I have been in Albania several times and it has always been a great pleasure to meet my two friends ZA1F Fatos and ZA1U Edmond.
It all started in 2015 when my son and I made a roundtrip starting in Skopje, Makedonia where we rented a car. From Skopje we drowe to Prizren, Kosovo and on to Tirana in Albania. Here I have made an appointment with Edmond and Fatos to meet them and go together to the Autoriteti I Komunikimeve Elektronike Dhe Postare and try to get me a license for a later visit in May. No way I could get an Albanian call sign but I had to use the CEPT assignment ZA/OU2I.
My first radioactivity from Golem in Albania was in the 2015 CQ WPX CW Contest and I made 1264 QSO’s with my Elecraft K3 100W, a wire antenna and a Diamond BB7 vertical. It gave me a WPX-Trophy as “WORLD WINNER of CONTEST EXPEDITIONS 2015”. Best 10-minutes rate: 120
In 2017 I went to Albania again and met with my two friends at the hotel in Golem. Also this year it was for the CQ WPX Contest. I found time to visit OH2BH and OH2AT who was in Durres building a station. Conditions were down and I got only 1210 QSO’s. Best 10-minutes rate: 120
The CQ WW DX CW Contest 2018 I made from Albania from the same hotel in Golem and again with great help from Fatos and Edmond. Not many people in Albania speak English so it is a great help to have two local amateurs who can talk with hotel owners and neighbours when the antennas are to be mounted. Best 10-minutes rate: 180
2014 was my first time in Cayman Islands and I participated in the CQ WW DX CW Contest. I have found a condo via the internet owned by an American radio amateur and I rented it, including a long wire and a Butternut vertical antenna mounted about 2,5 meter from ground. With my Elecraft K3 and a 1:9 UNUN I did more than 2.200 QSO’s in the Contest and contacted not less than 99 DXCC entities in that weekend.
Also I had my highest one-hour rate ever; 172 Q/hr. Best 10-minutes rate: 204
The 2014 trip was a bit expensive so in 2015 I found a cheaper hotel and made an aggreement with ZF2EJ to loan his super station; ZF1A. This time I participated in the Worked All European DX CW Contest and made 1.073 QSO’s and nearly the same amount of QTC’s.
It was a great experience to meet Edward and use his big antennas. This helped me to a 19th place in DX category. Best 10-minutes rate: 144
My visits in Cape Verde brought me to the capitol Praia.
In 2015 I wanted to find a place from where I could make a nice score in the ARRL DX CW Contest in February. So I looked at Madeira, Canary Islands and Azores but nowhere I could find place. Then I get in contact with Angelo D4A who would be happy to let me use his antennas – GREAT.
Again I brought my K3 and also a longwire for the low bands. It worked out really fine and the American amateurs gave me lots of pile-ups and 2.480 QSO’s in the end placing me as number eight in the world. Best 10-minutes rate 180.
Next visit to Angelo and Zizi was in 2018, also for the ARRL CW DX Contest. Unfotunately the 80m dipole antenna was broken so no QSO’s on 80 and 160 m bands. I made 2.074 QSO’s and became number 6 in the world. Best 10-minutes rate 192.
Angelo and Zizi live in the heart of the capitol af Cape Verde, Praia in a very nice house. At the top they have a radio shack and just outside on the terasse there is a 10 meter high tower with a 40m beam and a tribander Yagi. It was a great pleasure to meet the two.
My very first contest expedition was to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland in February 2012. Very cold (minus 48c) and very beautiful with clear sight and lots of trips in the surroundings. That was Greenland at its best when it comes to wonderful experiences. Together with my son I had many nice hours in the white land.
Also I had the time to visit OX3HI Holger and OX3KQ Jesper and they showed me the local club in the mountains where I did my first QSO with my call sign XP2I. That was a great great feeling when I started calling CQ and more hundreds amateurs all over the world called me back. I learned the rules of pile-up fairly quickly and fortunately I have now been better at settling them in good order.
CQ WPX CW 2012 was my first contest from Greenland. Second was the Scandinavian Activity Contest 2012 and third was LZ DX Contest also in 2012. In 2013 I participated in the CQ WW DX CW Contest and managed to get a nice 21st place in the Single Operator All Band Low Power category WorlWide. And I also became number 5 WorldWide in the Classic Over-Lay.
Until now (15/5-2020) my last trip to Kangerlussuaq was in November 2019 participating in CQ WW DX CW Contest in the 20 meter SO HP category. It gave me a 24th place WorldWide.
Highest one-hour rate: 168 [Greenland Record] — — Highest ten-minutes rate: 192
Madeira is a great place where I have been several times with success.
My first visit to Madeira was in February 2019 and I was staying at a hotel in Porto Moniz where I mounted a Diamond BB7V antenne for 80-10m and used my Elecraft K3.
I used my Portoguise call sign CT9ABR and participated in ARRL DX CW Contest with limited result. Best 10-minutes rate: 120 See result
Second trip to the island was in May 2019 to participate in the King of Spain contest and i stayed in Ponta Delgada where I used Windom Antenna 80-10m and my K3 radio. Participated in King of Spain CW Contest with a nice result. Best 10-minutes rate: 108
Third time on Madeira in August 2019 I had arrangement with Ricardo CT3KN that I could use hes shack and antenna. I sent a Windom 160-10m antenna to him in advance and he mounted it in his tower so everything worked when I arrived.
My participation was for the WAEDC CW Contest as a DX station and with call sign CR3EE. I had a great time in the “Pátio da torre” and got a really nice result in the contest. With 1.491 QSO’s and 1455 QTC’s I got a 5th place in the world. Best 10-minutes rate: 168
February 2020 I visited Madeira and Ricardos “Tower Farm” again. This time it was for the ARRL DX CW Contest and I did a nice job. At this time [March 2020] my Claimed score is 1.800 QSO’s that should be a 6th place in the world. Best 10-minutes rate: 192
I have been in Malta two times (at this moment 1/1-2020) and non of them gave me good results in contests.
The reason for this was the high level of noise on the bands. Big QRN did it impossible for me to hear stations outside EU and many US stations was calling me with no response. That was not good.
I used my Elecraft K3 and a 21mtr wire antenna and a 10mtr high vertical.
I have only visited Sicily once and it was on a family holiday. I brought my Ten Tec Eagle radio and a Buddipole antenna. That was no success at all and I only had few contacts.
But the island was nice and I climbed to the top of Etna and we all had a wonderful time living in a big house with a great park.