Summer 2018 news with 144 Mhz R1 distance record



Long silence! We apologise for it. In this edition, we would like to keep you updated as follows:
  1. 2m Tropoducting in EU history has a new Milestone
  2. Call for financial support or hardware sponsorship
  3. Current VHF setup, including AIS upgrade

1. 2m Tropoducting in EU history has a new Milestone.

A maintenance and station upgrade work that led to set the new IARU R1 2m Tropo Record 

After a few years of D4/C beacon’s reception, on Sunday August 5th 2018, EI3KD Mark Turner was eventually able to work our manned station D4Z on 144 MHz operated by EA8FF Mark De Munck, over a path of 4163 km. This remarkable contact is a new record for tropo propagation mode in IARU Region 1. The previous record of 4130 kms was set back in July of 2015.

The contact was made on 144.300 MHz on CW mode at about 18:15 UTC. The band had been open between UK and Cape Verde for hours before the contact was made, but EA8FF was on his way to Cape Verde to carry out a planned  a maintenance station and upgrade. Few minutes after landing in Mindelo and having rushed to the station, a few QSO, including the new record where made with ease:

144MHz Log that made History

To be noted that earlier in the day, the D4C beacon on 144.436 MHz had been spotted at 08:37 UTC by GI6ATZ locator IO74AJ at a distance of 4476km and by GM4ZJI at 16:40 locator IO86KE at a distance of 4739km !! -> Massive conditions 

To be mentioned as well is that on the very same day, CT1HBC in IN51PE, 3115km spotted at 11:45 UTD our 70cm beacon on 432.396 MHz.

In the following days, on August 8th 2018, G1OFW spotted at 09:52 UTC D4C/B on 2m at a distance of 4372 km in IO90XT.

D4C/B 2m spots during the huge tropo conditions

Station setup
EI3KD:  11el F9FT, only at 7m agl, RX mast preamp, TX 400W.
D4Z: IC 275, max 100W, 2 stacked dipoles on 3 directions (omnidirectional antenna), no preamp.

M0VRL, when worked D4Z had an Icom IC275h 2×17 ele boomers 15m asl.
Moreover, Terry has several fixed 2M-antennas pointed to several beacons: 7 ele to D4C – 11ele to CU8DUB –  13ele to GB3VHG – 13 ele to OY6BEC

Video of D4Z working EI3KD on 144 MHz here

Reception at M0VRL  at io70po with a 7ele home made 2m beam in roof space

External Links and articles

Our VHF/UHF tower that gave us a great joy on 2m; thank you for QSOs EI3KD, G4LAH, G7RAU and M0VRL!

The green-coloured dipole array of D4C/B omnidirectional antenna system used by D4Z during these QSOs.
The antenna system can be switched between the beacon and the remote or local RTX onsite


EA8FF Mark working on the new beacons and remote SDR location

Our local worker Navi preparing the tower for the new extension
VHF tower is now extended by 6 more to be ready to allocate the 50mhz 5+5 stack to Europe a a single 5el to NA

2.Call for financial support or hardware sponsorship

Boosted by this achievement, we want to provide more to the HAM community. Maintenance and station upgrade have costs.

We work harder to obtain more achievements.
We currently finance ourselves all the station upgrade and maintenance, repair, shipping and import of the goods on the island, the electricity bill (including a major investment in 2017 to get the power from the new landline), new contract with the internet provider for a newly come fiber connection.

Therefore, this is a call for financial help or hardware sponsoring from individual or associations to maintain and to further develop the D4C/B, D4Z, D41CV  Transatlantic automatic station. We estimate a budget of 1500 to 2000 EUR.
If donations are coming in, we will keep sponsors posted in how fund-rising progresses. We are also open to other possible way of compensations sponsor (such as usage of the station, etc). Just let the brain work…

In our mind there are some more capital adds-on in the short to medium-term planning:

  1. Replacing the 2m beacon transmitter as it is almost 40 years old and it is generating spurious signals
  2. Replacing the 6m beacon as it sends noise all over the spectrum due to its 19th century synthesized technology, forcing us to switch it off during any Remote operation activity (HF or VHF).
  3. Building a 4m beacon with bilateral QSO capability, including a PA and its relative antenna system
  4. Enhance 70cm capability by replacing current transmitter as it is almost 40 years so that we can bring it to on the xxx.436 family channel, replace the antenna system including coax cables replacement, add a PA and to implement the bilateral QSO capability.
  5. Repair and transport on the 23cm beacon for propagation study purposes including coax cables replacement.

Donations can be made as follows: PayPal: here

Bank: IBAN: CH82 0483 5130 3012 4200 0
Clearing number: 4835
Holder: Monteverde Contest Club – 6963 Pregassona, Switzerland

or contact: for further agreements/arrangements

Needless to say that our qth at 750m asl is making things difficult in terms of windy and salty weather but most of all the humidity and the waterproofing of any electrical contact is a challenge.

We will continue our work to provide a reliable VHF& UHF station in the middle of the North Atlantic and we look forward to being supported. Thank you.

3. Current VHF setup, including AIS upgrade

Boosted by this achievement, we do wish to continue giving a realiable source of signal and ready to go station in the Middle of the North Atlantic to the HAM community. However, Maintenance and station Upgrades have costs.

Latest antenna setup upgrade carried out in August 2018 consists in:
Extension of further 6m of the VHF tower which now allocates:

50 MHz DX:
2 x 5 el yagi to EU/AS
1 x 5 el yagi to NA
To be used with the remote SUN SDR Pro onsite.

50 MHz D4C/B beacon:
On a separate mast, a Vertical antenna sends the 30W generated on 50.436 MHz by the IC706 used as 24h/365 CW beacon.

Our local worker Navi on the tower and IK2NCJ Luca giving assistance
Full view, including the Multi-band HF vertical used with the remote SDR

144 MHz DX and D4C/B beacon
2 vertically stacked dipoles in 3 directions (total 6 dipoles) for an omnidirectional attern. The forward gain is comparable to a 5 el yagi at 360DEG AZ
These antennas are used both for D4C/B CW beacon on 144.436 MHz with 50W and for the remote SUN SDR Pro onsite if Tropoducting is detected.

162 MHz / AIS:
After a failure of Icom AIS receiver we replaced it with an ea8ff home made version. Instrumentall, it is more sensitive and now working with a 20 seconds automatic switching system between a vertical antenna and a 10 elements vertically polarized yagi direction west to monitor possible Caribbean tropo opening.

All info are fed to EA6VQ EA6VQ DX MAP link
and to our AIS partner Vesseltracker that can deliver free Hardware to set your own AIS station at home. Just contact them at

432 MHz:
9 el Yagi to EU for the 432.396 MHz CW Beacon1296 MHz: 
Antenna are not installed anymore due to beacon failure. To be reinstalled once repaired and carried from Europe to Cape Verde.

Being primarly an HF Contest team, this newsletter plenty of VHF and Up stuff may sound inappropriate or strange.
Oh Well, this is what we are up to right now, but be assured that we have a container at the Cape Verde customs in Mindelo ready to be dispatched to Monteverde with lots of antenna and hardware ready to be installed to our towers.

In the next edition, we will write about a prominent contester (a Stellar one!) getting ready to operate during coming CQWW CW in November
as SO  from D4C signing D41CV. More to come…….!

73 for now & Thank you for reading



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.