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Default [N6PSE] Interview with JH4RHF-Jun Tanaka


Interview with JH4RHF-Jun Tanaka

Posted: 16 Jul 2016 10:13 PM PDT

Jun (in red) makes some of the first contacts from the new country of
Southern Sudan-ST0R in 2011.

Jun Tanaka-JH4RHF is one of the quiet “unsung” heroes of the DXpeditioning
realm. He has participated in dozens of important DXpeditions during the
past two decades. Jun is a master technical troubleshooter, a superb
operator and a very good man. He is happy to be the quiet man working
behind the scenes during the DXpedition to ensure success. He is the
“MacGyver” of the Intrepid-DX Group and has solved challenging technical
issues and saved the day on each of our trips.

Jun is 52 years of age and was born near Hiroshima Japan.

Paul-N6PSE: Jun when did you become interested in amateur radio?

Jun-JH4RHF: I first became interested in amateur radio at age 10 when I
listened to shortwave radio. I enjoyed listening to stations in Australia
and in Beijing. This was before the Internet was very attractive to kids.
When I was 9 or 10 years old, my Father bought a shortwave radio for us to
enjoy. When I was in Grade 4, my friend got his license and encouraged me
to do so. I obtained my Novice license at age 12. This is my 40th year in
ham radio.

Jun active as a young ham.

Paul-N6PSE: Jun tell us about your first station? What was your equipment?

Jun-JH4RHF: I started out with a Kenwood TS-520 radio and a dipole antenna
which worked on 15 and 40 meters. It was great fun!

Jun and his ham friend.

Paul-N6PSE: Jun, I know that you have an interesting education and career,
can you please tell us about it?

Jun-JH4RHF: I went to school in Japan and obtained a Ph.D in Experimental
Nuclear Physics. After graduation, I worked at the school for four years.
In 1999, I moved to Vienna, Austria to work for the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA). My job there is complimentary to supporting the
Complementary Test Ban Organization (CTBO). I now work for IAEA in nuclear

Paul-N6PSE: Jun, what does the CTBO do?

Jun-JH4RHF: The CTBO is monitoring nuclear weapons tests by conducting
radiation and seismic measurement. We gather evidence of such tests and
prepare reports. We also conduct field exercises to discover future or
potential nuclear test sites. We have been measuring the Chernobyl site by
using Gamma Rad detection by Helicopter, flying over the area. I have also
visited the former Russian nuclear test sites in Kazakhstan. Its a remote
six-hour drive from the nearest village. We stayed there for a month. The
CTBTO is also monitoring the DPRK (North Korea) for unnatural seismic

I am now working as a Nuclear Inspector at IAEA. I regularly travel to
India and Pakistan to inspect facilities. I have also travelled to Iran

Juns early home station.

Paul-N6PSE: Jun, you have participated in many important DXpeditions, can
you tell us about them?

Jun-JH4RHF: My first DXpedition was during a 1983 contest. We went to
JD1-Ogasawara. This was very exciting and I wanted to make more of these
activations. Up until then, My activity was limited to when I was a
University student, we did multi-multi from the top of a hill with a 5Kw
generator. In 1986 I participated in an activation of T32-E. Kiribati. My
first real DXpedition was in 1989 to Revilla Gigedo as XF4L with N7NG,
OH2BH, XE1L and others. This was a great experience with an international

In 1991, I was a member of the ZL9DX team to Auckland Island. This was a
small team with two Japanese team members and three New Zealanders. In 1993
I went to KP1-Navassa Island with W5IJU, (K5VL). We had about ten team
members. In 1995, I was a member of the D22CT/3D2CU DXpedition to Conway
Reef. The Leaders were OH1RY, SM7PKK and we had five team members. In 1995,
I was a member of the BV9P Pratas*DXpedition team.

In 1996, I went to the DPRK with Zorro-JH1AJT. We met with the government
and we brought one Icom IC-706 with us. Our antenna was a Cushcraft R7
vertical. We were unable to get permission to make any contacts. The DPRK
government kept the IC-706 for other purposes.

QSL cards from just some of Juns many activations.

Paul-N6PSE: You were a member of the 1999 ZL9CI team, can you tell us about
that DXpedition?

Jun-JH4RHF: Yes, this was the first DXpedition for the Braveheart. Nigel
Jolly and his crew brought us to Campbell Island. It was a three-week trip.
Very enjoyable and here 17 years later I find myself on the Braveheart with
Nigel again.

Jun was a member of the 1989 XF4L DXpedition Team.

Paul-N6PSE: And then you did some exotic Contesting?

Jun-JH4RHF: Yes, I also enjoy Contesting. In 2000 and again in 2002, I
enjoyed operating as a member of the big TS7N CQWW CW Contest team from

Paul-N6PSE: And then you went to Iraq, South Sudan and other exotic places?

Jun-JH4RHF: Yes, in 2006 I was a member of the 3B9C Rodriguez Island Team.
That was a large team, well organized and very enjoyable. Then, in April
2010, I joined your YI9PSE team and operated from Erbil, Iraq. We had a lot
of fun didn’t we?** Then there was the new Country of Southern Sudan in
September 2011 and I again joined your ST0R team as one of the many
operators. What a great adventure. And now here we are on the way home from
VP8STI-South Sandwich and VP8SGI-South Georgia. What an amazing experience!

Paul-N6PSE: Jun, what was your favorite DXpedition?

Jun-JH4RHF: I like people and culture over big Pileups. YI9PSE, the VP8’s
and ZL9 were the best. I enjoyed seeing the nature and the animals. Conway
Reef is also a very special place.

Jun enjoys a stroll on South Georgia Island.

Paul-N6PSE: Jun, where is your “dream place” to operate?

Jun-JH4RHF: I think I would enjoy a warm place such as*a Pacific Island*or
something like that.

Paul-N6PSE: Jun, do you have a preference in radios?

Jun-JH4RHF: I’ve used ICOM radios since 1983 and I prefer them very much
for their good user interface. I’ve used all radios but I always come back
to ICOM.

Jun operates as a member of the VP8STI/VP8SGI team.

Paul-N6PSE: Jun, do you have a favorite mode or band?

Jun-JH4RHF: I’m happy on any mode, any band, anytime.

Jun and Roger N4RR make antenna repairs at VP8SGI.

Paul-N6PSE: Jun, what do you think the future is of ham radio?

Jun-JH4RHF: I am very worried about the future of ham radio. The average
age of a JARL member is 65 years old or close to that. So each year, the
average age is getting older. JARL needs to introduce younger people to the
hobby. I fear that 20 years from now, our pileups may be very small.

Paul-N6PSE: Jun, thank you for all that you do for the global amateur radio
community. Not everyone can or wants to be a leader, but every leader knows
that without men such as yourself we will not be successful. I hope that we
can do many more fun and successful DXpeditions together in the future.

Jun-JH4RHF: Thank you Paul, yes, lets activate some more rare places

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