Market Reef (OJ0DX) – 2m Meteor Scatter

Market Reef in the evening dusk (Picture courtesy of DL3DXX)

Dietmar, DL3DXX, and his team activated the small Island of Market Reef several times over the last few years under the call sign OJ0DX (Loc. JP90nh). This trip he was attended by Sebastian, DG5CST. And with him equipment for 2m and 70cm, EME and Meteor Scatter. It was the opportunity for me to finally work OJ0 on 2m as a new DXCC entity. And it was really just a formality: Within 5 minutes the Meteor Scatter QSO was complete and DXCC #98 on 2m in my book! Thanks to Sebastian for the effort and the nice contact!

Meeting EA1IW

During my holiday in Northern Spain I had the opportunity to visit my radio friend Toni, EA1IW, and his family in Vargas. We had interesting technical talks and a good time together. Thank you Toni and see you soon over the moon!

2021 ARRL EME-Contest

A few days ago, the ARRL published the results of the “ARRL International EME Contest 2021”. Although I only took part in a total of 10.2 hours, I finished 20th out of a total of 50 participants in the “Single Operator, All Mode, 1.2 GHz” category.

This is a gratifying result for me as I only have a small 1.75m dish and a limited moon window. A total of 60 contacts were logged, 12 of them in CW. Highlights beside many others are the CW contacts with DU3T and KL6M, two new DXCC on 23cm.

Detailed results are available here

Antarctic Treaty – 60th Anniversary

The Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington on December 1, 1959 by the twelve Countries whose scientists had been active in and around Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957-58. It entered into force in 1961 and has since been acceded by many other Nations. The total number of Parties to the Treaty is now 54.
Among the signatories of the Treaty were seven countries – Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom – with territorial claims.

In Honour of the 60th anniversary of the event, from October 1st to December 31st, 2021 W.A.P., Russian Robinson Club together with SRR, Hamlog and other Organizations conduct a special activity usingh different callsigns ending **60ANT, by the number of countries that originally signed the Antarctic Treaty. Colourful Awards are available.

RDA – Hunting Russian Districts

Since I started as a shortwave listener back in the 1960s and from 1972 on as a licensed HAM, I have been interested hunting for the difficult to work Amateur Radio Awards. This includes, at least in the higher classes, the Russian District Award “RDA”.

The “RDA” (Russian District Award) is an International Award Program with the goal of attracting interest in Amateur Radio through the communication with various Districts in the Russian Federation. The “RDA” program is established to encourage confirmed contacts with the greatest variety of areas in Russia. The Awards includes entities designated by the Russian Federation. These include a total of 2.642 different districts inside 85 different Oblasts. There are currently 6 different certificate awards varying in difficulty and complexity, and two plaque awards available for “Honor Roll” and “#1 Honor Roll”. With it’s own modern Online confirmation system, similar to the american LotW, it is “state of the art” and made hunting a real smile.

The hunt for RDA districts has a very special charm, because 90% of it (estimated) takes place in CW! Today the RDA 2000 was finally in the mailbox and it will have a special place on the wall in my shack.

Meteor Scatter: Perseides 2021

Sometimes one QSO is enough, if it is the right one.

Last year I had already watched Kev from Gibraltar, ZB2GI, during his meteor scatter tests and got short reflections from him. Unfortunately, there was not enough time for a test and a long year passed.

During the Perseid shower ZB2GI (IM76hd) resides on Top of the Gibraltar Rock with a free Takeoff into Europe. With his small station, a 5 element Yagi antenna and 50 watt output power, he has already had many successful meteor scatter contacts in the past. But would that be enough this year for a QSO over the distance of 2,130 km?

For a long, very long time I watched Kev’s frequency as he tested with southern European stations. And there were reflections, not many, not loud and not long. But it was enough for decoding.

When he was free I started a call. Hopefully the reflections will continue and we will hear each other. To make a long story short: Finally, after almost 90 minutes and my pulse near a heart attack, he got my final RRR and the QSO was finished with 26 reports on both sides.

Contacts above 2,000 km via meteor scatter are usually difficult with few reflections. So I’m all the more happy about this special contact and a new DXCC # 97 for me on 2m. Many thanks Kevin for your patience and perseverance!

60 Years manned Space Flight

2021 will mark the 60th anniversary of the first manned flight into space, one of the most important milestones in the history of all mankind. The first manned flight took place on April 12, 1961. Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin made one complete turn in Earth orbit and returned safely to Earth.

For this anniversary the special call signs R1994YU, R1996VK, R2014NC, RG21DS, RU21DS, RA60YG – RZ60YG, R60MCC, R60CTC, R60YAG and several others are in the air and the Miller-DX-Club “M-DX-C” has developed an interesting Award program. The period is from April 12th to 25th, 2021.

Detailed information on the projects can be found on the “M-DX-C” website.

144 MHz: International Space Station on SSTV

From January 28, 2021 to January 29 2021 the ISS send again pictures in Slow Scan Television. The images are always transmitted in Mode PD 120 on 145.800 MHz in Frequency Modulation. The following images were received with a 14 Element Yagi and decoded with MMSSTV software. More information about Amateur Radio on the ISS can be found on the ARISS website and the ARISS Blogspot. A nice Tracker could be find here.