XE1L - Luis Chartarifsky Memorial



The following was submitted by Charlie - NN3V:

18 March 2013 marked a sad day for the IOOK.  On that day, Luis Chartarifsky, XE1L, our first truly “International” and one of most energetic Vice Presidents died of a sudden heart attack.

Luis’ “assimilation” to the IOOK was colorful, and representative of the best camaraderie we try to practice.

It seems that starting in the early 1980s our esteemed Hoss (WA5ZAI) made contact with Luis on the ham bands, and became regular contacts.  In 1985, while Hoss was preparing for Pentagon business travel to Mexico City , he alerted Luis of that fact.

Luis asked Hoss to contact him when he arrived in Mexico City .  Well, as you may expect, a reunion was immediately planned, and they arranged to meet for lunch, with Hoss traveling over to Luis’ office in Mexico City .  There, Hoss was amazed to find not only a thriving business, but also a complete Ham station, including a 50 foot tower on the roof of the building.  After lunch and a brief demonstration of the equipment, Luis insisted Hoss accompany him to his home to see the real ham shack.

The sumptuous home was beautiful, and Hoss had the pleasure of meeting Luis’ YL, as well as a group of Mexican hams who were also invited.  Needless to say, operating the ham bands was a natural activity while there, and Hoss had the pleasure of doing so.


After several hours of enjoyable camaraderie and swapping of stories, both real as well as indicative of excellent lubricity, Hoss returned to his hotel and business duties, after mutual promises of continued contact.

Luis operated a 20 meter net on Sundays, immediately after the IOOK early morning net on 14.215 MHz.  Hoss occasionally joined Luis’ net, and in doing so, invited Luis to visit when in Washington DC .  Likewise, the subject of the Dayton HamVention was discussed, and Luis commented that he would be in Dayton for the 1987 HamVention.

At the HamVention, we all had the pleasure of meeting Luis.  At that time, while he graced us with his presence at the fabled IOOK HamVention Technology Center booth, Luis was “assimilated” in the IOOK.


A man of exceptional humor and wonderful personality, Luis kept in continuous contact with IOOK VPs as he traveled the world.  A phenomenal DXer, Luis was known all over the world.  He encouraged ham operators to excel, have fun, and extend themselves in many pursuits.

In 1991 Luis met NN3V (Charlie) at the HamVention, and given Charlie’s South American background, they instantly established great camaraderie in their Spanish language.  The IOOK Technology booth was well known as one of the HamVention booths where se habla espanol” was well practiced.


In honor of their Latin roots, they threatened (promised?) to translate the IOOK song into Spanish, using the Latin process of “manana”.  Well, it remains a project to be accomplished, and Charlie promises – in honor of Luis – that it will remain that way.

Over the years, Luis was an honored participant in the revelry and camaraderie of the HamVention booths.


One of the most appreciated things Luis did was constantly check on the health status of ailing VPs, regardless of where in the world he was located.  Many is the IOOK VP who can remember Luis’ voice on a phone call saying something to the effect of “…I’m in Timbuktu …how are you feeling?”

We’ve taken the liberty of compiling some information about Luis’ DX exploits from among the numerous memorials written for Luis by the worldwide ham and DX community.  He was known the world over in popular as well as little known places.

In true DXer fashion, his last DXpedition was to Clipperton Island, operating as part of the TX5K DXpedition team.  They departed by boat from San Diego, and returned there on 18 March 2013.

Luis died doing what he liked best: participating in a fantastic DXpedition.

The IOOK will miss Luis.  Truly a great Ham, a great man, and a great IOOK VP.




Noted Contester and DXer Luis Chartarifsky, XE1L (SK)


Noted DXer Luis Chartarifsky, XE1L, of Mexico City, passed away Monday, March 18 after a heart attack. An ARRL Life Member, Chartarifsky held Top of Honor Roll (Phone and Mixed), with all 340 current entities confirmed. He also held DXCC for Mixed, Phone, CW and RTTY, as well as 5-Band DXCC, and had a total of 354 entities, including deleted.

Chartarifsky became interested in radio and listening to DX stations as a child. He was first licensed in 1973 as XE0LCH and later as XE1LCH; in 1984, he became XE1L. Chartarifsky was a member of the following major DXpeditions: TX5K (Clipperton Island), Peter I (3Y0PI), Spratly (9M0M), Nepal (9N7MD), Western Sahara (S07L), Mali (TZ6RM), Revillagigedo (XF4L), Easter Island (XR0Y), Juan Fernandez (XR0Z) and Myanmar (XZ0A). He also operated in contests from various parts of Mexico, the US (including the Dry Tortugas) and Venezuela. Chartarifsky, who loved to travel, also operated from Ascension Island, Barbados, Jamaica, the Russian Polar Station, Aruba and Israel, just to name a few.

Dave Farnsworth, WJ2O, of McConnellsville, New York, was on the XR0Y and TX5K DXpeditions with Chartarifsky. “I was very happy to learn that we would be together again on Clipperton Island,” Farnsworth told the ARRL. “We were chatting on the boat to the island just a few weeks ago about how he managed to get the licenses from the Nepal government for the 9N7MD DXpedition. I said, ‘Luis, you have friends everywhere.’ He looked me in the eye and sternly said, ‘No, I make friends!’ I knew at that time it was a quote that I’ll remember for as long as I live.”

IARU Region 2 Secretary Ramón Santoyo, XE1KK, remembered Chartarifsky fondly in an online statement. “He was a Mexican ambassador of Amateur Radio, a good friend, a radio amateur by heart who enjoyed the many corners of our great hobby.”

“I believe Luis was one of the most well-known and well-liked hams,” said ARRL Membership and Volunteer Programs Manager Dave Patton, NN1N. “He was a fine operator and was active in most aspects of Amateur Radio. He has left us too soon, but we have his QSLs on the wall to always remind us of his big laugh and indomitable spirit.”

Chartarifsky is survived by his wife Malvin and daughters Jackeline and Sharon. An online condolence book has been established, and radio amateurs are invited to post condolence messages that will be forwarded to Chartarifsky’s family.  



Many thanks to Charlie - NN3V for organizing his thoughts in Luis' memory.

R.I.P. Luis!