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Z60A Operation Has Moved Kosovo Down the Most-Wanted List a Few Notches


What a difference a week makes! The ongoing Z60A special operation to celebrate the addition of Kosovo to the DXCC List and Kosovo’s 10th anniversary of independence appears to have put a big dent in demand for the new entity, which briefly stood at the top of the heap. According to Club Log’s DXCC Most Wanted list as of February 14, the Republic of Kosovo now is in the #8 position after rocketing into the #1 slot when it became a DXCC entity on January 21. The #2 and #3 slots are held by Bouvet Island and Crozet Island, respectively, while North Korea is back at #1.

With two stations on the air, Z60A operations are expected to continue through February 19 and will include participation in the ARRL International DX Contest (CW) over the February 17 – 18 weekend. Z60A continues to attract huge pileups.

Z60A is operating split and is not listening on its transmit frequency! Pay attention to operators’ instructions!

“The departing German/Slovenian team of DJ5IW, DM5TI, DD2ML, and S57AW did a fantastic job while introducing the data modes, RTTY and FT8,” said Martti Laine, OH2BH, a longtime supporter of Amateur Radio in Kosovo. “They made up to 10,000 digital QSOs, with the Z60A total now reaching 70,000.” The Z60A location at the headquarters of Kosovo’s IARU Member Society SHRAK has been in SSB mode, helmed by local Z6 operators and others; the call sign also was active during the CQ World-Wide WPX RTTY event this past weekend.

Local manmade noise continues to hamper Z60A operation. “Many are wondering why it isn’t possible to eliminate the noise by setting up camp in a quiet open field,” Laine said. “The underlying fact is that Pristina is more than 650 meters above sea level, and this winter has been particularly cold, with –13 °C temperatures experienced during the activation period.”

Considering that Kosovo will remain on the DXCC horizon and that this is the very first activation, Laine added, “not all noise and other challenges are expected to be resolved.” A remote location may be operational within the week, however. Testing indicated “dramatically better” reception than in Pristina.

Laine said the celebratory Z60A operation has served to bring in operators from as many other countries as possible, helping hams in Kosovo to “expand their network of friends.”

Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, pointed out in the recent edition of the European DX Foundation (EUDXF) newsletter that Amateur Radio had been nearly nonexistent for more than 25 years and all radio equipment was confiscated. This has created a current need for affordable used gear.

“Please consider [donating] one of your spare radios that is only catching dust in your garage,” he said. Those wishing to donate to support Amateur Radio in Kosovo should contact Wayne Mills, N7NG. — Thanks to Martti Laine, OH2BH