Also in 2018 there were again some outstanding EME-DXpeditions on 144 MHz which made the heart beat faster. Due to technical problems in the first months of the year and vacations later, unfortunately I missed several of them such as PJ2T, TD9FYC, CR2EME, 3B8MB, 4L/RM8A and 9N7AP – what a pitty. What does not make it easier is the fact that with just one antenna, you are always one of the last stations in the long long line of callers.
Talking about stations worked for the first time (“Initials”) there were 124 new ones in 2018 and totally 302 via EME within 12 active monthphases since my start in 2017.
Nevertheless, at the end of the year a total of 12 new countries entered the logbook, and the overall standing is now up to 80 DXCC on 2m. These new were PJ6E, Z66EME, 7P8Z, C8T, BX4AP, WP4G, CX2SC, 4Z5CP, ZA5V, TI2SW, BA4SI and finally ZL2MQ. It would be nice if it would continue in 2019 in the same way.
For many months I had been watching for stations from Oceania via EME. From Germany contacts to New Zealand for example are possible only in a small time window in which the moon is visible from both locations simultaneously. At my location mountains and buildings to the east reduce this window even further to a possible slot of abt. 20 minutes. In addition there is much groundnoise noise at those small elevation angles. So bad conditions at all.
The moon was in a favorable position on this holy evening, moonrise was around 19 o’clock and a very little activity from european stations. Watching the N0UK-EME-chat I saw that ZL2MQ from RF80kl called CQ on 144.133 MHz. Let’s see if he could be copied with my single 14 element antenna. And yes, today everything fits: no big guns from Europe were on, low ground noise and also Faraday played along. To make the story short: Five minutes later the QSO with Dave was in the log and thus not only a new DXCC on 2m, but with 18.302 km also a new ODX. What a nice Christmas present and an evening to remember!
The special event station SX60RAAG will be on air from December 1 to 31, 2018 on all HF bands & modes, celebrating the 60th anniversary of Radio Amateur Association of Greece – RAAG. A dedicated award program will support this operation. As usual nowadays the colorful Awards with pictures of Greece will be issued for free and electronically in PDF format.
On November 18, 2018 Latvia celebrated its 100th Birthday. For this reason Radio Amateurs in Latvia activated five special callsigns with the prefix YL100 – one from each of 4 Latvia’s historical regions and one from the capital city Riga – to commemorate this event between November 1st to 18th, 2018. Special awards for working YL100 stations on different bands and modes are issued. More informations are here.
Amateur Radio On the International Space Station (ARISS) has organized another Slow Scan TV event scheduled to start October 27 about 10:00 UTC and end October 29 around 19:30 UTC with a series of 12 pictures.
The following images were decoded on October 29, 2018 with the MMSSTV software on 145.800 MHz, Mode PD120. More information about amateur radio on the ISS can be found on the ARISS website.
The ARISS team in Poland has made available a special reception certificate for radio enthusiasts that participant in this ARISS SSTV Event. Directions on how to receive the certificate can be found here.
It was a rainy and windy autumn day, no calm high pressure weather, no fog in the valleys, no sun on the mountains. No VHF amateur would expect good propagation today. But it turned out differently …
Already on the evening of the 24th of October, first G-stations were to be heard from the British southeast coast, which happens rather seldom in my to the west sloping hillside.
In the evening mostly FT8-mode-contacts with GU, GW and GI found their way into the logbook. ODX of the day was again Mark, EI3KD from IO51 over a distance of 1.287 km.
On the 25th of October the day started with very good signals towards France, as well as on the morning of the 26th of October. A nice end to this year’s tropo saison.
Today K1JT, Dr. Joe Taylor, Nobel Prize Winner and father of the WSJT Software Package, showed up on 17m in FT8 mode. It was just a short and “digital” contact but very glad to meet this great personality and Radio Amateur on the band.
Working towards the west is not so easy from this location. The terrain is steadily rising and signals on 2m from the UK are rare. Just the well-equipped contest stations on the British East Coast could be heard from time to time.
A first good band opening this autumn took place yesterday, on Monday the 08th of October. Already at noon, stations from Normandy and southern England were reported in the DX cluster. Unfortunately, there was little activity in SSB, nothing in CW, but good activity on the FT8 Mode frequency 144.174 MHz. I heard and worked some stations from southern England and France. F6DBI from IN88 called me over an distance of 1,021 km for todays ODX. As a very big surprise I got a reception report from EA1UR in IN53tf over a distance of 1,693 km via PSK reporter! Unfortunately, I did not receive any signal from him. Whether it was a duct connection or aircraft reflections remains open.
On Tuesday morning the opening continued, stations from the UK were louder as on Monday evening. Once again FT8 was the preferred mode. Surprisingly Mark, EI3KD from IO51vw popped in over a distance of 1,287 km and was logged at 08:31 UT.
After waiting for almost exactly 4 months, the postman has finally delivered the long-awaited parcel today: Mail from the ARRL Headquater in Newington, USA, my DXCC-Challenge-Plaque with Endorsement 2.000.
As the name says, this is plaque is a real challenge and a hardcore Award for the dedicated HF-Radio Amateur. The DXCC Challenge Award is given for worked and confirmed at least 1,000 DXCC band-entities on any amateur bands, 160 through 6 meters (except 60 meters). It’s a massive wooden plate with a blue-gold-etched plate on top. The Endorsement 2,000 means an average of 200 confirmed DXCC Entities on every of those 10 bands.
To reach all these band points countless hours in front of the station were required but it was no less tough to get the necessary confirmations. Thanks to the help of the Logbook Of The World, things have become a bit easier in recent years. It would be nice if all stations finally could use this opportunity.
Next stop wants to be 2,500 – that might take a while and it’s great to have a next step in DXing.
I have never been a fan of football before, so I did not pay any attention to all the activities and special stations during the period of this year’s World Cup in Russia. After about 2 weeks I worked one of the special stations on 50 MHz and decided to deal with the topic more closely.
As during other events, the National Radio-Amateur Organization named SRR (Soyuz Radiolyubitelei Rossii) is organizing a radio marathon during the Games called “Football 2018 – Russia”. Dozens of different special stations RC18xxx and R18xxx from Russia were active. In addition, there were also special stations in member countries of FIFA. The exact Award conditions are here. As always, all Awards are free of charge and can be downloaded as a PDF file.
To make it short: I did not reach the highest Award class with 500 contacts, but over 260 QSO’s are in the log. All in all, the activity was a lot of fun and it was worthwhile to work out these beautifully designed Awards.