Experiences with “VPA-Systems.pl”

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.

vpa-systemsNow 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!

ES: Two new DXCC’s on 144 MHz

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!

 2017-06-26_07432017-06-26_0734

2017-06-26_144But 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).

New DXCC # 55 on 144 MHz

2017-06-20_ESOn 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!

 

First 2m Sporadic E in 2017

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!

2017-06-16_log144Heard 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:

2017-06-18_144

Microwave Contest June, 2017

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.

Results: 13.635 points (350 km/QSO avg.), 39 QSO’s, 6 DXCC and 23 squares.
ODX: OM6A (JN99 / 648 km), OM3RRC (JN99 / 610 km), OM60ND (JN99 / 600 km)

2017-06-04_10GHz

10 GHz Rainscatter May 28/29/30, 2017

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).
2017-05-28_RS

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).

VHF Contest May 2017

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.

2017-05-07_VHF-Mai

Meeting 9H1TX

2017_9h1tx

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!

VHF Contest March 2017

After a long time I participated again in the March 2017 VHF-Contest, 144 MHz. Conditions were quite normal and activity low due to the time of the year. Despite the low power of less than 10 Watts into the 9 Element Yagi 79 QSO’s and stations from 9 Countries and 31 Squares found the way into the log. ODX with 784 km was HG7M from JN97. 

2017-03-05_VHF-March

Es on 2m and new Square

Another good Es opening on 2m this Saturday morning. With only 20 Watts out of the Transverter I worked LZ1ZL and LZ1KG from KN31 for a new square and a distance of 1.613 km. Heard but not worked was SV7GBR from KN20IX and several other LZ stations. This was my first ES and first new square since 1989, when I quit serious DX work on 2m!