DXpedition to UK Sovereign Base Area on Cyprus — January 2020
A group from Cambridge University Wireless Society were QRV from the UK Sovereign Base Area on Cyprus as ZC4UW from 2-7 January 2020 with 5 stations.
The stations included four Elecraft K3s with KPA500 amplifiers, and one Elecraft KX3 driving a Juma amplifier.
Ops were G3ZAY, M0BLF, M0VFC, G7VJR, G7SOZ, M0WUT and M0BBB.
The team was QRV with 400W on 160m-12m. We also managed some 5MHz QSOs, even though we were limited to 15W EIRP. Antennas were verticals and the main modes were CW and SSB, with some RTTY. The group was not on FT8 or FT4. M0BLF's blog prior to the VP2MUW expedition gives some background to this decision.
Logs have been uploaded to Club Log and LOTW so please use Club Log OQRS and do not send any cards direct or via the bureau.
CUWS celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2020 and members have been active from many DX locations over the years.
Logs were uploaded to Club Log and LotW regularly throughout the trip. If you need a paper QSL, you can use Clublog OQRS to request a direct or bureau card. Please do not send us your card.
To use OQRS, start by searching for your callsign:
If your QSO isn't found in the search, email me to check for a busted call.
Update May 2020: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, airmail capacity is limited and bureaux around the world are closed. I'm therefore not sending any cards at present. You're still welcome to request cards but they will be held until the situation returns to something nearer normal.
Update July 2020: Cards held during the COVID-19 lockdown were sent on 30th July 2020. Thanks for your patience in waiting for your cards.
Please note, QSL cards must be requested within 5 years. Cards will not be available after January 2025.
An archive of all DX spots for the activation is available.
Left-to-right: G7VJR, M0VFC, G7SOZ, G3ZAY, M0BBB (5B4AFM), M0WUT, M0BLF
An animation of all our QSOs during the DXpedition.
(Grid square data from QRZ.com)
Updates from the operators
Updates during the trip were posted on Twitter.
Belated Happy New Year from ZC4UW team! Safely in Cyprus with all radios, will set up and be QRV tomorrow morning. pic.twitter.com/2CRyzVu8It— and etc. (@m0wut) January 1, 2020
Obligatory antenna caption competition... pic.twitter.com/ywcQb36ehH— and etc. (@m0wut) January 2, 2020
ZC4UW antennas starting to come together on the beach pic.twitter.com/7sLKzgt7KP— Dominic Smith (@dnas2) January 2, 2020
QRV on 17 CW/20 SSB/30 CW. All the antennae are up so QRV 160m soon, etc. See you on the bands #zc4uw— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 2, 2020
30m CW is Rob M0VFC pic.twitter.com/BB0JCQJQxl— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 2, 2020
17m CW is Dom M0BLF pic.twitter.com/C2CjHiT9QT— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 2, 2020
20m SSB is Dan M0WUT pic.twitter.com/6snI5yO1fS— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 2, 2020
80m and 160m verticals pic.twitter.com/TPDAhi98Uw— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 2, 2020
Huge pileups on 40m at ZC4UW - 10KHz wall of noise. Apologies if I couldn’t hear you! Thanks for cluster comments - please go easy on ops who are possibly dealing with things like thunderstorms!— G7SOZ (@g7soz) January 2, 2020
3000 QSOs (incl 530 or so on 160m) but not open to NA tonight. Frustrating to be heard and not hear a trace! Will persevere... #zc4uw— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 3, 2020
Good morning 🗺 from ZC4UW. Lots of rain static so apologies if we go QRT at times. Also, apologies for me cutting 40m CW short earlier - this was due to breakthrough from 80m station. #hamr pic.twitter.com/40XHsWRNJn— G7SOZ (@g7soz) January 3, 2020
Over 5000 QSO now 🤘— G7SOZ (@g7soz) January 3, 2020
Over 700 simultaneous livestream users for ZC4UW. I'm glad we got that new server! 😀— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 3, 2020
These pile ups are insane! This means we are talking to people at a rate of 489 people per hour! pic.twitter.com/asetKA4e9L— Dominic Smith (@dnas2) January 3, 2020
We have very persistent rain with heavy static, and quite a lot of t-storms in the area around ZC4UW. This is forecast for the rest of the week, so if you hear us go QRT for short periods without warning, this is why. Hold on and we'll be back as soon as we can. #zc4uw— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 3, 2020
ZC4UW farm survived the wild, stormy night! pic.twitter.com/slKPfSj5h4— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 3, 2020
ZC4UW 14.260 up 5 and starting to open to EU after JA pileup - please give us a shout! pic.twitter.com/FiJ8B05L5J— G7SOZ (@g7soz) January 4, 2020
About to take ZC4UW for its first real run on 20m CW. This is going to be "character building" I think... #zc4uw— and etc. (@m0wut) January 4, 2020
His pre 20m prep - a quick biscuit 🍪👍 pic.twitter.com/EhoBKBweyk— G7SOZ (@g7soz) January 4, 2020
An enjoyable morning at ZC4UW including a mega pile up to JA on 20m 😎👍#hamr— G7SOZ (@g7soz) January 4, 2020
10,000 contacts from ZC4UW pic.twitter.com/8ABJTYJeto— Dominic Smith (@dnas2) January 4, 2020
Coming to a receiver near you. 160m ant pic.twitter.com/PKlduV19kL— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 4, 2020
(In case there's any doubt, we don't need your name, dog's name or equipment when we have a pileup. 59(9) and that's it, please!)— Robert Chipperfield (@rmc47) January 4, 2020
Some serious static around due to this 👇 pic.twitter.com/xIhgnkHO6H— G7SOZ (@g7soz) January 4, 2020
Escaped the radio shack to climb hills and do calmer radio for a couple hours https://t.co/P73fvmZzpq— Dominic Smith (@dnas2) January 5, 2020
Woo-hoo! This morning's #SOTA activation got me the 'Business Class' Mountain Explorer status (15 SOTA associations in at least 4 continents).— Dominic Smith (@dnas2) January 5, 2020
Suspect I'm the only person to have 4 continents all in the E.U. too (FP = North America; CT3 = Africa and now 5B = Asia). pic.twitter.com/wrrDryCfHc
ZC4UW off the air due to thunderstorms passing overhead. Hopefully they will move through quickly.— Martin Atherton (@g3zay) January 6, 2020
Big thunderstorm last night forced us to close down briefly. It's still very windy here though. If our signal disappears, the aerial probably fell over! pic.twitter.com/n8WLjTrz9r— Dominic Smith (@dnas2) January 6, 2020
This is why we do these crazy trips 😀 https://t.co/jWGffLYvC4— Dominic Smith (@dnas2) January 6, 2020
One of the 80m guys has fallen off its stake and is going horizontally out from the 14m point. No way we're going to retrieve it at the moment. Thankfully not the upwind one. Added more rocks to that! https://t.co/fsuzXjcDEB— Robert Chipperfield (@rmc47) January 6, 2020
Just to mention, I have tried to find a 12m opening. Still hopeful but right now, it is shut here #zc4uw— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 6, 2020
Pleased to report that the first LotW log upload for ZC4UW went through last night. Sorry for the slight delay. Nearly 5000 matches already! pic.twitter.com/8613zbluZ8— Dominic Smith (@dnas2) January 6, 2020
Wow, we've never done 20,000 contacts on a trip before! And it's still going at ZC4UW... pic.twitter.com/EjWv7rroEB— Dominic Smith (@dnas2) January 6, 2020
We hit 1000 contacts per hour as a rate... And then the storm came through and the noise floor went to S9 and the rain lashed against the windows. pic.twitter.com/xKy9R75fBJ— Dominic Smith (@dnas2) January 6, 2020
The current storm here is causing havoc to our aerials, both from wind and salt water spray. We won't be on 160m tonight, and 40m is also becoming slightly intermittent. It should all be fixable when it's light tomorrow.— Dominic Smith (@dnas2) January 6, 2020
Hard going this evening. Significant wind, thunderstorms and associated QRN plus salt foam in the antenna farm. 160m antenna is damaged at the moment (will fix tomorrow when it is light). #zc4uw— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 6, 2020
Ground to a little bit of a halt at #ZC4UW because of the weather. Hard to stand outside in the wind at times. 15m antenna now standing _in_ the sea. 20m taken down for its safety. Emergency guys added to 80m. Top band driven element missing in action. S9 QRN from the salty rain.— Robert Chipperfield (@rmc47) January 6, 2020
160m fixed #zc4uw— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 6, 2020
160m is fixed, for now at least, but this evening is going to be a struggle on all bands. Please bear with us... https://t.co/JEDHxva61t— Dominic Smith (@dnas2) January 6, 2020
ZC4UW currently QRT due to lightning :(— and etc. (@m0wut) January 6, 2020
More bad WX. Darn it pic.twitter.com/RjNJmPaWjo— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 6, 2020
Sound on for this one pic.twitter.com/3gfGDfrLVp— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 6, 2020
Three antennas down following last nights storm! #ZC4UW— G7SOZ (@g7soz) January 7, 2020
ZC4UW QRT again as thunderstorm back. Half the antennas are down. Hope to fix this morning if storms abate.— Martin Atherton (@g3zay) January 7, 2020
Final QRT will be Wednesday morning.— Martin Atherton (@g3zay) January 7, 2020
Still have strong winds here and a number of antennas are now 'horizontally polarised'. We've got a bit of work to do to get some bands back on air but we'll do it as fast as possible. pic.twitter.com/JfVGubhXii— Dominic Smith (@dnas2) January 7, 2020
With apologies to Stavros- his callsign is 5B4AFM (it is not WW). Sorry pal! 😬— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 7, 2020
And again, sorry: Stavros' call is 5B4AFM!— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 7, 2020
Overnight damage mostly repaired. 40m pole splinted back together, 20 and 30 upright again. 80m guy that made a bid for freedom recovered. Lightning seems to have subsided for now. Last full day of operations today! #ZC4UW— Robert Chipperfield (@rmc47) January 7, 2020
We may however be QRT at times due to thunderstorms and rain noise— G7SOZ (@g7soz) January 7, 2020
Yeah, it has been a bit wet around here for the last day pic.twitter.com/n6U1VphnwX— Dominic Smith (@dnas2) January 7, 2020
Well that's a new one. Never had someone offer a bribe to get in the log before xD pic.twitter.com/5kGjZSq5Vm— Dominic Smith (@dnas2) January 7, 2020
Now on 1817.2, up 1. Working northern EU 30 mins before sunset! 😎 #zc4uw— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 7, 2020
OQRS for ZD4UW QSL cards is now open! If you've worked us, please don't send a paper card. Request your card at https://t.co/q2AZaHq0BG— Dominic Smith (@dnas2) January 7, 2020
Obviously should say ZC4UW, not ZD4.— Dominic Smith (@dnas2) January 7, 2020
Just for the record, Paul (the F6EXV callsign) did not make these spots; someone else was responsible!— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 8, 2020
ZC4UW is now QRT. We made 26,000 QSOs - thank you! All contacts are in LoTW #zc4uw— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 8, 2020
ZC4UW now QRT at 26k QSO. Great to work you, 73! pic.twitter.com/dhvbhkiPs1— and etc. (@m0wut) January 8, 2020
Peli case concentration pretty high pic.twitter.com/C8dmTfAXof— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 8, 2020
Last 3000 is a bit easier to work with. pic.twitter.com/8ZWvvpq7jq— Michael G7VJR (@g7vjr) January 9, 2020
Congratulations to the following, who worked ZC4UW on 15 or 16 slots: a fantastic achievement. Obviously propagation to Poland was particularly good...— Dominic Smith (@dnas2) January 9, 2020
16 slots: SP7VTQ, SP2V
15 slots: SQ8N, SP7IFM, S52DD, SQ7FPH, PA2KW, IK3HHX
Background Photo: Our operating location for ZC4UW