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Z60A Republic of Kosovo flag Republic of Kosovo

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CLARIFICATION OF THE Z60A LOTW UPLOAD TIMING

The complete Z60A log will be uploaded to LoTW approximately four weeks after the current activation. The current activation will end immediately following Kosovo's 10th independence anniversary celebrations on Sunday, February, 18 2018. The additional four-week window will allow for corrections and checking for potentially busted calls.

THE REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO - INITIAL OPERATION CLOSING DOWN

Pristina, Kosovo - Monday morning, February 19th, 2018

ES2RR, OG2M, OH1MA, OH2BH and Z62FB left Pristina and crossed the Albanian border at 2PM today on their way to their Albanian homes. They plan to work on antennas at ZA1EM and ZA1F tomorrow before finally heading to their respective countries on Wednesday. They left a piece of their hearts, and left their Kosovo operating sites in intact for their return over the weekend of the ARRL DX (SSB) Contest in two weeks.

The first Kosovo activation resulted in 81,478 QSOs with 26,487 individual callsigns. Of the total number of QSOs, some 22% (17,876) were from North America and 10% (8255) were with DXers in Asia. Europe was obviously dominating with 66% (53,725) QSOs.

Delegates from ten (10) different countries were part of the initial activity. They returned home with many fond memories of this now 10 year old Republic, which was finally granted DXCC status on January 21, 2018.

The festivities surrounding Kosovo’s 10th anniversary were warm and memorable. The entire country - particularly the capital Pristina - were the party grounds, with the main street full of people listening to the open-air street concerts, featuring the famous British singer Rita Ora, a Kosovo native. The evening was cold - below the freezing mark - but the warmth of the occasion overrode the cold February night at 650 meters above sea level.

In the comfort of the city center, the Government of Kosovo offered a memorable reception and luncheon marking Amateur Radio’s past ten years toward this memorable day. Martti Laine, OH2BH of Project Goodwill Kosovo and Hans Blondeel-Timmerman, PB2T of the International Amateur Radio Union were personally awarded plaques commemorating their support in making this day happen.

Kosovo’s good name is now carved in stone, and many Kosovar voices will continue to penetrate the radio spectrum. A new DXCC counter was born!

Please kindly look at your QSOs in Club Log and at QRZ.com (Z60A). In the case of errors, please allow the group look at problems and correct them accordingly. For a next three weeks, errors will be worked out and the log will be entered into Logbook of the World (LoTW). Early donors will receive their direct QSL cards with others to follow immediately thereafter. Thank you for being part of the first (Z60A) Kosovo activation.


February, 11th, 2018

LATEST FROM THE REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO

The weather has been warming up in Kosovo lately and is currently above the freezing mark. Many are wondering why it isn’t possible to eliminate the noise by setting up camp in the quiet open field. The underlying fact is that Pristina is more that 650m above the sea level, and this winter has been particularly cold with -13C temperatures experienced during the activation period. There are prospects in place for the final and upcoming week to operate from a better place. Driton, Z61DX, has been testing the location and reception is dramatically better than at Z60A.

Considering that Kosovo will stay on the DXCC map and that this is the very first activation, not all noise and other challenges are expected to be resolved. However, a remote location for RX/TX is underway and the first tests may be done this week. Bill, AA7XT, has donated an XR9 antenna to this application and it is now used at a temporary location by Z61DX - soon to be moved to the remote site. The project seeks a reasonably priced pair of second-hand TS590 rigs for remote implementation. Please contact N7NG or OH2BH.

The purpose of this first activation was to bring in delegates from as many countries as possible. This helps Kosovar hams in expanding their network of friends into many interesting countries – something that had not happened over the past years of “none” status. During this coming week Toivo, ES2RR, will boost the number of delegate countries to ten (10).

The departing German/Slovenian team of DJ5IW, DM5TI, DD2ML and S57AW did a fantastic job while introducing the data modes (RTTY & FT8). They made up to 10,000 digital QSOs (some 4000 in the WPX RTTY) , with the Z60A project total now reaching 70,000. Driton, Z61DX, and his brother Agim, Z61AS, were also QRV all day Saturday on FT8 as a result of the past week’s work by Ulli, DD2ML, and others.

During this RTTY weekend the SHRAK HQ location was exclusively activated on 20M SSB by locals: Z61VB, Z61FF, Z62FB and Z63DBB.

The DX community has been generous to their fellow hams in Kosovo. All donations are temporarily marked for SHRAK needs and will be managed by the Yasme Foundation directors Martti, OH2BH, and Hans, PB2T, together with Pertti, OG2M, and SHRAK president Vjollca, Z61VB. The “early LoTW with fast paper QSL” concept will continue to March 15th, 2018. Thanks also to Jyri, OH2KM, for managing all related data operations.

The final jubilee week is now starting. An international delegation will participate in the ceremonies celebrating the 10th anniversary of Independence. In addition, they will give out new DXCC contacts to those who still have an “ATNO” need and be active in the ARRL DX CW contest. The team includes Z61DX, ES2RR, OG2M, OH1MA, OH2BH and others.

Regards from the vibrant city of Pristina, with many new prospects underway!


FROM FREEZING KOSOVO WITH SMILE, FEB.05, 2018

NEW WEEK COMING UP IN THE REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO

The 3rd week is starting and many delegates in Kosovo will be heading back home. This week has offered variety of low-bands and odd bands on CW by VE7NY and DL3DXX who will depart soon.

Now the new week will concentrate on giving out some RTTY QSOs. The group of DJ5IW, DM5TI, DD2ML and S57AW will keep the RTTY fire on, including the CQ WPX RTTY contest while the next weekend would bring-in the local showcase by the most active locals; Z61DX, Z61VB, Z62FB and Z63DBB. They will be a fresh air from the Pristina HQ Station at the Pristina Technical University.

The 4th and last week will bring back a small international tag- team, adding the number of country delegates to eleven (11). They will take the party machine to the actual 10th Independency Anniversary on Feb.18, which activity would include sporadic showing in the ARRL DX (CW) Contest.


Happy occasion of celebrating the 10th Independence Anniversary of the Republic of Kosovo and newly born DXCC country.


From left: Z62FB, Z61DX, OH3JR, Z63DBB, PB2T, Kreshnik Gashi, Chairman on the regulator, ARKEP, Z61VB, Z61FF, K9JF, OH2BH, S50A, S51F and OH0XX


FRIDAY, FEB.02.2018

LATEST ON REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO

Currently three (3) stations are up and running with DL3DXX, DL5CW, DJ5IW, IK0FVC and VE7NY at the helm. The activation is now up to 50.000 QSOs logged https://secure.clublog.org/charts/?c=Z60A .

The first Z60A activation will culminate on the actual day of Kosovo’s 10?th ?Independence anniversary, Sunday Feb.18, 2018, with extended festivities, which will include the international amateur radio delegation.

On same weekend the ARRL DX Contest (CW) is running, and the visitors will team up with the locals to wrap up the project and salute the ARRL and U.S contesting community with Z6 now being accepted for all ARRL awards and contest programs.

As the Kosovar amateurs have suffered for past ten-years with limited opportunities and sometimes the pirate label, it is now noted that with the new DXCC status, DXers the world over have taken a positive step forward to close the cap of 10-years and welcome the Kosovar hams with open arms to our great community.

Kosovar hams are much taken by this gesture, and the project group has organized to move forward on turning potential help to the best of Amateur Radio in the Republic of Kosovo. The weekend of February 10/11 will be a showcase of locals as they will now take the microphone and put the Z60A on the air accordingly: Z61DX, Z61VB, Z63DBB and Z62FB will be at the controls for a 20M showing, both CW and SSB.

Kan Mizoguchi, JA1BK has stepped forward first and shipped a brand new Yaesu FT450 to Dona, Z63DBB (YL) so that she will be able to carry-on with her home-based activity. With Z61DX and Z62FB suffering with the Pristina high noise level, RemoteRig (SM2OAN) has donated two pairs of the remote control units so that a clean receiving site can be established outside of the capital Pristina.

The European DX Foundation (EUDXF) has stepped forward, and their monetary support was presented to SHRAK, the Kosovo IARU member society. The Yasme Foundation has released an extensive series of ARRL publications to the SHRAK HQ library at the Technical University of Pristina.

If any of the U.S persons and/or clubs would like to extend their help to Kosovo, please contact Wayne, N7NG at n7ng@arrl.net


ENHANCED QSL SERVICE FOR Z60A OPERATION NOW UNDERWAY.

The ClubLog OQRS system is set to cover the cost of direct QSL postage – USD 3.00, while also allowing voluntarily, private contributions. All donations small or large are most welcome to support SHRAK, the Kosovo Amateur Radio Association to aid in recruiting additional Kosovar youth and to activate the existing Amateur Radio operators and support their activities.

As many have requested confirmations during the ongoing activation, it has been decided to do an immediate LoTW and fast direct QSL service for those who donate USD 20.00 or more. This option would not delay any of the traditional QSL options, but just put a priority on those who are willing to help Kosovo Amateur Radio finally move beyond the past ten difficult years.

If you wish to upgrade your earlier QSL request to this enhanced service you can send your donation through the ClugLog ?https://secure.clublog.org/make_donation.php?call=Z60A

On behalf of the Project Goodwill Kosovo
Martti Laine, OH2BH


REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO ACTIVE TODAY - Z60A TEAM ALREADY ON THE GROUND

Kosovo's IARU Society SHARK, and its president Vjollca Caka, Z61VB are hosting a tenth anniversary activation celebrating Kosovo's independence, February, 2008.

The activation has already started, with Z60A being found on several bands.
Adding to their HQ location is a semi-permanent low-band site. Both sites have beam antennas plus four K3s and SPE 1.3KW amps. Olli, OH0XX has been testing the propagation over the past two days with good -- but narrow -- U.S openings.
An international team has been invited to Kosovo and is partially on the ground at this time. The team consists of DL3DXX, OH0XX, OH1MA, OH2BH, OH3JR, OZ1IKY, S50A and S51F, along with locals Z61DX, Z61FF, Z61VB, Z62FB and Z63DBB. Additional locals are behind this activity as well, and a new 2nd week team will be announced soon.
Jim, K9JF, ARRL Hon. Vice-President and Hans, PB2T, IARU R1 secretary will add to the party.

The ARRL Rocky Mountain Division director, Dwayne Allen, WY7FD has informed the team that the LoTW and the other ARRL structures are being put into place to receive this new DXCC country contacts. Already, "Republic of Kosovo" is listed in the DXCC Challenge pages.

ClubLog will be used for this activation, while QSLs will go via OH2BH.


Amendment to ARRL DXCC Rules Will Expand DXCC List

The ARRL Board of Directors approved a motion to amend the DXCC Rules, when it met January 19-20. Section II, Subsection 1 of the DXCC Rules now will include a new Subsection (d): The entity has a separate IARU member society and is included on the US State Department Independent States in the World.
In fact, the Republic of Kosovo (Z6) has been added to the DXCC List of current entities, increasing the total number of current DXCC entities to 340. The addition of Kosovo raises to 331 the required number of current entities confirmed to qualify for DXCC Honor Roll; Top of Honor Roll is 340. DXCC award accounts are being tabulated to reflect the change.

This change qualifies as an “event,” effective on January 21, 2018, at 0000 UTC. Nothing is retroactive.
http://www.arrl.org/news/amendment-to-arrl-dxcc-rules-will-expand-dxcc-list


Kosovo January 25, 2018

LATEST FROM THE GROUP IN KOSOVO AT Z60A

It is surprisingly cold in Kosovo as temperatures are running record low for this week – today it was minus 13 C (8F). The group is in good spirits and keeping Z60A activated as much as they can with their other duties. Another challenging issue is a noise that arise at dark when hundreds of lights come on – increasing in number are those noisy LED lights now penetrating the market. Nothing we can do about those other than suffering with up to S8 noise.

But as our U.S and Canadian reps; Jim, K9JF and Sandro, VE7NY, arrive they will hopefully be able to pull out their familiar call signs out the noise. Patience is needed as we are not able to move the party-location and the SHRAK HQ to more suitable noise free place.

More bands will be added for the weekend and among them 160M and 17M. The team will be enhanced by K9JF, PB2T, VE7NY, IK0FVC, G3TXF and DL3DXX and others so the firepower will be added after the weekend’s Independence ceremonies, added to the DXCC happiness.

The Internet is very sporadic thus the Club Log uploads can be delayed up to 24-hours.

Best wishes from the Republic of Kosovo.
Team Z60A




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.
 


From left: Pekka, OH2YY; Linda, XYL/Z61DX; Martti, OH2BH; Driton, Z61DX; Fehmi, Z62FB; Vjollca, Z61VB; Nebi, OM/Z61VB; Hida, Z63HBF and Marijon, S56A.


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.

www.shrak.org

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.

QSL via Fehmi, Z62FB to his QRZ.com address.

Goodwill Mission Kosovo is supported by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Kosovo, ARKEP; the Albanian Telecom Authority, AKEP; VALA-PTK and Emerald Hotel, Pristina: www.arkep-rks.org, www.akep.al, www.kosovotelecom.com & www.emeraldhotel.info


KOSOVAR SHRAK DELEGATION BACK ON HOME TURF

17-21 September 2015

 

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

President, SHRAK


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 president@eudxf.eu or Martti, OH2BH at oh2bh@sral.fi 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.

This activity is supported by Emerald Hotel, Pristina.

While Kosovo is expected to qualify for DXCC credit some time soon, Albania counts now and is still semi-rare on several bands.

In the recent CQWW SSB Contest, as many as four (4) Z6 stations participated in the event and their QSOs will soon be uploaded to LoTW.

   
 
 
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