TA4-DL2OBO 26.1. – 2.2.2003
Hello and thanks for visiting this Website.
I had the chance to spent some holiday and well, what is holiday without Ham-Radio. You all now, it is not a good holiday when travelling without a station.
The last-minute-holiday-style forced me to go to one of the CEPT-Countries because it is not possible to get a regular license in one of the other countries within one week.
So TA4 was booked for one week. One week 4* Hotel incl. halfboard and two bus-cruises for 145 Euro incl. flight, hey that’s very cheap.(printing the qsls was more expensive,hi! (but still a good offer (tnx www.qsl-shop.com)).
After 5 hours flight we landed in Antalya at 15:00 Local time. The custom didn’t want to exam my luggage. One at the exit only asked what is in the plastic tube (grey waterpipe). I opened it and showed the fishing rod. He said good luck with the fish. Well, I really didn’t want to explain what I need the rod for) Even the Kenwood TH-F7E (Handheld VHF/UHF trx and allband allmode receiver) which was in my carry-on-luggae was not found or not of interest. I wonder why you have to take off shoes on some flights while on others you can carry transmitters. Ok, Ok a cellphone is about the same, but just give it a thought.)
After a bus tour of 120km to the West we reached the Hotel Lonicera in Alanya at 17:00 local time.
It was cloudy and about 15c. The Hotel looked good.
At the Check-in I asked for a room in the 4th floor and with a view to the west. I got it and was happy. After carrying the luggage to the room, what is a Ham doing next ? Right, before unpacking I was looking for the stairs to get on the roof. It was a flat top roof with no other Hotel being higher than ours. Located right at the beach this semms to be a nice Ham-QTH
I had a 7m fishing rod and build an Inverted-L antenna. Some radials were laid on the roof.
The Rig was an ICOM IC 706 with an MFJ-Tuner. The 400w Power amplifier I wanted to use was damaged a few days before leaving home so max 100w from here. Anyway, even with 100w I had a lot of TVI so I was not sad to have left that Amp back in DL.
The first two QSOs on 20m CW were with F5QF and F5IM, signals were not so loud and I was hungry. For dinner they offered a typical turkish buffet (Mezze) which was good every time. After this great meal I looked on 80m SSB but signals were low. While testing the antennas I recognized that I was making some TVI. I went to bed early.
The next day 27.1.2003 we were picked up very early for a bus tour to Pamukkale (one night there). Pamukkale is a famous ancient place From springs in a cliff almost 200 m high overlooking the plain, calcite-laden waters have created at Pamukkale („cotton palace“ in Turkish) an unreal landscape, made up of mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and a series of terraced basins. At the end of the 2nd century B.C. the dynasty of the Attalides, the kings of Pergame, set up the thermal station of Hierapolis. The site includes the ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments. Look here for more http://www.wcmc.org.uk/protected_areas/data/wh/hierapol.html and here http://www.kultur.gov.tr/
We returned to Alanya on 28.1.2003 in the evening and I could make use of the schedule with my friends in my town of origin „Holzminden“. DH5NT and DH5EE came on 20m SSB and I reported about what was going on here. They told me they have snow and I shall be happy with my 15c and overcast.
After dinner I thought it is better to do CW than SSB because other can not hear „the voice“ from their TV but only „clicks“. The Antenna was inconspicuous and so I hoped no one can tell that the bad TV quality was my fault. I reduced power at normal times but after midnight I said, hey, you all other better go sleep and not watching TV. So when you worked me, sometimes I was operating with 5w only.
After my CQ call pretty fast I had a small pile-up. I first wasn’t sure why. Do they hear my call wrong ? TU4 ? or something else? Back home I knew better. TA4 is not to often spotted in the cluster. And I now talked to some US-Hams, they told me, working is one thing, getting the QSL is another. And most of my activity was on the WARC bands and 80m and 40m (all CW). So that is maybe another reason for the pile ups. Antalya with it’s 800.000 inhabitants e.g. has only 50 hams !!!
One day I worked split. Usually I didn’t want to do so because, I wasn’t sure if a small TA4 should waste so much space, but I had to recognise that the one I answered couldn’t hear me coming back to him because the others were still calling. so „pse 2 up“.
I must say, the often complained operating habits of the Europeans were not so bad. Ok, when I asked for USA or NON-EU sometime one EU came back but it’s not that I can say the Europeans never listen.
Because of my QRL at home I was QRT for more than a year and so my CW skills were not the best. I again had to learn the work with the Bencher Keyer. Hey I first gave with the left so I could write logbook with the right hand. Forgive the many mistakes. I sometimes was operating 4hours in a row. Again: 1 year no CW at all !
Most of the QSOs were done during the last two days. They pile up grown up with the first cq-ing never ended until I had to go to sleep or to dinner or breakfast. I mostly wasn’t sure they knew what my call was. Maybe some thought it is a real rare country, sorry for you, only TA4.
The local conditions were not too good. On the roof of the Hotel was a huge luminous advertising which caused a high noise floor. Also the power failed from time to time. They have an emergency generator in the Hotel but it took some 10 seconds to start. The first power failure occurred right when I began my very first CQ Call ! Can you imagine what I thought and how afraid I was? Believe me it took me some minutes before I started to transmit again and then also very carefully. This happened about four-five times an evening and so I was sure it wasn’t my fault. Hey, the complete village was without lights!!! Can you imagine your very first thought ! Sure this can’t be my work, but …. From that moment i never took the lift again, always the stairs.
Of course we had to visit a Leather factory, a large Gold and jewellery store and a carpet manufacturer. The Turkish government is sponsoring those tours and I believe even the complete journey to get tourists (and their cash) to Turkey during winter when there are not really many guests to support the local shops, hotels and factories. Our hotel has 500 beds, in the breakfast room I never saw more than 40 peoples, so really they had a low work-load.
For me it was ok that only a very few tourists were in town. On the Bazaar I could lower the prices for T-shirts, Jeans, Backpacks and all other stuff I bought to the absolute minimum. That saved a lot of money. Sure, that they don’t have to give high reductions when there are enough buyers during summer season. Some are so stupid to pay sometimes more than twice of the usual price.
In general, my advice for TA4 visitors: Don’t pack to many cloth in your luggage when you go there. You can buy everything there for a very low price. Quality is very good. They offer these copied „Hugo Boss“, „Versace“ and „you name it“ products. They are not original but look good and have a good quality. Remember to lower the price before paying. It’s a nice habit in those countries. For a good jeans I paid 20 Euro / 20 US$. A nice NIKE T-shirt was for 5 Euro / 5 US$. Do not buy the Perfume, they are cheap but are not even close to the original scent.
On 29.January I visited Antalya. We had a restaurant right on the cliffs and so a superb view on the ocean. All the days before I often tried to open a relay or to make a direct contact on 2m but never ever any answers on my cq. That day in Antalya I could open a repeater and sent a cq call. Selim TA4B who operated the Club Station TA4KA answered me and I was happy to make my first local QSO. I explained that our restaurant is only a few hundred meters away from the Club and I was invited for a Turkish coffee. Sure I didn’t want to miss that.
The Club Station was located in the 14th floor and overlooking the city of Antalya. They have a A4S on the roof and this really can be a Killer-DX-Location.
We spent the days with visiting bazaars, buying Jeans and T-shirts, looking the country side, walking on the beach. Weather really wasn’t good this week. It was between 10-15c and very often we had rain. The people are very friendly. Food was good. In Alanya look for the Restaurant „Kara-Vanserey“ not sure if the writing is ok but they really had the best food. The bar „Robin Hood“ at the harbour is a place for tourists to have a beer and hear good music. The famous local beer „Efes“ is really good and we German can say because we know how to make a good beer, HI 😉
The days passed by very fast and so the last night came. From Saturday to Sunday we had a strong storm and lightning and many many power failures. I stood on the balcony to watch the lightning, the dark village in front and to see my fishing rod falling down (no, thanks to wherever this didn’t happen.).
I haven’t packed my thing, not even the cloth. I sat there and operated 30m CW. A not ending Pile up was going on and I worked as fast as I could to give away this Prefix to as many as I can. Somehow they seemed to really need it. Page by page was filled and even BA4DW called me. I asked 2 times if he is really BA4DW, I couldn’t believe. As well as A92ZE Gus who called me the day before on 40m. This Fishing-rod antenna really worked out fine. I worked all parts of the world except VK/ZL which was difficult because of the Hotels location, sorry for you. On 80, 40 and especially 30m many USA came into my log, remember, sometimes I used only 5-50w !
On 2rd February 03 at 06:15 UTC I worked DL2OCE as my last contact. I explained, that I now realy have to go. The Bus which takes me to the airport will take pick me up at 07:00 UTC and I still was there sitting in boxer shorts, unshowered, not having break-fast and : noting packed ! The Antenna was still on the roof.
73 to u all, sri nw qrt and cl, bus to airport cmng sn. sri sri. tu, real fun for me. ..
Some gave a 73 and a tu back and this made me happe and thinking this was worth to stay awake all night.
I promised not to answer any more callers because it is not credible. But it always different.
I heard N4CC calling. and gave him a short 599 because I knew he was trying there for some time maybe and couldn’t get through the EU’s. Back home I sent him an Email and he told me he was there for 20min and realy happy I came back. So I closed my log, satisfied giving the best to all those calling me.
I really had thrown all cloth and RIG into the luggage. took a shower and …. no, I did not forget the Super-DX-Fishing-Rod….. This time the bus really came just in time. Something which wasn’t when we were on other bus trips.
Check in at the airport was easy again. One at the X-Ray unit pulled me to the screen and asked what these wires are. I answered: “ this belongs to the Fishing Rod“. Hey, that’s not a lie !!!! I could pass.
The storm brought some snow and hail and we had an unquiet flight back home to DL.
Sitting there bored I remembered my logbook and thought I could count the QSO’s I made during this trip. Effectively I was QRV for 2 days only. Somewhere around 1000 QSO’s in CW may another 20 in SSB only.
Sorry I do not have a Note Book. I think on RTTY or PSK31 there is even a higher demand for TA4. Maybe next time ?
Thank you very much for calling me during my holiday activities. I remember my first tour to LX in 1990 when I was 16 years and just got my A-Class license. I always have fun giving nice prefixes and helping some of you to get their 5BDXCC more complete. Sure, the real rare countries are reserved to the real big guns, but for me it is a nice part of our hobby
73 Tom DL2OBO
Born 7.6.1973 first licensed 16.8.1989
EX Calls: DG8OAR, DH2AAD
Countries visited: LX, 3A, HB0, HB9, OE7, I,F, OD5, UV3D, 6Y5, W5, W6, W7, XE, OZ, G, TA4
I was in HB0 twelve time, whenever someone likes to join me, let me know. Single Op is not to easy sometimes.