I decided to do CQ WPX this year extraordinary. I decided to join our club's group and I go to Croatia to Dugi Otok island. After speech with technician manager Jarda OK1DUO, I shoulder 10m band. I picked out 10m band, because at home I work only on 10m and I can to sleep in the night. Everyone had to arrange all equipment himself, because boys from our club want to contest as well.
I started preparing near end of November 2002. We made agreement to do Low Power category (100W) - then I had it more simple. There were tranceiver and coaxies at home, but no PC for making logbook. Then I started catch an antenna, rotator and pylon. For a long time I didn't acquire anything from anyone. I started to thinking let to make 6 el. WU done, but one month before the leaving I asked Milan OK1IMU. He lent me 5 el. YAGI.
Now I wanted to find somebody who can land me the rotator and the pylon. I started to call all of knowing dealers, but I hadn't 100% insurance. Milan OK1DJG from the known firm Alamat, who shut go with us, promised me to lend the rotator, but it wasn't in the storage yet. I want to make insurance myself, but I didn't find anybody. Two weeks before arriving I learnt to lend a pylon from my club. It made me free from distress. Because I was too busy I didn't check the equipment. One week before arriving I started to check the antenna and PC. Unhappily I learnt, that PC wasn't stable and switched off itself for no good reason.
I learnt information about size of baggages near travelling and then I started to get hold of notebook. I have to thank Libor OK1ALX, he was willing to lend me his Notebook 486. Now I must get hold of the rotator. Three days before arriving I learnt, the rotator have not been here in our country. I had to count all of my savings and three days before arriving I bought the rotator myself. By this situation I had preparing for arriving near had done. I went to pay insurance, change money and I did looking for journey
At Saturday's morning - 22nd. March Petr OK1PAT drop in me. He was nearly burdened, we loaded up my baggage together. We went for Dan OK1HRA with near full car and drove to Holice, which was starting point of our journey. By the journey we dropped for antenna's analyser at Vasek OK1VD,he forgot it at home. All of our things we did reload at Holice and after good lunch in local restaurant we went for a journey. We drove into two cars with a trailer. We started at two groups direction Croatia. First Sveta OK1VEY, Rosta OK1DXF, Vasek OK1VD, Dan OK1HRA, Ruda OK1TNM (it's me), and second Jarda OK1DUO, Lenka OK1TUO a Petr OK1PAT.
Borders' crossing was with no problems although war of Iraq was starting. So at soon Sunday morning we were in Zadar at a ferry. There Srecko 9A3EO with Marijan 9A6PAC were waiting for us there and with them we pulled out to Dugi Otok island. After disembarking we went to lodge to Zagslav city, where we promised to be a loger. It wasn't good place for contest, so we found out better place with our Croatia's friends. They take us on one of lighthouses in the island. Here we learnt lodge is too expensive. Place for transmitting was optimal, we don't give up. We plead with friends to make an impression on somebody from service (navy), which was owner of the lighthouse. After disappoint we went to find out another place.
During island tripping we succeed in to find out one compatriot woman from Ostrava. She married into here 20 years ago. Her house was up to hill and there was nice view to countryside near the house. There was a lot of places for antenna's building. Next day we moved here. Immediately we started preparing for transmitting. We started with cleaning and finished of antenna. During every antennas' building Vasek OK1VD helped us. Because we couldn't tune up my antenna at the first day, we have continue on next day with more avidness. It was managed after evening's antenna tuning, I had solid 5 element YAGI 9 meter over Earth surface. After pylon‘s erection I wanted to help to another, so I hadn't any free time for antenna's testing. That day we received message from Strecko, that we can use for transceiving Lighthouse's Guard's office.
We decided, next day we build tribander ECO borrowed from DDAmtek company and deltaloop for 40m and 80m. On this place contested Vasek with mark 9A/OK5DX. The other contested under their marks on the bands on letters as single except me. Because Vasek have to go 15 meters and the conditions on 10 meters weren’t so good, i decided to go 15 meters too. Equipment for 15 meters we had borrowed from Slavek OK1TN.
Before the contest I took advantage of the conditions and I tested - a bit. First with 100W and then with 5W. With 5W on 28Mhz I made connection with HC8N and then A45WD in pile up. And I said myself that antenna is in order. In the evening I prepared log and all what I need for the contest and I went for a sleep.
At 5:00 AM UTC waked up me ring on my mobile phone, but I didn't want to stand up. I went at the radio and tuned first 10m. Here wasn't any station, so I tuned up on 15m. I heart station DL3TD with pile-up weakly. I tried to call its near for five times, but without success. So I tuned far away, but I couldn't call anybody. All of them were stations from Europe. At 5:43 UTC fortunately I made the first connection with DL3TD, then continued two stations from Europe. Approximately after one hour I learned that rotator on the desk point on another direction then antenna, it was 45° . I found out it only at first Japanese.
I calibrated the rotator very fast and then I finally heart how it is full on the band. I watched over opening 10m, but it didn't open so hard. At 10:18 UTC I made first connection on 10m with UY7PBY , then UN4L, XX9TRR and RN3QX. I drove band up and down and recognized that here isn't anything. So I tuned back on 15m and continued here with other connections.
Approximately after 45 minutes I went back on 10m and took all what I can and returned on 15m. Sometime I tried to pile-up, but It wasn't take effect and I pecked out what I can and I returned on 15m. Because conditions weren't opened on 10m to Japan, I tried to not miss conditions to North America. But unfortunately it was with no effect too. I took it all from South America what I can and returned on 15m, where North America was open. Doesn't matter bad conditions I made last connection in 21:11 UTC with L71F. That day I ended with 328 connections and I went for a sleep.
Next morning I made ring to 5 AM UTC too, now I wake up near without problems and I went at transceiver very fast. I learned 15m had been open and at 5:12 AM I made the first today's connection. I tried on find out opening on 10m. At 6:04 AM UTC I made connection with T99W, but circumstances were still closed until 8:05 UTC when I have connected with VK2WPX. I managed to use opening to Japan then I could go pile up on 10m. I had been here to 10:45 AM UTC and then I returned to 15m as well. After 45 min I returned to 10m, and here I only pecked out. I pecked out all of possible from Africa and South America, but from North America I hadn't listen anything today.
That day North America were opened on 15m soon, so I could pile up on 15m. Last connection I made at 18:08 UTC with D4B on 10m. After closing circumstances on 15m to North America I made a lot of connections with Europe. Many stations which I had did listen , called me itself. It took approximately one hour. Last connection I made at 7:52 PM UTC with LU1FS. Next hour I find out the band and tried pile up, but I had listen no station. After that fiasco hour I decided, that contest was definitely ending for me. I tidied up my workplace and I went to sleep with many experiences. On the whole I had made 640 connections, 131 on 10m and 509 on 15m.
Next morning at breakfast we shared with our experiences and we agreed together, that the worst of all contest had to explained our call sign. Many, many stations couldn't grasp our division mark in our call sign. We met with stations, which give it up and connection denied.
After the breakfast we went for Vasek and Jarda to Lighthouse and there we packed up our luggage. Then we returned and packed up together at our place. We packed up very fast and no antenna was damaged. When all things had packed in our car we went for a swim.
At Tuesday we had have to get up because at 6:00 AM departed our ferry back to dry land and seaport distance was 30 km. At leaving suddenly find up one car had flat battery. We was very nervous about it, because we couldn't push-start that car. At the end we had managed it and we caught the ferry. At the back journey we made a few snapshots. I managed to got into the captain bridge and at the helm. After debarkation we continued back at the same way we had arrived for Croatia. At Holice we took out and moved things and left for home.
At the end I want to thank to Sveta OK1VEY for nice managing all action and translating. To Jarda OK1DUO for good technician help and for managing our action. To Vasek OK1VD for help and for patience with building antennas. To Lenka OK1TUO for cooking. To Strecek 9A3E0 and Marijan 9A6PAC for procurement transmitting from the lighthouse. To Goran Jagić for providing building on their holding.
Thank you all of us for connections and I will pleasure on some next contest as OL5T or OK1TNM.
. I thank to OK1DXF, OK1DUO a OK1HRA for providing photos.