SV5/HB9COG, KM36xa, Kiotari, Rhodes
Sue, Dan’s YL
1.5m dish 1x2mm mesh, homemade automatic az/el control:
23cm: 50W at feed, circular, preamp at horn
13cm: 50W at feed, circular, preamp at horn
9cm: 50W at feed, circular, preamp at horn
6cm: 50W at feed, circular, preamp at horn
3cm: 50W at feed, v-pol, preamp at horn
70cm: 50W at dipole, 11el FLA yagi, preamp
We worked a total of 164 QSOs and 147 initials on 6 bands in 7 moon-pathes, 2 pathes on 23cm and on all other bands 1 path per band (on 70 and 9cm only partial moon-path)! It was nice to work a total of 23 CW QSOs on 5 bands (23-3cm).
3 QSOs (2 Q65-60B, 1 JT65B)
2 DXCC (1. station worked by DXCC: HB9Q, NC1I)
Smallest station worked: NC1I 48x15y 1KW (-24/T-22)
81 QSOs (8 CW, 73 Q65-60C)
22 DXCC (1. station worked by DXCC: CT1BYM, CX2SC, DF2VJ, ES3RF, F1RJ, G4CCH, HB9Q, IK3COJ, JA6AHB, NC1I, LZ2OC, OH2DG, OK2DL, OM4XA, ON4AOI, PA3DZL, SM5DGX, SP5GDM, RX6AIA, UA9FAD, VE3KRP, ZS6JON)
Smallest station worked: KB2SA 1.9m mesh dish 535W at feed (-21/R-24)
16 QSOs (3 CW, 13 Q65-60C)
8 DXCC (1. station worked by DXCC: DF3RU, G3LTF, HB9Q, IK3COJ, K2UYH, OH2DG, OK1KIR, PA3DZL)
Smallest station worked: PA3DLZ 3.7m solid dish 325W at feed (R-20/-22)
18 QSOs (5 CW, 13 Q65-60C)
8 DXCC (1. station worked by DXCC:DL4DTU, G3LTF, HB9Q, W5LUA, OH2DG, OK1KIR, PA3DZL, VE6TA)
Smallest station worked: OK1DFC 2.6m offset dish 45W at feed (-20/R-14)
26 QSOs (5 CW, 21 Q65-60D)
12 DXCC (1. station worked by DXCC: DF3RU, HB9Q, IK3COJ, JA6AHB, W5LUA, OH2DG, OK1KIR, OZ1LPR, PA3DZL, UA3PTW, UR5L, VE6TA)
Smallest station worked: UR5LX 2.4m solid dish 45W (-21/R-18)
28 QSOs (2 CW, 26 Q65-60D)
13 DXCC (1. station worked by DXCC: DL4DTU, F2CT, G4RFR, HB9Q, IK0HWJ, W5LUA, OH2DG, OK1KIR, OZ1FF, PA3DZL, S57NML, SM6CKU, UR5LX)
Smallest station worked: DL4WDG 1.2m offset dish 70W at feed (-16/R-16)
The SV5/HB9COG story
It all started in fall of 2019. We did locate a very well suited house at the beach of the southeast cost of Rhode. We rented the house for 3 weeks in May 2020 and bought air-tickets from Zurich to Rhode. All was ready and we were looking forward to our next DXpedition. – Yes, then COVID-19 struck! We had to postpone our DXpedition to May 2021. And still COVID-19 was making it to difficult to go there, so we had to postpone it again! Finally, end of September 2021, we were lucky to be able, despite COVID-19 still going strong in all of Europe, to do our DXpedition to Rhode!
Although Carsten DM1CG and Frank DL8YHR, did activate SV5 on 23cm EME in October 2012, we decided to activate it again, because there was never any EME activity on 13 to 3cm from Rhode.
On Sunday 26. September 2021 we drove to Zürich Airport to check-in our 7 transport-boxes and 1 private suitcase (for the 3 of us). And then we had to take a Covid-19 test. All went well and we drove back home knowing we are all set for an early morning flight on Monday.
On Monday 27. September we had a nice flight and arrived on time in Rhodes. There Dan was randomly chosen for a Covid-19 test… no problem… Dan was still negative… it is so positive to be NEGATIVE 😉 At the customs counter we had to invest 1h of time. The very polite officer was somewhat overwhelmed with all the equipment we were bringing with us. Switzerland is not part of the EU, therefore we had to import the equipment and then export it again. After a little more than 1h all paperwork was done and we went to get our rented van. After a very nice drive of 90 minutes across the island we arrived mid afternoon at our rented home. All looked as expected, so we could enjoy a cold welcome drink relaxing on our deck over-viewing the Aegean Sea. No clouds and 33c, what a nice place!
On Tuesday 28. September we set-up the station and checked moon-rise and moon-set windows. All was as expected. Our moon-rise was almost clear (in the fare distance there was headland which generated 1 to 2 degrees of elevation for moon-rise). On moon-set we had more elevation due to our neighbors house and the higher mountain in that direction. The first few moon-sets were at 25-30° and then we could go down to about 15° (last moon-est). So our moon-window was well suited to work 99% of the people usually looking for us during DXpeditions. Just before local midnight we had our first moon-rise. The weather was perfect, stars all over and only very little wind and still 24°C.
On Wednesday 29. September we were QRV on 23xx until moon-set in the early afternoon (local time). All went well, the equipment was working very well. It was great to be again THE DX station! We enjoyed it very much, although the activity was lower then we were hoping for. After finishing the 23xx operation we changed feed to 3400. This took 15 minutes. We checked all on the sun and it looked perfect. Our workday was over and we relaxed a bit before going for a swim and for dinner to a local fish restaurant directly at the beach. We enjoyed great food and excellent local wine (every day!).
On Thursday 30. September we only started 3400 operation at 6 AM local time. Since no VK station asked us to be QRV, we descided to sleep a few hours longer. Again great weather and all equipment running smoothly. Unfortunately there was not much activity, we could have worked many more! After moon-set we changed feed to 5760 and checked all on the sun… ready for tomorrow, swim and dinner.
On Friday 1. October we operated 5760 for a full moon-path. All equipment was working well and we enjoyed more activity then on the last 2 bands. Weather was again just perfect, only little wind and temperatures up to 30c. After operating we went every day for a swim in the sea. That was nice, the water temperature was at the beginning at 27c and the last day at 24c, real summer feelings came up! Just before going out for dinner we switched equipment to 10xxx (25 minutes of work). The sun was low but we just made it to check the station with sun-noise, all OK and ready for early next morning.
On Sunday 3. October we were QRV 1296. For many hours we were really busy working all the stations calling! Of course there were also several hours of straight CQ with no or very few QSOs. We could have worked many more if they were QRV. Happy with the result we went again out for dinner to one of our two favorite local fish restaurants (both directly on the beach).
On Monday 4. October one more full moon-path 1296. Of course there were less stations around, since it was Monday and we already had worked many the day before. Never the less we had a great day. After moon-set we immediately had to change to 432, which takes about 20 minutes, because the sun was already setting. All looked well and we were looking forward to the final day and band for this DXpedition.
On Tuesday 5. October we started our activity well after moon-rise, because no QRO station from JA or VK asked us to be QRV. So we started just before sunrise. An other fantastic day weather-wise. Trying with DL7APV and HB9Q we realized, that our RX was not really what we expected and experienced in SV9, 2018. We had not QRM but the noise level must have been very high, since we could not copy Bernd at all and HB9Q was about 8dBs weaker then usual during the QSO. Our TX seemed OK, we got reports in the expected range. After hours of trying we worked very quickly NC1I, Frank had a great signal and we worked him right-away. K2UYH was also RXing us well, but nil from him! This was very disappointing for all of us. Conditions were not at its best, very long periods of 90° polarization and sun very close to moon made it really hard. We are sorry for our friends trying to work us with no success.
On Wednesday 6. October we dismantled the station and packed it. This was also the day of our first excursion on the island. We toured the island the following days with our van. Rhodes, although being fall so all is very arid, is a beautiful place. It has many gorgeous bays, lovely hills and mountains and a quickly changing landscape. In the valleys there is a very nice ever changing vegetation with a lot of olive tries, vines and fig tries. Rhodes city with its more than 2500 year old town center is breathtaking. And the Acropolis of Lindos a sight not to missed.
On Sunday 10. October we took the antigen test (needed for the flight and the entry into Switzerland) in Rhodes city, all negative!
On Monday 11. October early morning we drove to the airport, turned-in our van and went first to the customs office to get the export-papers stamped and signed. This time the officer was ready for us, it only took 15 minutes! After filling-in the new Covid-online-form to enter Switzerland we check-in our transport boxes, all easy. We had a safe flight back home and all equipment arrived well. On Friday we had to do again an antigen test and submit the result (negative of course!) to the Swiss authorities.
It was a very special trip with the Covid-19 situation everywhere. More things to take care of and much more risk to run into problems… but it was well worth the effort! We had a fantastic 2 weeks of summer and lots of fun on microwave EME. We are looking very much forward to our next DXpedition, although right now (30. November) it looks bad for the next 4-6 month. But we keep faith and hope for the next DXpedition in Spring 2022.
Many thanks to all our sponsors, we appreciate very much your support! And last but not least, many thanks to all operators who worked us and our apologies to those we could not work!
QSL information: please direct QSL with SAE to HB9Q, P.O.Box 39, CH-5737 Menziken, Switzerland