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.

60 Years manned Space Flight

2021 will mark the 60th anniversary of the first manned flight into space, one of the most important milestones in the history of all mankind. The first manned flight took place on April 12, 1961. Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin made one complete turn in Earth orbit and returned safely to Earth.

For this anniversary the special call signs R1994YU, R1996VK, R2014NC, RG21DS, RU21DS, RA60YG – RZ60YG, R60MCC, R60CTC, R60YAG and several others are in the air and the Miller-DX-Club “M-DX-C” has developed an interesting Award program. The period is from April 12th to 25th, 2021.

Detailed information on the projects can be found on the “M-DX-C” website.

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.

ARRL DXCC Challenge Award – Sticker 2500 arrived

Nice surprise: The ARRL DXCC Challenge Medallion 2500 was in the mailbox today. Just a small round sticker, but so much time and work went into it. Challenge 2500 means an average of 250 DXCC Entities on each of the 10 Bands from 160m to 6m. The next and final level is 3000, but I’m out of business now. Unfortunately it is more difficult nowadays to get the confirmation for a QSO than to make the contact itself. Not to mention the cost of requesting QSL cards or LotW confirmations. Now it has a dignified place on the wall and will remind me of so many nice contacts.

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.

144 MHz: International Space Station on SSTV

From December 28, 2019 until January 01, 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.

First two pictures were received on December 30, 2019, no. 3 and 4 on December 31 (Expedition 61 – ARISS Series 15 Leonov). It looks like the last two were probably disturbed by unknown RF radiation.

Baltic Way 30 – Short Term Award

This Memorial Award is announced by Eesti Raadioamatööride Ühing (ERAÜ), Latvijas Radio Amatieru Līga (LRAL) and Lietuvos Radijo Mėgėjų Draugija (LRMD) to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Baltic Way – a peaceful protest against the Molotov – Ribbentrop pact signed on 23rd of August 1939, dividing the independent countries of Eastern Europe in spheres of influence between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. On the same date in 1989 more than 2 million people across Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined hands to form a 675 km long human chain – the Baltic Way, showing their fight for independence.

Although this Award is not difficult to get, it has a special meaning for me. A few weeks ago, I visited all three Baltic States and drove part of the way from Vilnius to Tallin via Riga.
This memorial stone is located in front of Cathedral Square in Vilnius and contains the word “stebuklas”. This was the starting point of the huge human chain between Vilnius and Tallinn on August 23, 1989. Nearly two million Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians protested hand in hand, 650 kilometers in length, for the independence of their own states.

144 MHz: International Space Station on SSTV

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”.