The recent 144 Mhz antenna, rear half of my old 16 el F9FT, was just a compromize and I decided to replace. After studying endless reports in the Internet a 12 element DK7ZB was my choice: good gain vs lenght ratio (8m / 14.4 dBd). Building or buying was the question. So I decided for buying and found VPA-Systems from Poland as an interresting source with reasonable prices. Just the balun of the antennas could manage only 200 Watts, not state of the art when thinking of modern SSPA amplifier.
Now the e-mail-traffic with VPA-Systems:
March 28: I asked for high-power balun and delivery of antenna
March 28 – fast answer: 1.500 W balun costs 10,- € more, delivery 7-10 days
March 28: I send my order
March 29: Order confirmed by VPA and I payed via PayPal 4 weeks later …
April 22: Asked about status – no response
April 24: Asked again about status – answer: “Order is under preparing but almost ready. Shipping soon” another 3 weeks later …
May 15: Asked again about status
May 16: Answer: “The status of order No: 422 has been changed – Order ready to send” another 3 weeks later …
June 05: Asked again about status – no response
June 08: Asked again about status – no response
June 14: Asked again about status – no response
June 15: Called on phone – no response
June 16: Send complaint / buyers protection to PayPal Now 12 weeks are over since confirmed order
June 27: Information from PayPal: Money will return and booked same day on my account.
June 27: Surprise – Got an E-Mail from VPA saying that he had health-problems and excuses for delays. Also got a tracking code, parcel should be on the way ..
Resume: If a dealer has problems with manufacturing, shipping or or whatever, then he must inform the customer. To consoluate again and again, make false statements and not react to mails and phonecalls is not a good and fair behavior and could not be accepted in any way!
What a morning! Already around 06 UT activity on 50 MHz was very high and increased also very fast on 70 MHz. Around 07 UT MUF reached 140 MHz direction SV / TA and at 07:31 UT Kadri, TA1D/3, from the asian part of Turkey was calling cq on 144.300 very lonely . Not too strong that time but strong enough to work him for a new DXCC # 56 and new square of course. Later his signal reached 59++ and Kadri was copied here for abt. 45 minutes. At 08:07 the band opened into Greece and at 08:16 Z32KF from Macedonia was worked for DXCC # 57. All signals disappeared around 08:45 UT. Glad to talk again to Costas, SV1DH, who was my first 2 m- contact into Greece back in 1979!
But this was not all for this day: Around 14:26 UT the band opened up to EA for just some minutes and EA1BYC from IN70DX was worked for another new square. Heard but not worked was EB1HRW (IN71PQ).
During the 2017 Soccer Confederation’s Cup the Russian Radio Club SRR and Miller DX-Club offered several short-term Awards for a different number of contacts and/or modes with the special stations R17xxx. More informations to find here. I am not a fan of soccer games and completing the awards is not a great challenge but some fun to work these stations during the poor conditions of the decreasing number of sunspots.
On Tuesday, June 20, MUF was far below 70 MHz during the whole day. In the late afternoon first ES reports (SV/LZ to UB5) were in the DX-Cluster and MUF raised more and more. At 16:43 UT the 2m band opened here for just some minutes and SV9CVY, Mike from Crete Island (KM25KA / 2.169 km), was worked easy at first call. Thank you for a new DXCC # 55 on 144 Mhz!
After spending countless hours over the past days listening into the noise and watching for the first 144 MHz ES-opening, this morning was breathtaking. 6m and 4m were open quite early and MUF raised quickly upon 144 MHz direction east. The band opened at 09:58 and closed around 12:45 UT! In times 144.300 sounds like one of the HF-bands. As a big surprise I worked my first UA4 station on 2m! Totally 6 new squares and best DX RA4A (LO20) 2.427 km!
Heard but not worked were UR5UI (KN59), R3WW (KO81) and UA4AQL (LO20).
Sunday evening ended with a little surprise, when suddenly the band opened here for just some minutes to UA3 – long enough to work these stations:
Being active just on 10 GHz during Microwave Contest means having a quite weekend, but not this one. The weather was mostly cloudy and thunderstorms from the west spreaded across Germany, especially in the afternoon. Right at the beginning of the contest and until the evening the band was crowded with stations. Some OK2 and OK3 stations were heard over hours with strong scattered signals. Sunday was just the opposite, probably because of the Pentecost day. Happy to work DL9GBH/p from JO72AK for square # 59.
Beautyful weather and temperatures up to 31° C offered the first nice openings on 10 GHz via Rainscatter this Sunday, Monday and Tuesday afternoon.
May 28: On Sunday a very stable rain cell near the Belgium/Luxembourg border made contacts possible with F6DKW (JN18CS/ 671km), F8DLS (JN19SE/ 564km) in SSB, ON5TA (JO20ES/ 440 km), F5DQK (JN18GR/ 653 km) and finally DL3IAE (JN49DG/304km) .
Best beacons: HB9BBD (JN49GA/528km), LX1DB (JN39CO/376km).
May 29: Monday afternoon followed with several hotspots covered across south-western Germany. Worked F8DLS (JN19SE/564km) in SSB, F6DKW (JN18CS/ 671km) and DH1VY (JN39) also in SSB.
Best beacons: HB9BBD (JN49GA/528km), LX1DB (JN39CO/376km).
May 30: Another hot day! Tuesday afternoon strong thunderstorms crossing mid Germany. QSO with DL3IAE (JN49), heard among others OE5VRL/5 in SSB and FM.
Best beacons: HB9BBD (JN49GA/528km), OK0EA (JO70UP/379km).
Other 10 GHz Rainscatter-contacts this month:
May 19, 2017: OE5VRL/5 (JN78), DM2TO (JO61).
May 12, 2017: DH1VY (JN39), DR60VKL (JN39), DF9ZT (JO40), DL7HM (JO40), DL1RTD (JN59), DL3IAE (JN49).
Conditions during May Contest were quite poor again. The new amplifier gave a good push and it was easy to work even the weakest stations. Next to optimize is the replacement of the 9 element 1.5 Lambda yagi and probably an antenna mounted LNA. The Contest endet up with 171 QSO’s. Stations from 11 Countries and 45 Squares found the way into the log. ODX with 831 km was HG3X from JN96. A report received from F8GGD (IN95 /1.031 km) who heard me in another contact.
During the Easter-vacation on Malta I met David, 9H1TX. We never had a contact before on any band but when we met at ON4KST-chat, David invited me to visit him at his QTH in Zurrieq and so I did. David is a very nice guy and an enthusiasic Radio Amateur, mainly working on 2m and 6m. He has an excellent takeoff especially into Central Europe. Hopefully we’ll meet on one of the bands before too long. Thanks for your hospitality and a nice afternoon talk with you David!
The International HF Cup of Black Sea is carried out by BSCC (Black Sea Contest Club). The aim of the competition is to make as many contacts with hams around the world as possible, especially with the radio stations from Black Sea region countries, members of BSCC, BSCC Headquarters’ station, radio clubs and the headquarters of the national amateur radio organizations – members of the IARU (HQ-stations).
Surprisingly I received this nice looking Contest Award today per E-Mail. Thank you BSCC!