipan? Are there local operators there? Do they use 2 meters, 70cm, or anything similar?

  2. I plan on having a capability to activate on 40M and 20M using SSB & CW, and 144/440 SSB/CW/FM.

  3. Getting a spot out may be a bit of a challenge. Does anybody have ideas on that? Does anybody know if there is SMS/cell/cell date access on the island?

I think that’s enough for now.

I appreciate the help.

Nate N0PCL (and LtCol, USMC)


Nate, I’d be surprised if there was no cell service on the islands but it may be limited to the places of main population density. In addition the cell system may not be compatible with your phone though there is much more worldwide compatibility between phones sold in Europe, Asia and the US now. You may need to borrow a phone from someone based there in which case give me as much notice as you can and I can add in the new number so you can spot.

Alternatively, there may be someone with an Garmin/DeLorme InReach device that they will lend to you so you can spot and they can chase KH0 etc. for SOTA.

Best of luck putting a rare SOTA association on the air.

G day Nate hope you are able to do some SOTA while on the trip to Pacific. I usually work Mot JP1QEC when he activates in Japan and we have most success on 17m cw to make the best contacts,so make sure you have a dipole for 17m with you. I am sure some of the ZL chasers will be in the skip zone as well on 17/20m we all chase Mot at the same time. Look forward to look out for you.
73 Ian vk5cz …