May 2019 – Sporadic E 6m/2m

After some first shorter ES openings on 50 MHz in April, the May was at its best. Several very long and very wide band openings across Europe were the result.
On 24.05.2019 my signal was heard from JR6FC (Okinawa) and DS4EIO (South Korea) in FT8, unfortunately both were not on the radios.

In total, six new DXCC entities could be worked in May: E31A (Eritrea), FG8OJ (Guadeloupe), TR8CA (Gabon), TY2AC (Benin), TZ4AM (Mali) and UN7AM (Kazakhstan).

Worked stations on 50 MHz – May 2019
Top 10 distances on 50 MHz – May 2019

On May 24, 2019 was the first opening on 144 MHz to the east from here. Unfortunately, only RA6C was heard and worked for about two minutes. Stations from the Ruhr area and southern Germany had a big advantage and a longer opening.
Another opening on 144 MHz was on May 29, 2019. Again, unfortunately only two stations were heard and worked. And again, stations in the Ruhr area and southern Germany had a big advantage and they had several contacts to EA8, CN and 7X.

TR8CA (Gabon) – 2m EME & 6m Es

Alain, TR8CA, from Libreville / Gabon, has been active via EME for quite some time with a single Yagi and 500 W output on 144 MHz. Several times I had received him in the past, but due to propagation and the small EME equipment on both sides, we never completed. On May 10, 2019 everything fit together and also Faraday was cooperative. With reports -23 dB send / -25 dB received another single Yagi – single Yagi QSO and of course a new DXCC #85 on 2m could be logged.

May 16, 2019 was another day with good sporadic E. It is just the beginning of this year’s season and already in the early afternoon stations from 9K2, A41 and EK could be worked. At 17:21 the signal from TR8CA popped in at 50 MHz. The QSO over a distance of 5,640 km (3 Hop Es) was easy and a new country #108 also on 6m. Great fun and many thanks to Alain for the quick confirmation via LotW!

XE & VP2E – 2m EME

This was another good EME weekend. Due to the VP2EMB-DXpedition the activity was very high and a total of 10 new stations were logged on 144 MHz over the moon. Especially worth mentioning is the QSO with XE2AT (DL81uv) in Mexico. His system consists of 4×10 element Yagis and just 400W Hf. Thanks Al for DXCC # 83 and the fast confirmation via LotW!

Another important step on the way to the 2m DXCC was the QSO with VP2EMB in Anguilla (FK88mg / NA-022) on Friday night. PA2CHR Chris and PA3FYR Jos were on tour again to activate this rare entity. After two long nights listening to the noise in front of the receiver and with the help of groundgain at moonset it was finally done: DXCC # 84 could be celebrated.

70th Birthday of URE

This year 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the Spanish Radio Club “Unión de Radioaficionados Españoles”, URE. In order to commemorate this important event, the Spanish IARU member society, announces a Special Prize and Awards to all licensed radio amateurs and SWL from all over the world.

Contacts can be made between April 1st, 2019 and June 9th, 2019 using any mode or band from 160 meters to 6 meters with the 14 different AM70 special stations. Further informations are here.

EA9 & FM – 2m EME

The new DX year started pretty well on 2m: At the end of March, EF9LZ from Ceuta & Melilla (IM75hv) was activated by the “X-Team” Bernd DF2ZC and Frank DH7FB. Due to many commercial broadcasters close to the site, they had to deal with interference and problems on the receiving side. Nevertheless, I succeeded on 18.03.2019 with a QSO via EME and thus DXCC # 81 on 2m.

Just two days later, on March 20, another new DXCC, # 82, came into the 2m log with TO2MB from Martinique (FK94). Peter DL1RPL and his team did an excellent job and so the QSO could already be celebrated on the first day of the DXpedition.

2m EME 2018 – A summary

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.

Nevertheless, at the end of the year a total of 12 new countries were in 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.

Talking about stations worked for the first time (“Initials”) there were 124 new ones in 2018 and totally 302 via EME within 12 active moonphases since my start in 2017.

I do not want to forget the QSO’s with other single Yagi stations, which has always a special charm of minimalism. In 2018 these were: R3PA (17 el.), R7IV (14 el.), DL1VPL (12 el.), ND0B (12 el.), R1AY (15 el.) and UA6IE (14 el.).

It would be nice if the EME-business would continue in 2019 in the same way.

Nice Christmas Present 2018: New ODX on 2m EME

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 2018-12-24_zl2mqthis window even further to a possible slot of abt. 20 minutes. In addition there is much groundnoise noise at those low elevation angles at moonrise.  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 RF80km 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 18.298 km also a new ODX. What a nice Christmas present and an evening to remember!

SX60RAAG – 60th Birthday of RAAG

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.

YL100x – Latvia’s 100th Birthday

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.

144 MHz: International Space Station on SSTV

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.