Every long road comes to an end – DXCC 144 MHz

144 MHz DXCC – all Countries worked with just one single Yagi Antenna

How it all began …

A long time ago, sometime in 1980, I observed my friend Fritz Herbst near Hanover, DL3YBA, doing echo tests on 144 MHz over the moon with his huge antenna array. At that time, of course, there were no digital modes of operation, telegraphy was the way to go. I used a 16 element Yagi from Tonna (F9FT), that was state of the art. Of course I didn’t hear its echoes, but it got me interested in EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) experiments.
Time passed and many unsuccessful attempts followed. Then on April 03, 1982, the moon was close to the western horizon, I suddenly heard the CW signals from Dave K1WHS – unbelievable!. At that time he had the largest 2m system in the world with 24 x 14 antennas. I called him in CW with my 500W into the 16 Element and .. whooow .. we made a QSO! Unfortunately, this was to remain my first and only EME contact for many years.
In 1988 there was another EME contact with Dave, W5UN in Texas (holder of 2m DXCC #1). With his superstation of 32 x 17 element he made an incredible signal via the moon. But then the game of 2m EME was over for me. With just one antenna it was not possible to work others beside those two Superstations and there was no space for a group of four yagis on our property.

It was summer 2017 when I met my longtime radio friends OK1DIX, OK1VPZ and OK1TEH at a ham meeting in Poland. They raved about the possibilities of successfully doing EME with the JT65 digital operating mode. I got hooked again!
When I got home, a new antenna was ordered, I decided on a 14 element Yagi from AnjoAntennen with a length of 6.7m and a gain of 13.5 dBi. A short steel pipe was concreted in the garden, the rotor was put on and the Yagi was fastened. Despite the short cable of about 15m, I mounted a preamplifier (HA8ET) near the feedpoint. When Beko’s SSPA arrived, things could get going. In the meantime, the EME world could not be imagined without the digital operating mode JT65 from K1JT and that was a quantum leap compared to telegraph operations. On August 26, 2017, I finally got going with just one antenna into the new EME world. I had set myself the goal of working a total of 10 different stations. To anticipate, that was already done on the second day. The target was revised upwards and upwards, 100 stations, 250 stations, DXCC!

Of course there were setbacks at the beginning and a lot of new things to learn. In the first few months things progressed quickly, many new DXCC countries entered the log. However, due to the Covid crisis, these stopped in 2020 and a long boring periode began. Then finally, on November 12, 2022, a QSO with ZC4RH succeeded and the long-cherished dream – my 144 MHz DXCC Award was completed!

CY0S – 2m EME – DXCC #101

Back in 2019 Lee, WW2DX, and Team activated the rare DXCC St. Paul Island on 144 MHz via EME under the callsign CY9C.
This year Sable Island was his destination, CY0S the callsign. With the proven equipment of 2 x 9 Element Hpol and Amplifier, Lee was in the air for a few days. The moon was not in a favourable position but after the first rush of callers was over, I managed to get a contact and my DXCC #101 on 144 MHz was in the book. Thanks Lee for another great QSO!

(Picures courtesy of CY0S-Team)

ZC4RH – 2m EME – DXCC #100

Today a big dream came true: the 100th country on 144 MHz is in the book. It was a long and rocky road, but time and effort paid off. It’s only the 3rd time a single yagi station has reached this mark (as far as I’ve researched). Many thanks to the team at ZC4RH (Dave, Chris and Jos) for their effort and contact via EME!

(Picures courtesy of PA2CHR / PA3FYC / ZC4RH)

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!

Meeting EA1IW

During my holiday in Northern Spain I had the opportunity to visit my radio friend Toni, EA1IW, and his family in Vargas. We had interesting technical talks and a good time together. Thank you Toni and see you soon over the moon!

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

Antarctic Treaty – 60th Anniversary

The Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington on December 1, 1959 by the twelve Countries whose scientists had been active in and around Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957-58. It entered into force in 1961 and has since been acceded by many other Nations. The total number of Parties to the Treaty is now 54.
Among the signatories of the Treaty were seven countries – Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom – with territorial claims.

In Honour of the 60th anniversary of the event, from October 1st to December 31st, 2021 W.A.P., Russian Robinson Club together with SRR, Hamlog and other Organizations conduct a special activity usingh different callsigns ending **60ANT, by the number of countries that originally signed the Antarctic Treaty. Colourful Awards are available.

RDA – Hunting Russian Districts

Since I started as a shortwave listener back in the 1960s and from 1972 on as a licensed HAM, I have been interested hunting for the difficult to work Amateur Radio Awards. This includes, at least in the higher classes, the Russian District Award “RDA”.

The “RDA” (Russian District Award) is an International Award Program with the goal of attracting interest in Amateur Radio through the communication with various Districts in the Russian Federation. The “RDA” program is established to encourage confirmed contacts with the greatest variety of areas in Russia. The Awards includes entities designated by the Russian Federation. These include a total of 2.642 different districts inside 85 different Oblasts. There are currently 6 different certificate awards varying in difficulty and complexity, and two plaque awards available for “Honor Roll” and “#1 Honor Roll”. With it’s own modern Online confirmation system, similar to the american LotW, it is “state of the art” and made hunting a real smile.

The hunt for RDA districts has a very special charm, because 90% of it (estimated) takes place in CW! Today the RDA 2000 was finally in the mailbox and it will have a special place on the wall in my shack.