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.
The weather before Christmas was quiet and suitable for maintaining antennas. So I improved the matching of my 160m inverted L-antenna to get some more DXCC entities during the days off. Conditions on Top-Band were very good at a K-index of 1 and the signals, especially from Asia, were very loud in times. The following 6 new countries have been logged: Mozambique (C93PA), Azores (CU3EQ), Mongolia (JT1CO), South Korea (HL5IVL), Taiwan (BV1AP), Mexico (XE1TD). Also four new Zones for 160m WAZ (03 / 06 / 23 / 37) and seven new US-States for the 160m WAS were worked: Arkansas (K5GO), California (K6RW), Colorado (K0RF), Michigan (K8TLC), Minnesota (K0TT), Montana (KM7W) and Utah (WA7LNW). It was interesting to see how the terminus of the greyline correlated with the higher signal strengths (see picture).
Talking about 2m I concentrated to EME during the days between Christmas and New Year. The moon was in good position with low degradation and finally 43 initial callsigns, several new WW-locator and two new DXCC entities found the way into the log. After several tries I was very happy to work Ricardo, LU7FA, on Dec. 27 for DXCC #67 and Bing, YC2MDU, on Dec. 31, 2017 for DXCC #68. It is interesting to mention that LU7FA has just 2 antennas and YC2MDU using just 400 W output. Two great belated Christmas gifts and a happy ending 2017.
More and more stations appear on the 60m band and activity increases rapidly. After 7 days of operation 45 DXCC entities and 11 CQ-Zones are in the log, including this nice ones:
A6 (United Arab Emirates), C37 (Andorra), CU (Azores), EA8-EH8 (Canary Is.), EA9 (Ceuta & Melilla), KC4 (Antarctica), KP4 (Puerto Rico), SØ (Western Sahara), UM (Uzbekistan), UN (Kazakhstan), ZS (South Africa).
More fun to come, for sure!
Since December 15, 2016, Radio Amateurs in Germany are allowed to use a 15 kHz wide segment on 5 Mhz (Class A only) with max. 15 W EIRP. That was something I was waiting for a long time. On New Years afternoon I easily matched my inverted L-Antenna to 5.360 Mhz and started working on that band in CW and JT65 mode. In just a couple of hours 24 DXCC-countries, incl. TF, W, VE, KP4 were worked and my signal was heard on all six Continents (by PSK-Reporter). What a fun!
What a surprise when I looked into the mailbox today! The colourful VK0EK QSL-card arrived directly from the british manager. Now all of my 336 DXCC’s are confirmed by card.
On March 25, 2016 I worked VK0EK Heard Island on 17m CW for an alltime new DXCC #336 out of the actual total of 339. Despite the huge pile-ups I was able to work them later also in SSB and on other bands.