4 Oscar 4 Alfa
This post is 4 Dragan. Dragan is 4O4A. I recently found his twitter account and since then we maintain regular contact. But this post is also 4 me. Why? Because, above all, there are values that I cherish, such as friendship, sympathy, respect, helpfulness. And this post will make me remember that in the other side of the QSO there’s someone with a soul, and not only a 5N/5NN parrot.
During these last two months, Dragan has been a friendly voice, both in terms of the technical advice he gives me, encouraging me to operate /p, as well as in sharing his stories, his philosophy of life and other mundane (and not so mundane) matters.
In terms of satellite contacts, Dragan has already provided me with four DXCC entities: 4O (Montenegro), 9A (Croatia), E7 (Bosnia-Herzegovina) and ZA (Albania). All these contacts were made between my X30 + 9700 and his two radios and arrow-like antennas, with LPF and/or HPF.
His first antenna (he calls it “the old antenna”) is fully equipped with two filters and two coax cables and weights about 780 grams. His actual antenna is based on DK7ZB design and inspired by Salva’s EA1PA experience. Let’s call it the “PArrow Antenna”.
Dragan made the new antenna using 4mm rods for elements and 6mm tubes for dipoles, on a 15x15mm boom, and fixed them through M10 plastic screws with nuts. As he told me, the most difficult part is to build the dipoles.
Dragan also encouraged me: “you will see how thrilling is to make QSOs with an antenna you make on your own”.
4O4A likes to work portable but he also needs to work portable to achieve the best possible results. Where he lives, at sea level, the Adriatic is stretching in SE-NW direction.
Along the coast there’s a huge wall of mountains, from Greece to the middle of Croatia (Dalmatia region). To work NA (315-330 degrees) he needs to be on a mountain top higher enough to overcome the one that is next in line of view.
Another possibility is to go to a distant one, far enough to have AOS from NA at 0 degrees. Dragan says: “Unfortunately, I don’t have it here. The only option is about 2 hour drive almost to the hilltop in one of our national parks, and then some walk (not too much) to top of the mountain. Even then, I will not have 0 degrees because next in line mountain is higher (but not accessible as easy as this one)”.
Despite all these morphologic caveats, he’s an amazing SAT chaser and Grid/DXCC activator.
Here we can find him in ZA land, JN92rd.
At position 🇦🇱 ZA/4O4A #amsat pic.twitter.com/d6Bbs3Q8RN— Dragan, 4O4A (@4o4a) October 15, 2022
He reports frequently (on Twitter and on other social channels) his activity and updates status, like when he went to Albania.
Let's go ,🇦🇱ZA/4O4A.— Dragan, 4O4A (@4o4a) October 15, 2022
I'm at border now!
Yellow - possible activity— Dragan, 4O4A (@4o4a) October 12, 2022
Green - very possible activity
White - the least possible activity pic.twitter.com/Ex4j7d2fNx
So, with such detailed info, it’s really impossible to miss the QSO, unless you’re using an X30 😂.
Most recent 4O4A’s activations:
E7 - Bosnia Herzegovina
E7/4O4A 18th September 2022 (JN92ep)
Paulo must be pointing his X30 to the Zenith, as usual
9A - Croatia
9A/4O4A 8th October 2022 (JN65tf)
Good. It’s night. CT1ETE must be in bed by now. I will have a quiet pass
ZA - Albania
ZA/4O4A 15th October 2022 (JN92rd)
Dragan in his operation position, tuning the radio and thinking to himself: “where the hell is CT1ETE?”
Dragan wants to encourage people to make their own antennas in order to improve signal, go portable, go to new rare grids. His ultimate goal will be to encourage African DXpeditions to do SATs.
For Dragan the sky isn’t the limit.
I imagine him thinking about a new project to accomplish soon.
Maybe a CAT system for doppler control 🤣.
Thanks Dragan, 4 Oscar 4 Alfa.
Radio: Icom IC-9700
Doppler correction: S.A.T. Controller
Antenna: Diamond X-30 vertical
QSO and QSL data