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Oman WAG- Contest 2014
A47RS Headquarters Station in Muscat


His Majesty the Sultan A41AA

Hello dear contester and DX- chaser,

since 2002 I try to combine holidays and hobby in a way that makes my XYL happy as well as me. You can read more about my holiday-style operations at this homepage.
In 2014 we followed an invitation made by our friends in the Sultanate of Oman on the Arabic Peninsula. They live and work over there and they offered us to stay at her home. We were stoked! Immediately we agreed and my XYL took this opportunity and booked a trip to Dubai in the Arabic Emirates as well. Meanwhile I tried to get informations about HAM Radio operations in Oman and how to get a visitor license. My objective was the participation at the Worked All German WAG Contest in order to offer a multiplier and to make the German HAMs happy. Unfortunately the Omanis do not join the CEPT agreement and therefore I contacted the Royal Omani Amateur Radio Society ROARS via the A47RS web site email adress.
After one week I got the bad news:" Regret to inform you that it is NOT allowed to bring your own equipment, set-up and operate Amateur Radio from the Sultanate of Oman." You must be a permanent resident in order to get an individual license. Hence I could forget my dream of "holiday- style" operations with an individual call- sign!

Even the DARC liaison officer for the Arabic countries Mustapha, DL1BDF could not help with his contacts. Alternatively the ROARS offered to me the usage of their HQ- clubstation A47RS and I got a phone number to arrange the operations. At 16th October I was informed via email that I may operate at A47RS from Saturday and Sunday each from 12 UTC to 17 UTC. They also made the QSL policy clear:
no individual QSL cards - my log will be integrated in the A47RS log - QSL request via A47RS

HQ- station A47RS
Headquarters clubstation A47RS


This meant a significant time restriction for the WAG contest because the contest ran from 15 UTC to 14:59 UTC. I could join the contest for max. 5 h only. I was somewhat disappointed. However, I took it as a sportive challenge.
I stepped out of the car and realised a quite impressive building with a 7- el Yagi beam and some wire and vertical antennas. That was clearly the home of a Headquarters Station and the plate at the door made it even more clear: I arrived at the right place! I knocked at the door on time at Saturday 12 UTC.

Einweisung in die Station
operational instructions by the caretaker


The door was open and I entered the house and I called some friendly "Hellos". After a while the caretaker of the building came along and he gave me a warm welcome. He guided me to the shack and he explained the set-up of the station in details. He was not a HAM and I was surprised by his skills. He explained the operation of the TRX FT-920 and PA VL-1000 in a competent manner. However, I needed some time to connect my Laptop and to configure the contest software WinTest. Fortunately I had the right adapters with me and I logged the first QSO with HA5AGP in SSB on the 10m band at 12:59 UTC. The 10m band was still open to EU, SA and NA at 5 pm local time. Promising condx!

Laptop configuration
configuration of the Laptop and WinTest


At 15 UTC I started the WAG in SSB on the 10m band. DK1MM was the first logged contest station. Unfortunately the band closed after further 3 QSOs - too late for 10m. I switched to 15m SSB and logged 15 QSOs only - band closed as well? Now over to the 20m band. Surprisingly the band was in a very bad shape and I logged only 6 DL- stations. Annother try on 15m and I could enjoy a little pile-up of 13 QSOs within 10 minutes. Back to the 20m band in CW now but the band closed after 13 QSOs definitely. However, the most worst surprise was that the antennas for the 40m band and 80m band did not work - very high SWR - very low signals. That was the most operational restriction and I was very frustrated. Even the caretaker could not help me and therefore I left the Headquarters station at 17 UTC (9 pm local) and went home to my friends and took comfort with some icecold Dortmunder beers and some more beers....
At sunday I started the contest operations on time at 12 UTC on 10m in CW. This time I worked in CW in order to increase the QSO-rate. After 1.5 h I switched to the 15m band and at the end I switched to the 20m band. Finally I logged 239 contest QSOs! I was very pleased about 5 CW- QSOs with friends from my district Nico DK5DQ worked on all 3 bands, Klaus DF1DT and Sebastian DL1AXX on 10m band. Especially the operations on Sunday made me little happier although the operation conditions at this Headquarters station were not as expected "Headquarters like".
I said goodbye to the caretaker and asked again for local operators in order to give over some gifts. He said that there were no local HAMs and he was not allowed to take my gifts. That was interesting because I could hear and see other people in the room next to us. I was deeply disappointed not to meet any HAM at the Headquarters and I took my gifts back home. I asked myself whether I did something wrong during the organisational phase or was it a culture- language- issue?... I will never find out why no Omani HAM was interested in my visit...somehow strange.
Overall I can praise the hospitality of the Omani people during my holidays and we spent an exciting week in the desert and mountains. A memorable and georgeous holiday with my friends in Muscat - Oman - it is a must to visit!
vy 73 es 55 es cuagn in next WAG

 desert fun  DL1DAW

a quad ride with my friend in the desert - a big fun                the Sultan in person 😉

 
   

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