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17,500 Kms 2 way QRP, Pedestrian HF QSOs

Demetre Valaris (SV1UY) on April 5, 2001
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17,500 Kilometer 2 way QRP Pedestrian-to-Pedestrian Short-wave Record Set. Athens, GREECE - 28 March 2001

Amateur radio hobby got another boost on 28 February 2001 with the successful direct pedestrian to pedestrian communication over 17,549 kilometers (22,593 Km via the long path) of land and sea via short-wave radio. In what is believed to be the longest distance morse code and voice contact without satellites between two pedestrian amateur radio operators, Max Pompe ZL1BK of Auckland New Zealand and Demetre Valaris SV1UY of Athens Greece, utilized miniature portable low power single sideband/morse code transceivers with small (half sized) portable antennas.

Demetre Valaris SV1UY comments, "I was really thrilled when I heard Max's signals and that made me remember how kind can our OLD SOL be to us". We have recently passed the peak of solar cycle 23 after all.

This event sparks even more new enthusiasm for amateur radio and the spirit of friendship around our planet. Bonnie Crystal (moderator of the HFpack group) said when she broke the record of 10.000 kms "World records are meant to be broken".

Max was hiking in a park near his home while Demetre was hiking on Mt. Ymittos when contacts were established at 06:25 UTC using CW (morse signals) and at 06.45 UTC using SSB (voice signals) on Wednesday 28 February 2001 early morning after sunrise in Greece and before dusk in New Zealand.

Our signals travelled through the night following the long path, using a technique called chordal-hop propagation without returning to earth before they reached their destination. Greece and New Zealand are on nearly antipodal locations and this chordal-hop mode helped our QRP power radios to talk to each other.

In this new and growing radio sport called "HF-Packing", ham operators use hand-carried battery-powered radios to communicate with each other across thousands of miles while hiking, cycling, or camping. The transceivers used for these contacts transmitted on a frequency of 14.348 MHz using CW and 14.280 MHZ using SSB, with 5 watts power output and handheld whip and dipole antennas. SV1UY used a vertical 2 meter tall center loaded whip and ZL1BK used a handheld 5 meter long center loaded dipole. Both operators are members of a worldwide mailing list group of backpack radio enthusiasts called "HFpack", which keeps a database of so-called PM (Pedestrian Mobile) long distance records.

Here is what Bonnie Crystal KQ6XA said about our World Record Breaking Contacts:
Date: Thu Mar 8, 2001 12:06pm
Subject: SV1UY/PM~ZL1BK/PM World Record Pedestrian-Pedestrian QSOs

It has just been VERIFIED and listed in the HFpack Hall of Fame that SV1UY/PM Demetre of Athens Greece and ZL1BK/PM Max of Auckland New Zealand established a new Distance Record of 17549 kilometers for Pedestrian-to-Pedestrian contact on 14MHz via CW at 06:25 UTC and SSB at 06:45 UTC on 28 FEB 2001. Both operators complied with all guidelines of the 5 Watt Pedestrian Mobile Category 2 of the HFpack Hall of Fame, exchanged signal reports and provided QSLs. In addition, the operators have repeated their contacts on other days since the initial QSOs. These QSOs are now the longest distance record for all categories in the HFpack Hall of Fame.

For a complete listing of the HFpack Hall of Fame, click here:

Congratulations to ZL1BK Max and SV1UY Demetre, two World Class radio operators.

Bonnie KQ6XA
HFpack moderator

Further more these 2 operators contacted each other on several other occasions and also on 18.157 MHZ on Sunday 11 March 2001 using the same chordal-hop propagation mode, same radios, same power output, same antennas and from the same locations.

Surely this new HFpack radio sport has stimulated our interest in the hobby.

73 de Demetre SV1UY

Member Comments:
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17,500 Kms 2 way QRP, Pedestrian HF QSOs  
by KG6BYX on April 6, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Congratulations! amazing achievement. Any more detailed information on the antennas would be of great interest. HOmemade? specific details of the loading coils, etc. I might try out the pedestrian portable myself.

Bill J.
RE: 17,500 Kms 2 way QRP, Pedestrian HF QSOs  
by SV1UY on April 7, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Bill,

Thanks for your nice comments. As for the antennas used, I used the MP-1 made by Verne W6MMA Superantennas. This is a continuously tuned center loaded 2 meter high whip with it`s 3 meter long radials trailing behind me, acting as a counterpoise. I had the antenna bolted firmly on the heatsink at the back panel of my FT-817 portable HF radio. Max ZL1BK used a handheld homemade half sized dipole on 20 meters and he used a painters, 4 meter aluminium ple to hold it high. On 18 Mhz he used a homemade 1.8 meters high center loaded whip antenna. Power used was 5 watts on both sides of the globe!!!

Good luck with your pedestrian mobile operations. It surely has stimulated my interest in the hobby again.

73 de Demetre SV1UY
17,500 Kms 2 way QRP, Pedestrian HF QSOs  
Anonymous post on April 11, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Yes QRP and lousy antennas can give amazing results when propagation is good, but don't QRPers accomplish feats like this all the time ?

What's so special about "Pedestrian HF Mobile" ?

What's next ? Roller-skater to roller-skater HF QRP distance records ? :)
RE: 17,500 Kms 2 way QRP, Pedestrian HF QSOs  
Anonymous post on April 12, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
> Yes QRP and lousy antennas can give amazing results
> when propagation is good, but don't QRPers
> accomplish feats like this all the time ?
> What's so special about "Pedestrian HF Mobile" ?
> What's next ? Roller-skater to roller-skater HF QRP > distance records ? :)

Can you better this record sir? If you can, please do so!!!


RE: 17,500 Kms 2 way QRP, Pedestrian HF QSOs  
by WB9JTK on November 15, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I am very interested in HF pedestriam mobile.
I recently built the Elecraft KX1 rig. I have been trying to figure out what type of antenna to build.

I think my first attempt will be something rather useless; An antenna to operate HF on foot while walking around the Miami hamfest. I never carry my 2m handheld around.

I realize that I would not make very many contacts while 'pedestrian mobile' with a 1 watt rig, but I could do a lot of listening.

If I ever get a reasonable antenna for 20m or so, I would then be interested in a big afterburner of an amplifier, say 10 W output.

So far I have no idea how to do any kind of useful antenna for HF unless I were to be wearing a metal framed backpack. That would be a bit of a contrast to a handheld HF radio.

The rig could get stuck onto a belt with velcro. I picture wearing it on my belt in front, or on a vest or something.

I would love to get some suggestions on this.
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