From July 29 until August 04, 2019 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.
Pictures received between July 29 – July 31, 2019 (Expedition 60 – Series Inter-MAI-75).
Pictures received on August 01, 2019 (Remembering Owen Garriott W5LFL)
This remembers me to a QSO I had with W5LFL Owen on December 04, 1983, on 144 MHz SSB, when he was onboard the Spaceshuttle “Columbia”.
The day was quiet on 6m as the band opened up to Africa in the afternoon, July 23, 2019. I was busy watching for a TU2 station from Ivory Coast and a look to the MUF showed some red spots in southern France, means the MUF was above 140 MHz!
Time to switch to 144 MHz. Not too late and after some CQ-calls CT1FJW popped in, followed by other stations from Portugal. And there was another caller in between – could I trust my eyes? I thought my heart stopped beating. D41CV from Cape Verde was calling me! 15 second periodes for FT8-mode could be sooo long, would the propagations be stable enough to finish? Yes they were and then it was done: D41CV was worked on 144 MHz via Sporadic E plus Tropo Extension over an unbelievable distance of 4.966 km (3,086 mi), also setting a new Region I Distance Record! The signal of D41CV war copied for about less than 5 minutes.
If we have a closer look at the Hepburn Tropo Index, we can find the highest value of 10+ for the area west of Africa just between the Canary and Cape Verde Islands. This maritime tropospheric ducting widens the range of the massive Sporadic E Opening between Germany and EA8. What a lucky constellation today!
Thanks Monteverde Contest Team Club for calling and for this incredible QSO and Record!
Heard but not worked were CT1BYM -9, EA1HRR -6 and EA8TJ -7.
Seasonally 50 MHz was open every day within Europe. In addition, there were some very short band openings to Africa, Asia and North America. Towards the US and Canada, the terrain of my QTH rises to 10 degrees elevation, so at all only two stations from Canada have been heard and worked.
In total, five new DXCC entities could be added on 50 MHz in June: 9G2HO (Ghana), 9M2TO (West Malaysia), J69DS (St. Lucia), SU1SK (Egypt) and VU2NKS (India).
New ones received on FT8-Mode while I was not in shack were 4S7AB (Sri Lanka), YI6ATT (Iraq) and BA7IO (China) – what a pitty! Hope to get them soon!
144 MHz ES was a big disappointment, just one opening from here on June 16. Unfortunately, all activity apparently concentrated on 144,174 MHz and FT8-Mode, what a waste of time! In such short openings it would have been easy to work many stations in SSB or CW, but FT8 is definately the wrong mode. Unfortunately, no station was heard in CW or SSB. Just heard in FT8-Mode, mostly for only one periode: RA3EL (KO82), UR3UK KN59), RX3QFM (KO91) and UA3QC (KO91).
Having been licensed for over 45 years now, I thought it would be time to apply for the 5-Band DXCC with several Stickers, alltogether 160m to 6m. Well, most of the required DXCC’s were already confirmed via the Logbook of the World. The last missing cards were requested by letter and received in most cases sooner or later. These were then, together with the Application, sent to a German ARRL Field Checker in April 2018. He checked fast, the cards came back quickly and he forwarded the paperwork to the ARRL in Newington USA. There everything was then processed in May 2018 and the 5-Band DXCC and Stickers for 160/30/17/12 and 6m were marked as issued. So far – so good.
Time goes by .. Beginning of September 2018 I asked ARRL about my application. Yes, it was there but ARRL planning a new Design for the 5B-DXCC and nobody could say how long that would take. And it took until February 09, 2019 when the parcel arrived – 10 long month after I sent my Application to the Field Checker. If you think the story is over now, unfortunately not.
The new 5B-DXCC consists of a modern designed acrylic plate, to which a golden stripe with callsign and name is affixed, as well as the round band Stickers, which are also affixed to it. No date, no number anymore – incredible! Unfortunately, all the stickers were loveless oblique and crooked glued, such as price tags on goods. I did not want to accept this, sent some photos to the ARRL and they assured me a new plaque. This came in early May – and – oh no – the sticker for 6m was missing again. So another email and last but not least, this arrived in early June.
Now, 14 month after the application, the 10-band DXCC with all the stickers hangs on the wall and waits for the last, the 144 MHz sticker to finally finish it.
After some first shorter ES openings on 50 MHz in April, the May of course was seasonally better. Several very long and very wide band openings across Europe were the result. On 24.05.2019 my signal was heard from JR6FC (Okinawa) and DS4EIO (South Korea) in FT8, unfortunately both were not on the radios.
In total, six new DXCC entities could be worked in May: E31A (Eritrea), FG8OJ (Guadeloupe), TR8CA (Gabon), TY2AC (Benin), TZ4AM (Mali) and UN7AM (Kazakhstan).
On May 24, 2019 was the first opening on 144 MHz to the east from here. Unfortunately, only RA6C was heard and worked for about two minutes. Stations from the Ruhr area and southern Germany had a big advantage and a longer opening. Another opening on 144 MHz was on May 29, 2019. Again, unfortunately only two stations were heard and worked. And again, stations in the Ruhr area and southern Germany had a big advantage and contacts to EA8, CN and 7X.
Alain, TR8CA, from Libreville / Gabon, has been active via EME for quite some time with a single Yagi and 500 W output on 144 MHz. Several times I had received him in the past, but due to propagation and the small EME equipment on both sides, we never completed. On May 10, 2019 everything fit together and also Faraday was cooperative. With reports -23 dB send / -25 dB received another single Yagi – single Yagi QSO and of course a new DXCC #85 on 2m could be logged.
May 16, 2019 was another day with good sporadic E on 6m. It is just the beginning of this year’s season and already in the early afternoon stations from 9K2, A41 and EK could be worked. At 17:21 the signal from TR8CA popped in at 50 MHz. The QSO over a distance of 5,640 km (3 Hop Es) was easy and a new country #108 also on 6m. Great fun and many thanks to Alain for the quick confirmation via LotW!
This was another good EME weekend. Due to the VP2EMB-DXpedition the activity was very high and a total of 10 new stations were logged on 144 MHz over the moon. Especially worth mentioning is the QSO with XE2AT (DL81uv) in Mexico. His system consists of 4×10 element Yagis and just 400W Hf. Thanks Al for DXCC # 83 and the fast confirmation via LotW!
Another important step on the way to the 2m DXCC was the QSO with VP2EMB in Anguilla (FK88mg / NA-022) on Friday night. PA2CHR Chris and PA3FYR Jos were on tour again to activate this rare entity. After two long nights listening to the noise in front of the receiver and with the help of groundgain at moonset it was finally done: DXCC # 84 could be celebrated.
This year 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the Spanish Radio Club “Unión de Radioaficionados Españoles”, URE. In order to commemorate this important event, the Spanish IARU member society, announces a Special Prize and Awards to all licensed radio amateurs and SWL from all over the world.
Contacts can be made between April 1st, 2019 and June 9th, 2019 using any mode or band from 160 meters to 6 meters with the 14 different AM70 special stations. Further informations are here.
The new DX year started pretty well on 2m: At the end of March, EF9LZ from Ceuta & Melilla (IM75hv) was activated by the “X-Team” Bernd DF2ZC and Frank DH7FB. Due to many commercial broadcasters close to the site, they had to deal with interference and problems on the receiving side. Nevertheless, I succeeded on 18.03.2019 with a QSO via EME and thus DXCC # 81 on 2m.
Just two days later, on March 20, another new DXCC, # 82, came into the 2m log with TO2MB from Martinique (FK94). Peter DL1RPL and his team did an excellent job and so the QSO could already be celebrated on the first day of the DXpedition.
Also in 2018 there were again some outstanding EME-DXpeditions on 144 MHz which made the heart beat faster. Due to technical problems in the first months of the year and vacations later, unfortunately I missed several of them such as PJ2T, TD9FYC, CR2EME, 3B8MB, 4L/RM8A and 9N7AP – what a pitty. What does not make it easier is the fact that with just one antenna, you are always one of the last stations in the long long line of callers.
Nevertheless, at the end of the year a total of 12 new countries were in the logbook, and the overall standing is now up to 80 DXCC on 2m. These new were PJ6E, Z66EME, 7P8Z, C8T, BX4AP, WP4G, CX2SC, 4Z5CP, ZA5V, TI2SW, BA4SI and finally ZL2MQ.
Talking about stations worked for the first time (“Initials”) there were 124 new ones in 2018 and totally 302 via EME within 12 active moonphases since my start in 2017.
I do not want to forget the QSO’s with other single Yagi stations, which has always a special charm of minimalism. In 2018 these were: R3PA (17 el.), R7IV (14 el.), DL1VPL (12 el.), ND0B (12 el.), R1AY (15 el.) and UA6IE (14 el.).
It would be nice if the EME-business would continue in 2019 in the same way.