THE KOSOVO AMATEUR RADIO ASSOCIATION JOINS THE INTERNATIONAL AMATEUR RADIO UNION
The secretariat of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) released a note to their member societies today announcing that The Kosovo Amateur Radio Association, SHRAK has been voted into IARU membership. SHRAK represents the Amateur Radio community of the Republic of Kosovo. With a long history dating back to the days of the former Yugoslavia, SHRAK was reconstituted on September 12, 2012 when an Amateur Radio service was launched by the Kosovo government.
Standing from left; Lazer, ZA1V, Martti, OH2BH and Pekka, OH2YY and seated Driton, Z61DX and Vjollca, Z61VB.
From Pristina, Republic of Kosovo
16 September 2015
GOODWILL DXPEDITION TO ALBANIA, ZA1KS
17-21 September 2015
A team of ops from the new Kosovar Amateur Radio Society (SHRAK) will be heading to Albania together with their guests to activate ZA1KS (KS stands for Kosovo) on several bands during this extended weekend. The trip takes three hours by road from Pristina.
This DX outing is led by SHRAK President Vjollca, Z61VB (YL) together with Hidajete, Z63HBF (YL); Agim, Z61AS; Driton, Z61DX and Fehmi, Z62FB who will be accompanied by Marijan, S56A; Pekka, OH2YY and Martti, OH2BH. They will fire up with two K3s & SPE Expert amps from the coastal city of Durres, one of the region's attractive tourist destinations.
These ops aired Z60A and three other Z6 stations in last weekend's WAEDC Contest. You are invited to say hello to this goodwill delegation on-the-air.
Many were wondering why an international team with six Kosovars were heading to Albania to activate ZA1KS. Since the Kosovar Amateur Radio Association (SHARK) is now fully constituted with its own premises, the next natural step is to visit other countries to meet their amateurs and observe their activity and experience the human dimensions beyond mere radio signals.
While Kosovo is not yet part of the European Union, the locals have limited opportunities for travel owing to a number of reasons, the visa requirement being one of the major reasons. It was natural to make the first Amateur Radio visit to Albania, a country with the same ethnic background and language, and an easy 3 hour drive away from Kosovo. So, a group of 9 people were on their way with this wonderful expedition, headed by SHRAK President Vlollca, Z61VB together with SHRAK Board members Fehmi, Z62FB and Driton, Z61DX plus Marijon, S56A; Pekka, OH2YY and Martti, OH2BH, representing Goodwill Mission Kosovo.
Albania being today a well developed country, it was a pleasure to arrive in the coastal city of Durres - one of the region's major tourist and cultural attractions. Two stations were set up with ZA1KS soon hitting the airwaves in addition to an extensive social program. Hours of discussion followed in a relaxed mode and a visit to Tirana and a meeting with the regulatory authorities were on top of the list. We wanted to thank them for allowing this group activation. Additionally, extensive talks were held with a local, Lazer, ZA1V to compare notes and build cooperation between the two countries.
The four days spent in Albania were a source of happiness for all those involved. Besides the general course of events, ZA1KS also participated in a local Serbian contest (KT KUP SRS) and in the Scandinavian Activity Contest (SAC).
SHRAK President Vjollca, Z61VB summarized the occasion as follows:
On my personal and SHRAK's behalf, I would like to take this opportunity of thanking you all for a wonderful job done and the good time we had together during the DX expedition to Durres between 17-21 September. It was a marvelous experience and a pleasure for all of us at SHRAK to meet in person as part of this very meaningful activity, and enjoy the time spent together in Durres. We appreciated your company and learned a lot from your extensive experience and the friendly spirit not only as hams of our respective countries but also in terms of our relationship with our radio spectrum regulators.
Seasoned DXer and IT professional Mario, S56A summed up the weekend as follows:
Goodwill Ambassador Martti, OH2BH organized yet another nice ham meeting, and I thoroughly enjoyed the five days spent in hot Albania.Pekka, OH2YY and Fehmi, Z62FB were great station masters and antenna installers. I also enjoyed meeting Professor Caka with whom I shared a lot of professional experience in electronics and linguistics. My old friend Lazer, ZA1V made my last day great by showing me the old capital Kruja and the bustling new capital city Tirana. A cold autumn here in Ljubljana makes my ZA1KS memories even warmer. Thank you, SHRAK.
Local resident Lazer, ZA1V gave full credit to our Goodwill Mission along these lines:
I was very pleased to meet the SHRAK group as part of this Goodwill DXpedition to Albania. Your inspiration has, in my personal opinion, given added meaning to the development of Amateur Radio in general and particularly in Albania and Kosovo.
As regards further cooperation and clarification of any opinions, any suggestions that we mutually consider at any time, I am ready to discuss and participate. Notwithstanding the current situation, I have at my private, personal and individual expense, over the course of many years taken part in many events in Amateur Radio HST and ARDF organized by IARU Region 1 in the Balkans and elsewhere in the world. Whenever an opportunity arises in the field of Amateur Radio, we in Albania are ready to share our experience with other countries.
From Pristina, Kosovo 10 September 2015
INAUGURATION OF KOSOVAR AMATEUR RADIO ASSOCIATION (SHRAK) RADIO STATION
With the start of a new academic year, Amateur Radio has reached a major milestone in Pristina, capital of the Republic of Kosovo, as the faculty of the Technical University of Pristina has assigned a facility to this year's Amateur Radio graduates (40), making an attached radio station and a library available to the new licensees. The HQ station Z60A will be activated for the next several days and occasionally from now on.
Following the inauguration, SHRAK will organize their first DX activity from neighboring Albania for the weekend of 18-21 September. More details will follow.
Vjollca Caka, Z61VB
December 18, 2013
CHRISTMAS GREETINGS FROM REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO
History was made on Saturday, 14 December 2013, when 52 young Kosovars aged between 18-21 years were seated in the amphitheater of the Technical University of Pristina to take the first ever amateur radio exam under the new laws of the Republic of Kosovo.
To everyone's great delight, fifty (50) of them walked away as new amateur radio operators qualifying for a U.S. General level license. The administrators were not yet prepared to receive higher class exams as procedures are now in place only to take the equivalent of U.S. General or CEPT Novice exams. The procedural framework is set to follow the U.S. structure, and several ARRL manuals were given to the national association for Amateur Radio in Kosovo (SHRAK) as well as to the Telecom administrators - thanks to the ARRL for their kind support.
IARU Region 1 President Hans, PB2T and Martti, OH2BH of Project Goodwill Kosovo were working earlier on Saturday with the Exam Commission to help with adjustments made to new question pools. They also attended the opening ceremony and were present overseeing the actual exam. The administrators wished the students good luck and emphasized to the future hams their role as representatives of their newborn country.
It was an historical and emotional event in many ways, more than doubling the amateur radio population of the country. Another encouraging sign was that the young Kosovars were genuinely excited about this great passion, and many had already made numerous friends and QSOs using a virtual ham radio simulator -- www.hamsphere.com/ -- the potential of which should be fully explored as another tool providing fair start-up motivation.
Assessing the overall weekend, PB2T and OH2BH felt strongly that the whole amateur radio community ought to have the pleasure of welcoming these young people during this Christmas. As the exam/license cost is 50 EUR (70 USD) per person, a major expense for today's youth in Kosovo, radio amateurs worldwide are invited to help the new hams with this entry level cost, and in return obtain personal details and a picture of their "grandchild" in amateur radio.
PayPal is set up at www.qrz.com/db/Z60A for transfering potential funds. Fifteen (15) license donations are already pledged by organizations including Daily DX, Yasme Foundation, DX University, European DX Foundation, and ClubLog.
You have the option of giving a personal gift to catch the Christmas spirit and to become a godfather in Amateur Radio.
Please kindly inform Hans, PB2T at firstname.lastname@example.org or Martti, OH2BH at email@example.com of your desire to help.
Let your Happy Christmas be extended to these young Kosovars. Season's Greetings and Thank You!
NOVEMBER 1, 2013
LATEST NEWS FROM KOSOVO, Z60A AND ALBANIA, ZA
During the recent CQWW activation of Kosovo, a project to activate neighboring Albania was agreed jointly by members of SHRAK, Kosovo's Amateur Radio Association (Z60A) and Radio Arcala (OH8X) of Finland.
The team will be headed by Fehmi Bojniku Z62FB and Martti Laine, OH2BH. They are seeking additional team members from USA and Japan. The operating location will be the coastal city of Durres - only a 3-hour drive from Kosovo's capital Pristina.
To simulate the upcoming ZA expedition, the Kosovo team will fire up Z60A for the first time this coming Friday (November 1) until Sunday (November 3) on the following SSB frequencies: 14210, 21310 and 28510 kHz, operating split frequency when needed. Special emphasis will be given to Japan and USA, with superb radio conditions hopefully lasting for this weekend.
The following persons - Vjollca, Z61VB; Ali, Z61DD, Driton, Z61DX and Fehmi, Z62FB - are heading the operations with their new hams participating. A special QSL card can be obtained via OH2BH.