Balkan tour 2014

During summer vacation in 2014 we had new piece of equipment for portable work. The QRP rig FT817ND is excellent for quick setup and has low power consumption to operate from battery for many hours.

Our Balkan tour started in Korčula island, where Gal S57GP and myself S54MTB operated from 27.08.2014 to 02.08.2014 with 9A/ prefix.

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Main operating bands were 40 and 20 meters with some experimentation on 2m and 70cm without significant success. The antenna was vertical with only several radials placed on the beach. The space for antenna was limited, because the place, where we stayed is in the village with many other houses around. First task was to make QSO with Boris 9A/S54O, who was located on island Lošinj preparing for VHF contest. The conditions for short HF QSO were not good and S54O reported only 53 to our 5W QRP, however Boris was heard with 58 at our QTH. Then we experimented with Damjan S52W, unfortunately without success.

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The idea was also to activate nearby small islands around Korčula, but the weather had another plans for us. The storms, waves and strong winds prevented paddling with kayaks to those islets. It will be the action for next year. The propagation conditions were not good during our stay at the seaside. Maybe the antenna location were not optimal and of course the 5W QRP rig is far from comfortable for unexperienced ham operators.

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After this easy warmup we moved to 4O, Montenegro. Our QTH for next two days was National park Lovčen. We were there on 2.8. during EUHF contest. Gal operated on 40m band with call 4O/s57GP. The antenna was 40m vertical, which has proven itself excellent. The QTH was a bit remote with enough room to place the antenna and full set of radials. Gal made more than 50 QSO during available time and all operators were very happy with the reference number “14” – the licence year.

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Our YL Ina is also interested in HAM activities:

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The “shack” was our log cabin

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More details are here: http://p.pavlin.si/2011/08/ivanova-korita-in-lovcen/

During the contest, 4O/S57GP operated several domestic, S5 stations including Damjan S52O.

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Our next QTH was Albania. Were were located in Lake Shkodra resort. The main goal here was to make as much interesting QSOs as possible. Of course we started with home call, S52W and S54O, again without success. The conditions were not even close to optimal for short skip. OTOH we did the QSOs with other stations around EU and Asia without any problem. The propagation in the NW direction was excellent resulting in many QSOs with Poland and Baltic countries. late at night the conditions were good for Japan, even with report 59 and not to mention that we operated QRP with 5W only.

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The antenna was simple dipole between two trees.

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Final QTH during our first little DXpedition was YU, Serbia. Unfortunately, the QTH was in the middle of small village in the National park Tara Planina, with many power lines above the house and backyard. At first we did not set any antenna, but after short thinking, we found the place few meters above ground with nearby power line, just few meters away. The weather was rainy all the time. The result were the worst conditions during our trip. We were trying to make contacts with S5, again without success. Boris S54O with his yagi and PA had a lot of troubles to make any contacts with YU big guns, so our QRP rig had no chance whatsoever. Maybe next time.

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On our way home we stopped in Sarajevo and Trebevič to take a look on renovation work on 1984 Winter Olympics bob track.

 

And finally, very special thansk goes to Boris S54O and Damjan S52W, who patiently listened and called our station at different places around Balkans.

 

The photo album with some other interesting photos is HERE.

 

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