Three Element Balloon Supported 80m Beam
Another Lowband Antenna Project...
Weather conditions allowed us to pull up an 80m Full Size Vertical Beam based on parasitic elements. The driven element was a J-Pole fed over a quarter wave impedance matching, a parasitic Reflector behind and a Director in front. The antenna wire we used was DX-Wire UL (Ultra Light) with 4 g/m and a strength of up to 60 kg. The balloons could stay up in the air for several days, weather permits, The picture was taken in the afternoon having a slight easterly wind of approximately. 15km/h. During the night wind had completely gone and the wires stood 100% vertical. Transmit power was 400W. On RBN Network we continuosly followed our signal strength worldwide (TNX Wolfgang, DF7PN). For example we were heard at VK4CT RBN in Australia with 24dB, well ahead of our sunset. In the following CW QSOs with Allan, VK2GR and Ron, VK3IO they reported us an outstanding signal with up to 599 on 3.505 MHz in Australia (TNX Allan and Ron).
QSL via will be ok via bureau, like I do since over 50 years now!
For direct QSL requests please use the following address:
Rudolf Klos, DK7PE
55128 Mainz / Germany
Please don't send me IRCs for return postage.
You may instead request your confirmation
via PayPal for a friend to: TL0CW (at) rooody.de (Tango Lima Zero Charly Whisky)
sending your QSL will not be necessary!
Amateur Radio - A Bridge To The World
Listening to the radio in the early 1970s was as fascinating to me then as it is today! As a shortwave listener (DL-K07/463109) I was listening on the bands and was happy to receive a rare QSL. While Klaus (DJ6RX), Gun (DL6EN sk), Klaus (DL1KS sk), Hubert (DL1JW sk) and others from the Bad Kreuznach DX-Gang were having their daily DX-contacts with rare stations around the globe, I was eager to get my own transmit permission.
Too young to be a radio amateur?
During the early seventies it was required by law to be at least 18 years old to be accepted for
an amateur radio examination. Too bad for me as I was only 15 but ready to start!
With the great support of Harry (DK4PR sk), Günter (DJ8CY) and the DARC Mainz, I was accepted for the examination even though I was only 16. This was an unusual exception at this time! On December 3rd 1973, I finally got my license with the call sign DK7PE. I was one of the youngest radio amateurs in Germany during these days.
Working DX - which means having radio contact with other amateur radio stations more than 3000 km
away - was one thing. But after I had worked 265 DXCC countries, I wanted to visit some of these exotic spots by myself. Egypt was the first rare DX country I visited. And wth the invitation of Keith, VO1LX/SU (now VA3YC), I was allowed to operate this station
out of the UN-Camp in Ismailia on the Suez Canal. This was back in 1978. What a thrill!
In 50 years of Amateur Radio I have visited 176 and operated out of 160 different DXCC countries (see page Call Signs).
Getting an amateur radio license in some of these countries and operating from there wasn't always easy, like Brazzaville in the Congo, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Angola, Burkina Faso, Bangladesh or the Central African Republic.
On all of my DXpeditions I have focused on countries that are most wanted on CW (Morse code) and especially on the low bands like 40, 80 and 160m. For this purpose, I designed several antenna systems that fit into my suitcase and work extremely well on all HF-bands. One of my designs is the 3 element Jumper Beam made out of wire. It was described in the Ocober 2011 issue of QST Magazine and several other magazines too.
On my page "QSL Samples" you may find some QSLs I used during 50 years in amateur radio.
The last operation was OJ0/DK7PE from Märket Reef in September 2021.
CU on 160!
73s Rudi - DK7PE
A word about today's one-man DXpeditioning
Going on a classic DXpedition offers great excitement to me, just like it does to those in the pile-ups. It’s a thrill to go out and focus on the low bands by using CW, trying out my wire antennas and picking up signals out of the noise, like I have done for over forty years now.
A night on 160 can result in a handful of QSOs and sometimes there’s no contact at all. While a single operator can make up to 8,000-10,000 contacts on the higher bands, a low band operation with 1,500 QSOs in one week is a very good result. In Bolivia I was able to work 265 stations on 160m and 862 stations on 80m, providing many of them with “new ones.”
So far I have operated from 160 DXCC entities (see www.dxfc.org). I am in contact with several stations who have around 300 confirmed 160m DXCC entities. Based on their input, I choose my next destination, provided I haven’t been there before…
This time I was carrying 60kg (120lbs) of equipment and antennas which meant excess baggage charges and no mercy from the airlines. For another example, some years ago, on a trip to Southern Africa, I was asked to pay 1,300 Euros (approx. US$ 1,400) extra fees for additional baggage. So I took a taxi, went back home, took out the heavy parts like the amplifier, etc. and returned to the check-in! High costs for excess weight and baggage are the reason I sometimes have to go QRP or 100 W only. There are always new additional charges... On this trip to Bolivia for example, I had to learn that bulky and oversize baggage (fishing rods) are charged 250 Euros for each baggage piece, and in each direction. Wow, that was new to me!
I pay for all of my DXpedition costs and expenses myself, for transportation, oversize and excess baggage fees, accommodations, cancelation fees, QSL printing or whatever. As a one-man operation I have no sponsoring organizations like the big DXpeditions.
Many thanks to those who support my efforts!
Looking forward to hearing you in the next pile-up,
73's Rudi DK7PE
Una DXpeditioning es muy divertida para mí, y lo es para aquellos que trabajan uno nuevo país en una banda o modo difícil. Para mí es emocionante concentrarme en las bandas bajas y en CW, probando diferentes antenas, como lo hice desde mis primeras operaciones en los años setenta. En esta "disciplina" sucede que una noche entera, como la primera en Bolivia, terminé con 29 contactos, a veces sin QSO. Una operación en bandas bajas con 2000 QSO en una semana es un muy buen resultado en mi opinión. Esa es una pequeña cantidad en comparación con el uso de las bandas altas y otros modos, donde un solo operador puede hacer 8000-10000 contactos en una semana. Es muy divertido, pero salir solo, está relacionado con costos notables y, a veces, problemas que uno no encontraría al quedarse en casa. Podría escribir un libro sobre esto...
Esta vez llevé a Bolivia 60 kg (120 lb) de equipos y antenas. Eso significa que se cobrará equipaje adicional, sin piedad. En un viaje al sur de África, me pidieron que pagara 1300 euros adicionales por equipaje extra. ¡Cogí un taxi, me fui a casa, saqué las partes pesadas como el amplificador, etc. y regresé al CheckIn! Los costos extremos por exceso de peso son la razón por la que a veces solo uso QRP o 100 W.
Siempre hay nuevos cargos adicionales ... En este viaje, por ejemplo, tuve que aprender que el equipaje voluminoso (cañas de pescar) cobraban 250 EUR por pieza de equipaje, en cada dirección... ¡vaya, eso fue nuevo para mí!
El coste de estos viajes termina en torno a los 3000 euros, siempre que (con suerte) no ocurran gastos inesperados...
Lo que quiero decir es que pago estos costos por mí mismo, simplemente todo, como transporte, equipaje de gran tamaño, sobrepeso, alojamiento, tarifas de cancelación, impresión QSL o lo que sea. Por favor recuerda, NO tengo patrocinadores como las grandes DXpeditions.
Sí, es divertido para mí, pero también para los que están en el pile up. Lo que me hace pensar es que si un operador que tiene 300 países trabajados en 160mts, me trabajó en la TOP BAND como nuevo país y me envía una bonita QSL con su gran estación, sus motos o automóviles y pone un IRC para devolverle una QSL directa...
Si está contento con haber conseguido uno nuevo, tal vez pienses en esto.
¡Gracias! 73 Rudi DK7PE
(Thanks Luis EA1CS for translation)