144 MHz tropo opening of end of 2018 and beginning of 2019

Below the map of the QSO’s I have been lucky to work on 144 MHz during the period December 25th, 2018 to January 6th, 2019. The conditions lasted for days, thanks to a steady high pressure system over Western Europe. Stations on the North coast of Spain were hearing the OY beacon but unfortunately there was no activity from the Faroes Islands. In JO10XO, I was out of the North-South duct but I could benefit however from excellent conditions from South-West to North-West. UT1FG/MM was worked while in IN66, JO12, JO25 and JO36 (3 new #). I missed IN67 as I was out for the New Years eve. The map depicts SSB, CW and FT8 QSO’s.

Tropo opening 144 MHz end of 2018


UT1FG/MM – Yuri

2019_01_06_21_02_48_https_s3.amazonaws.com_files.qrz.com_g_ut1fg_IMG_1476453682005_V.jpg_InterneYuri, UT1FG is often active as UT1FG/MM on 144 MHz. He operates from the ship “Goldeneye”, a bulk carrier sailing under Cyprus flag. On the QRZ.com page of Yuri, one can see the ship.

The Goldeneye has left San Lorenzo in Argentina on 8/12/2018 with Riga (Latvia) as destination. Yuri has been active during the travel from several “wet” squares on 144 MHz. I have been lucky enough to work him when he was in IN66, JO12, JO25 and JO36. Three of them were new #. The mode Yuri used was FT8. On likes FT8 or not is another discussion ! I wanted to know the full (6 digits) loactors where Yuri was when I worked him. Provided the latitude / longitude position of the ship can be received by costal stations receiving AIS (Automatic Identification System) frames emitted by the boats (161.975 and 162.025 MHz), it is quite easy to derive the QRA locator. I describe here the way I proceeded.

I go the either vesselfinder.com or marinetraffic.com. One has sometimes a more recent position that the other or vice-versa. The AIS frames contain the latitude and longitude of the ship ; these are broadcasted on the above mentioned frequencies. Once received by a costal AIS station that reports the received postions of the ships to vesselfinder or marinetraffic over the internet, one can retrieve the latitude and longitude of the ship. Below is an example with marinetraffic. Look for “Goldeneye” on the top right when accessing the website and you will get this if you select the Goldeneye from Cypris, i.e. [CY] (click on picture to enlarge) :


From there, you can see the latest postion of the ship, its past track and even its forecasted route.


On the top right of the picture above, one can see the latitude and longitude of the ship, expressed both in DD and DMS. Feeding an online QRA locator calculator2019_01_03_09_39_15_QTH_locator_calculator (e.g. www.giangrandi.ch) with these data and one get the QRA locator of the ship. In the present case, it was in JO24KH. Again, this is possible provided the ship is under the coverage of a costal AIS receiving station. Otherwise, satellite positioning of the ships is also possible but this is a paid service.

End of January 2019, on his way from Estonia to Brazil, Yuri has activated again wet squares on 144 MHz. Yuri is transmitting with 20W into a 5 elements antenna. Hereby a screenshot from JO35 :

UT1FG-MM JO35 30012019
Many thanks to Yuri for activating all these wet squares !


EME 144 MHz : TD9FYC, DXCC #143

En février/mars 2018, Chris PA2CHR et Jos PA3FYC ont activé le Guatemala au travers d’une DX-pédition tribande (144-432-1296), depuis le carré locator EK44SB. J’ai eu la chance de contacter assez facilement TD9FYC (toujours en total “random”, c’est-à-dire sans notification de mon appel sur un logger/chat). Merci Chris et Jos pour ce nouveau DXCC (143 ème) sur 144 MHz !

In February/March 2018, Chris PA2CHR and Jos PA3FYC have been activating Guatemala in a triband (144-432-1296) DX-pedition, as from the grid square EK44SB. I have had the chance to work TD9FYC somehow easily (always in total “random”, i.e. without notification of my call on a logger/chat). Thanks Chris and Jos for this new DXCC (143th) on 144 MHz !




Worked All States (WAS) 144 MHz

Début novembre 2017 (le mois “anniversaire” de mes 30 ans de radioamateurisme…), j’ai eu l’immense plaisir de recevoir le diplôme Worked All States (WAS) numéro 208 sur 144 MHz. Il récompense le fait d’avoir contacté au moins une fois chaque état américain, en l’occurrence par réflexion sur la lune en ce qui me concerne. Avant de l’obtenir, il a fallu également collecter et faire vérifier toutes les cartes QSL. La station, ou plutôt les différentes stations utilisées au fil des ans sont restées relativement modestes, le tableau ci-dessous renseigne antennes et puissances utilisées. 35 états ont pu être contactés avec une seule antenne et sans élévation, mais certainement en profitant de “gain de sol“, difficile à quantifier précisément, mais de l’ordre de 4-5 dB. Merci à tous, et en particulier à Gene, KB7Q (qui a activé plusieurs états rares) et à Jim, N1NK (qui m’a permis de contacter le dernier état tant attendu, Rhode Island).

Beginning of November 2017 (the “anniversary” month of my 30 years as ham radio…), I have had the great pleasure to receive the Worked All States (WAS) award number 208 on 144 MHz. It rewards the fact of having worked at least one time every US state, thanks to moon bouncing in my case. Prior to get it, it has been needed to collect and make check all the QSL cards. The station, or rather the stations used over the years have remained relatively modest, the table below indicates which antennas and powers have been used. 35 states have been worked with a single antenna without elevation, but certainly benefiting from “ground gain” (in French), difficult to quantify precisely but somewhere around 4-5 dB. Thanks to all and in particular to Gene, KB7Q (who activated several rare states) and to Jim, N1NK (who allowed me to work the last long awaited state, Rhode Island).


DateStateCallsignModeWorking conditionsERP (kW)
1/10/1994TX TEXASW5UNCW(1)1,54
15/11/2003OH OHIOKB8RQCW(2)3,48
14/10/2006CA CALIFORNIAK6MYCJT65b(3)6,22
12/11/2006MN MINNESOTAK0KPJT65b(3)6,22
12/11/2006WI WISCONSINN0AKCJT65b(3)6,22
18/6/2007IL ILLINOISK9DXJT65b(3)6,22
20/7/2007NJ NEW JERSEYK1JTJT65b(3)6,22
4/8/2007KY KENTUCKYW8WNJT65b(3)6,22
28/10/2007AZ ARIZONAAA7AJT65b(3)6,22
24/11/2007NC NORTH CAROLINAK4SVJT65b(3)6,22
25/11/2007NH NEW HAMPSHIREK1CAJT65b(3)6,22
21/9/2008IN INDIANAK9MRIJT65b(3)6,22
27/9/2008FL FLORIDAW4RBOJT65b(3)6,22
26/10/2008ME MAINEW1IPLJT65b(3)6,22
8/11/2008VA VIRGINIAAD4TJJT65b(3)6,22
13/1/2009OR OREGONK7MIJT65b(3)6,22
14/1/2009GA GEORGIAWA4NJPJT65b(3)6,22
31/1/2009DE DELAWAREWA3QPXJT65b(3)6,22
31/1/2009ID IDAHOW7MEMJT65b(3)6,22
31/1/2009MD MARYLANDKD3UYJT65b(3)6,22
28/3/2009NY NEW YORKW2TSLJT65b(3)6,22
29/3/2009AK ALASKAKL7UWJT65b(3)6,22
25/4/2009CT CONNECTICUTK5GMXJT65b(3)6,22
2/5/2009SC SOUTH CAROLINAAA4SCJT65b(3)6,22
29/5/2009KS KANSASW0PTJT65b(3)6,22
28/6/2009PA PENNSYLVANIAWA2FGKJT65b(3)6,22
22/1/2010TN TENNESSEEWD4JHDJT65b(3)6,22
24/1/2010MT MONTANAW7GJJT65b(3)6,22
21/2/2010MA MASSACHUSETTSN1DPMJT65b(3)6,22
28/2/2010NM NEW MEXICOK5DOGJT65b(3)6,22
10/8/2010WA WASHINGTONW7IUVJT65b(3)6,22
28/8/2010LA LOUISIANAWZ5QJT65b(3)6,22
19/2/2011OK OKLAHOMAK0CIYJT65b(3)6,22
28/8/2011UT UTAHK7ULSJT65b(3)6,22
28/4/2012ND NORTH DAKOTANT0VJT65b(4)7,91
24/6/2012HI HAWAIIKH7YJT65b(4)7,91
13/10/2012VT VERMONTW1ICWJT65b(4)7,91
21/11/2012AL ALABAMAW4ENNJT65b(4)7,91
6/1/2013WV WEST VIRGINIAWB8TFVJT65b(3)6,22
13/1/2013CO COLORADON0KEJT65b(4)7,91
18/1/2013NV NEVADAW7OJTJT65b(4)7,91
6/1/2014MI MICHIGANKF8MYJT65b(4)7,91
2/3/2014MS MISSISSIPPIK5WBMJT65b(4)7,91
7/5/2014SD SOUTH DAKOTAW7XUJT65b(5)13,18
24/5/2014AR ARKANSASW5ZNJT65b(5)13,18
22/1/2015NE NEBRASKAK1MEAJT65b(5)13,18
8/6/2015WY WYOMINGKB7QJT65b(5)13,18
29/9/2015IA IOWAKB7Q/0JT65b(5)13,18
3/10/2015MO MISSOURIN0IRSJT65b(5)13,18
24/5/2017RI RHODE ISLANDN1NKJT65b(6)26,36

(1) : 100W + 17el F9FT (3,1wl) fixed 10° Elevation
(2) : 300W + 9el Wimo (2,4wl) No Elevation
(3) : 300W + 12el DK7ZB (3,8wl) No Elevation
(4) : 300W + 2x9el DK7ZB (2,4wl) with Elevation
(5) : 500W + 2x9el DK7ZB (2,4wl) with Elevation
(6) : 1kW + 2x9el DK7ZB (2,4wl) with Elevation


EME 144 MHz : 3 new DXCC in a week / 3 nouveaux DXCC en une semaine

RI1F 2Semaine fructueuse en EME sur 144 MHz, 3 nouvelles contrées DXCC ont pu être contactées. D’abord le 8 octobre, l’expédition RI1F active depuis la Terre François Joseph (Franz Josef Land), un territoire russe situé en arctique. Vladimir R9LR, un opérateur EME, s’était joint à l’expédition. Malgré le pile-up, j’ai eu la chance de réaliser le QSO assez facilement. Il s’agit aussi d’une première (first) Belgique – Terre François Joseph sur 144 MHz.RI1F 3

Fruitful week in EME on 144 MHz, 3 new DXCC countries could be worked. First on October 8th, the expedition RI1F active from Franz Josef Land, a russian territory in the Arctic. Vladimir R9LR, an EME operator, joined the expedition. Despite the pile-up, I have been lucky to make the QSO somehow easily. It is also a first Belgium – Franz Josef Land on 144 MHz.


T8EMEnsuite le 12 octobre, T8EM, l’archipel de Palau (Pacifique ouest) était dans le log comme DXCC numéro 138 sur 144 MHz. Cette expédition était conduite par Taka JP3EXR et Kay JH3AZC, qui ont contacté plus de 200 stations en EME. Une vidéo Youtube de leur expédition est visible ici.

Then, on October 12th, T8EM, the Palau archipelago (Western Pacific) was in the log as DXCC number 138 on 144 MHz. This expedition was conducted by Taka JP3EXR and Kay JH3AZC, who worked more than 200 stations in EME. A Youtube video of their expedition can be seen here.


3DA0MB_1Et finalement, le 15 octobre, c’était au tour de 3DA0MB (Swaziland) de trouver sa place dans mon log. Il s’agissait d’une expédition EME multibandes (de 6m à 3cm !) dont les membres étaient Vincent 3DA0VV, Lins PA3CMC, John ZS6JON, Chris PA2CHR, Alex ZS6EME, Andrew ZS6AVH, Bernie ZS4TX, Sam HB9COG, Dan HB9CRQ. Le 14 octobre, j’ai appelé 3DA0MB durant 4 heures, avec comme résultat 2 QSO’s incomplets. Le lendemain, un seul appel et bingo, QSO réalisé juste à temps, avant de prendre la direction de Bruges pour y participer au semi-marathon…

3DA0MB-vlagAnd finally, on October 15th, it was the turn of 3DA0MB to find its way into my log. This was a multiband EME expedition (from 6m to 3cm !) whose members were Vincent 3DA0VV, Lins PA3CMC, John ZS6JON, Chris PA2CHR, Alex ZS6EME, Andrew ZS6AVH, Bernie ZS4TX, Sam HB9COG and Dan HB9CRQ. On October 14th, I have been calling for 4 hours, with as result 2 uncomplete QSO’s. The day after, a single call and bingo, QSO done just right before leaving to Brugge, to compete in the half-marathon…


Merci pour tous vos efforts !!!

Thanks for all your efforts !!!