IARU Region-1 Marconi Memorial Contest VHF 2022

After a break of a few years, I took again part in my favorite contest, the “Marconi Contest VHF” this last weekend. In just a few hours on Saturday evening and Sunday morning, a total of 120 QSOs and a total of abt. 43,000 points with an average of 363 km/QSO were made. And it was a lot of fun working old friends and pounding the brass again!

These are the best DX contacts:

  • 9A4V JN95mm 921 km
  • IQ5NN JN63gn 907 km
  • IO2V JN54we 831 km
  • IZ5ILA/4 JN54pf 822 km
  • 9A4M JN85ei 817 km
  • IK4PMB JN54mm 789 km
  • 9A2AE JN86hf 754 km
  • HA2R JN87ue 714 km
  • HG1Z JN86ku 700 km
  • S59P JN86ao 685 km
  • S51ZO JN86dr 685 km

D2TX – 2m EME

Bernie (ZS4TX), known for his previous activations of A21EME, 7P8Z, 3DA0MB, 3B8/ZS4TX, started another “One Man” DX-Pedition in late August 2022. The goal this time was the Cuando-Cubango Province in Angola. This was Angola’s first 2m EME activation to date and a nearly 7,000 km round trip for ZS4TX.
Bernie’s Equipment for 2m were 2x 2M18XXX and IC-9700. Due to difficult weather conditions, Bernie had to stop activity after only 4 days. Nevertheless, I managed to complete a nice QSO and that’s DXCC #99 in the log.
Thanks to Bernie for another contact and the great activation!

(Picture courtesy of ZS4TX)

Market Reef (OJ0DX) – 2m Meteor Scatter

Market Reef in the evening dusk (Picture courtesy of DL3DXX)

Dietmar, DL3DXX, and his team activated the small Island of Market Reef several times over the last few years under the call sign OJ0DX (Loc. JP90nh). This trip he was attended by Sebastian, DG5CST. And with him equipment for 2m and 70cm, EME and Meteor Scatter. It was the opportunity for me to finally work OJ0 on 2m as a new DXCC entity. And it was really just a formality: Within 5 minutes the Meteor Scatter QSO was complete and DXCC #98 on 2m in my book! Thanks to Sebastian for the effort and the nice contact!

2021 ARRL EME-Contest

A few days ago, the ARRL published the results of the “ARRL International EME Contest 2021”. Although I only took part in a total of 10.2 hours, I finished 20th out of a total of 50 participants in the “Single Operator, All Mode, 1.2 GHz” category.

This is a gratifying result for me as I only have a small 1.75m dish and a limited moon window. A total of 60 contacts were logged, 12 of them in CW. Highlights beside many others are the CW contacts with DU3T and KL6M, two new DXCC on 23cm.

Detailed results are available here https://contests.arrl.org/scores.php

Meteor Scatter: Perseides 2021

Sometimes one QSO is enough, if it is the right one.

Last year I had already watched Kev from Gibraltar, ZB2GI, during his meteor scatter tests and got short reflections from him. Unfortunately, there was not enough time for a test and a long year passed.

During the Perseid shower ZB2GI (IM76hd) resides on Top of the Gibraltar Rock with a free Takeoff into Europe. With his small station, a 5 element Yagi antenna and 50 watt output power, he has already had many successful meteor scatter contacts in the past. But would that be enough this year for a QSO over the distance of 2,130 km?

For a long, very long time I watched Kev’s frequency as he tested with southern European stations. And there were reflections, not many, not loud and not long. But it was enough for decoding.

When he was free I started a call. Hopefully the reflections will continue and we will hear each other. To make a long story short: Finally, after almost 90 minutes and my pulse near a heart attack, he got my final RRR and the QSO was finished with 26 reports on both sides.

Contacts above 2,000 km via meteor scatter are usually difficult with few reflections. So I’m all the more happy about this special contact and a new DXCC # 97 for me on 2m. Many thanks Kevin for your patience and perseverance!

144 MHz: International Space Station on SSTV

From January 28, 2021 to January 29 2021 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. A nice Tracker could be find here.

Meteor Scatter: Perseides 2020

The Perseids come around once a year in mid-August, when the Earth passes through a trail of comet dust on its way around the sun. The dust burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere and ionizes the E-layer. The Perseids are caused by debris from comet 109P / Swift-Tuttle, which loops around the sun on a 133-year orbit.

This year they should peak on Wednesday, Aug. 12 between 0800 and 2100 UTC. The Perseids typically deliver up to 110 meteors per hour at their peak. According to scientific predictions, the reflection numbers should start to rise again in 2027.

After a two-year absence, I decided to be active on 144 MHz this year for the Perseids Meteor shower. At the end a total of 44 QSOs could be logged, including 13 new QTH locators. In retrospect, I have to say that the shower had significantly worse reflections this year compared to previous years.

144 MHz // worked Squares

This picture shows my signal, recorded by Nick US8AR in KO60RR and Andy UT4UEP in KN49WV. It is the same burst with a duration of over 30 seconds, recorded by both on August 11, 2020 at 10:45:30 UT. Thanks to Nick and Andy for these interresting screenshots.

144 MHz: International Space Station on SSTV

From August 04, 2020 until August 05 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.

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.