July 2020 – Sporadic E 6m/2m

50 MHz: Also the month of July brought some nice Es openings to Japan and minor openings to Florida and, after a very long time, again to Brazil. No new DXCC could be worked in July.

Overall the year 2020 ended up with 9 new DXCC Entities. Particularly worth mentioning are those 82 stations from Japan, never worked that much before on the Magic Band.

Stations worked on 50 MHz – July 2020
Top 10 distances on 50 MHz – July 2020

144 MHz: Regarding Sporadic E July was also a disappointed month. Only OH7RJ was heard and worked during a very short opening on July 3rd.

June 2020 – Sporadic E 6m/2m

50 MHz: Seasonally 6m was open every day within Europe. In addition, there were very long openings to Asia and North America. Towards the US and Canada, the terrain of my QTH rises to 10 degrees elevation, so at all again only a few stations from the west have been heard and worked.

In total, six new DXCC entities could be worked in May: 4S7VG (Sri Lanka), BU2EL (Taiwan), DU1IST (Philippines), HL2ZN (South Korea), JT1CO (Mongolia) and VR2XYL (Hong Kong).

Stations worked on 50 MHz – June 2020
Top 10 distances on 50 MHz – June 2020

144 MHz: Regarding Sporadic E, this June was a real disappointment. Only on June 21st there was a brief opening to the east and just two contacts could be logged. RU3GX, R3KBF, UA3QHF were heard only.

Finally – 23cm EME running

The next step in my moonbounce activities has been reached: 23cm!

Many years ago I got this beautiful 1.8m full-size dish and it was lying around uselessly. Hey, 1.8m diameter is a bit small for EME, but why not give it a try? 1296 MHz would be nice and at least the big guns should be heard. To make the long story short: After a few setbacks, measurements and optimizations, the time had finally come and on May 26, 2020, the first contact with UA3PTW was complete. Now, after a week there are 32 different stations in the log, 5 continents have been reached and even two nice QSO’s in CW. My expectations were more than exceeded and now it is time to optimize further details.

See you off the moon!

May 2020 – Sporadic E 6m/2m

50 MHz: After a few short band openings in April within Europe, things really got going in May. The first intercontinental opening for me took place this year on May 18 towards Asia, especially Japan and China. On May 25th XV1X suddenly appeared out of nowhere and brought the first new DXCC of the season.
Since this QTH is unfortunately not working so well to the west, only a few contacts were made into the Caribbean on May 29th. The pileup around various stations from Jamaica was huge and luckily 9Z4Y could be logged as another new country.
For the first time ever Saudi Arabia showed up on 6m and 7X1SJ was the first one I got among others.

In total, three new DXCC entities could be worked in May: 7X1SJ (Saudi Arabia), 9Y4D (Trinidad & Tobago) and XV1X (Vietnam).

Worked stations on 50 MHz – May2020
Stations worked on 50 MHz – May 2020
Top 10 distances on 50 MHz – May 2020

144 MHz: The first very short band opening 2020 at 144 MHz from here to TA and SV took place on May 25th. Just two stations could be heard and worked.
The next day the band opened towards east into UA4 and UA6. As the center of reflection was very far to the east, stations from the Saxony area were, as so often, clearly preferred. Nevertheless UA4ALQ was worked over a distance of 2.437 km.
The best ES opening of the month took place on May 29th. Spanish stations could be heard in CW, SSB and FT8 for hours. The 2m band sounded like shortwave. This time I focused in particular on new squares and DXCC and with CN8LI in Morocco DXCC # 95 came into the log. What a great day!

Worked stations on 144 MHz – May 2020
Stations worked on 144 MHz – May 2020

ZL3NW – 2m EME & new ODX

Actually, I hadn’t expected much when the moon rose on March 30, 2020 and I turned my 2m antenna towards it. The moonrise to the east is difficult from this location, mountains and also man made noise make it difficult to hear weak signals at low elevation. But Faraday played along and suddenly Rod, ZL3NW (RE66ho), could be heard with his 4 x 12 Element Yagi antennas. What a surprise! Luckily he came back to me immediately because there wasn’t much time until his moonset. And so the QSO was in the log and with 18,390 km also a new ODX on 144 MHz for me.

5B0EME – 2m EME

After several tries at low moon and high degradation Alex, 5B0EME (KM64tv), was worked today on 2m via Moonbounce. Alex is working with 2 x 10 Element Hpol Yagis. Report received -29 dB, sent -26 dB. Cyprus is DXCC # 94 on 144 MHz.

Meeting VK6MK & VK6KCC (VK6NC Club)

During my trip across Western Australia this January – February 2020 I had the pleasure to meet some Ham-Radio friends I knew from Hf contacts and from the EME Group.

Stuart, VK6MK, and his wife Jennifer live in Australind, a beautiful small town south of Perth. I met Stuart several times on Hf and we spent some nice hours in his beautiful home. Thanks for your kind hospitality folks!


Alex, VK6KCC, is one of the 2m EME gang, living north of Perth. He is member of the NCRG, Northern Corridor Radio Group from Western Australia. This Group is located within Whiteman Park and is home of the Neil Penfold State Amateur Radio Centre (NPSARC) and antenna farm. VK6ANC, one of the club callsigns, is very active on the bands. VK6NC, the other callsign, now appears in most of the big contests.  The Group is very well equipped and active from 1.8 MHz to 10 GHz. Thank you Alex for the nice discussions and explaining us your Clubstation!

HS0ZIL – 2m EME

After a longer absence Carsten HS0ZIL (OK16bq) showed up on 2m EME with a big signal. He runs 4 x 8 El. Yagi and was worked easily for a new DXCC # 93 on 2m on January 11. Hopefully a good start for 2020.

Year-end Tropo conditions on 144 MHz

A massive high pressure zone across Western Europe caused extreme DX conditions at the end of the year 2019. For the first time, Spanish stations could be worked from here via Tropo on 144 MHz. The first signals from Spain were heard in the evening of December 28, the last on December 30 in the morning. All contacts were made in FT8, no one were heard in any other mode.
A special surprise apart from that was a Tropo contact with T77NM in San Marino. Not a new DXCC, but a nice one at the end of this years DX season.

144 MHz: International Space Station on SSTV

From December 28, 2019 until January 01, 2020 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.

First two pictures were received on December 30, 2019, no. 3 and 4 on December 31 (Expedition 61 – ARISS Series 15 Leonov). It looks like the last two were probably disturbed by unknown RF radiation.