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Nick Hacko, VK1AA - Ham radio BLOG

QSL information for

Direct to
Nick Hacko,
Shop 18 Bridgepoint Shopping Centre,
1-3 Brady St. MOSMAN 2088 NSW Australia

or via my QSL manager:
VE3EXY Nenad Stevanovic
P.O. BOX 65046
Nepean, ON, K2G 5Y3, Canada


July 22, 2005

CQ WW [CW] Contest, 2004.A sneak preview into CQ Magazine, September issue : yours truly is the Oceania winner in assisted category!
The simple truth is this: no one else has seriously operated assisted so my humble single band effort was good enough for the overall first place. More importantly this is a new all-time SO14 Assisted VK record. I was really excited about working all 40 zones but unfortunately that was an incorrect assumption. Maybe next time...

Under the team competition, our team Australia VKCC North-East (VK1KI op K1KI, VK4DX and myself) ended up 8th, just few points below VKCC East (VK2IMM, VK2BAA, VK2NU and VK9AA). Good fun!

June 28, 2005

CQ WW RTTY Contest, 2004. Certificate of Merit arrived today - Oceania winner with 332,996 points. CQWW RTTY was fun to operate. The 20m category winner was VE2RYY with 599.772 points. This contest is really favouring North America and Europe and Oceania Winner is probably best one can achieve form Australia :-)

Here is my message to 3830 Reflector sent after the contest:

Class: SOSB/20 HP
QTH: Bundaberg, QLD
Operating Time (hrs): 23

Band QSOs Pts State/Prov DX Zones

20: 716 2040 43 83 34
Total: 716 2040 43 83 34 Total Score = 349,000

Club: VK Contest Club [vkcc.com]

This year I have decided to operate single 20m. Unfortunately could not operate for the first 8 hours missing prime long path opening to Europe but managed to partially recover on second day. Worked 340 Eu, 130 Ja and 170 North American for average QRB of 14000 km per QSO!

For the first time ever equipment performed flawlessly. Oldish FT1000D replaced FT920- something that should' been done long time ago!

I felt I was loud however looks like most people do not listen for signal but prefer to see it spotted. Good run was produced sitting high up in band avoiding big guns from EU.

Highlights: being called by 9J2KC, YS1CJA, NP4BM, 8P2K and TF3YH for double mult. Also being able to break US pileup for VE3EXY/2 in zone 2 and Eu's pile for VQ9LA.

Congratulation to AA5AU for fine score and praises to his unselfish educational work in field of rtty contesting.

January 31, 2005

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: Working the rare DX is just a first step towards getting the QSL card. In reality direct QSLing is an art form! There are two reasons why even direct QSLing does not work: 1. some operators are just not reliable or responsible QSLers; and 2. some areas of the world are plagued with crooked postal workers.

Since October 2004. I keep evidence of all direct requests to various DX stations (Date sent, call, manager information, IRC/ $US enclosed and turnover time). The total turnover time could be anything from 10 to 144 days ! Have a look at my QSL Log, Word .doc file 269KB, updated June 27, 2005.

January 26, 2005

January 26. is National Australia Day, the biggest day of celebration in the country is a public holiday in all states and territories. On taht day VK ham are allowed to use special prefix AX . An hour before my sunrise I went to Middle Head to operate 40m from mobile as AX1AA. The battery-powered setup allowed 5 hour of operating time which was divided in two lots - one around sunrise (40m) and one at sunset (20m). Forty meters activity resulted in 100+ Europeans - all on CW - running 75W itno inverted V dipole. The total was 249 QSO CW/SSB/PSK and 40 DXCC. Please QSL via my Sydney address only, as listed above.

Cabrillo (text file) AX1AA log.

December 2004. - January 2005

Still struggling to get on air from Sydney :-( however I'm doing my best. Which means sporadic mobile operation from nearby hilltop at Mosman Middle Head and Dobroyd, Balgowlah as VK1AA/M. I started with FT920 and simple mobile antenna, then moved to 2 el. 10m yagi @ 7m. The next antenna was a full size dipole for 20m @ 7m. Currently I'm using full-size 40m dipole supported by 16 meters mast attached to my car. This antenna is not only crowd-magnet but great performed to both US and Europe - with only 100W I have no problem keeping the frequency clear when CQing / working Europe!

ARRL 10m contest; photos and story .

September 2003 - December 2004

Due to business commitments I could not travel much around; however my uncle who lives in Bundaberg, Queensland - 1400km from Sydney - kindly allowed me to setup a 20m tower in his backyard. I have managed to operate from this fantastic QTH few times as VK1AA/4:

- 2003. RTTY CQWW as SOAB (3el tribander and smokn' MLA2500)
- 2003. CQWW CW SO40mHP Assisted (2 el + DX-2 amp). New Oceania all-time record,
A7 VK1AA/4 437,970 1251 33 97 2003

- 2004. WPX SSB contest SOSB20m HP (4el monoband yagi, FT1000 D, DX-2). World 4th place, new 20m VK record.

4. VK1AA/4 4,283.664 points

- 2004. WPX CW contest SOSB20m HP. I really liked this oldish FT1000D so decided to give it another go in CW part. However propagation were significantly worse in May than only 2 moths before. Only 1300 Q's were loggerd.

2004. CQWW RTTY SO20mHP Fun, fun fun!

2004. CQWW CW SO20mHP Assisted 2000 QSos, 135 country and for the first time ever got all 40 zones.

March / April 2002

Solo operation: DXpedition to Solomon Island H44XX and Santa Cruz Island, Temotu province H40XX.

During the Dxpedition to Santa Cruz Island (Temotu) and Solomon Island (Honiara) some 10.440 qso's were made in less than 89 hours, operating mainly on CW as H40XX (Lata) and H44XX (Honiara).

Special thanks is due to many individuals and ham organizations who assisted me in my ham radio journey: Mr. Jim Wilson N7JW of Wilson Electronics Inc, NCDXF, NJDXA, GDXF, CDXC and DDXG.

H40XX and H44XX Online log search: .

May 2001

DXpedition to Norfolk Island

Mini expedition to Norfolk Island (family holiday really!) Thanks to my wife Tanja, I was allowed to take an FT920, laptop and vertical and operate for total of 22 hours.VK9LX/9 logged 2850 CW operating on 40, 20, 15, 12 and 10m. Bill, K6KM was sharing the radio operating as VK9NOO - he made over 1000 Q too. Great fun! Heavy pileup from Eu but surprisingly easy to control with only 100W. Of course, trip to Norfolk was an ideal opportunity to meet Jim, VK9NS and Kirsti, VK9NL the living legends of the ham radio.

May 2000

Member of DXpedition to Willis Island

VK9WI team: VK4DH, VK4APG, VK4BKM, VK4ZEK and me :-)
Willis Island Story

VK9WI qsl via VK4APG.

October 1997, 1998 and 1999.

"Triple DXpedition" to Lord Howe Island

VK9LXLord Howe Island DXpedition. 1997 with K8RF, 1998, with K6KM, N0TT, N4RU, NM7N and then solo operation in 1999. Total of 35.000 QSO's.


Nick Hacko, VK1AA / VK9LX
1977 - Passed his full callsign exam at age 13.
Had to wait for another 2 years to be eligible for callsign.
1979-1984 - YU7QDT, YU Contest champion over 20 times.
1984 - Yugoslav Military Morse Code champion.
1985 - YU7XX and contest operator at stations YU1EXY and 4N7A.
1992 - DL/YU7XX (Moved to Germany)
1994 - VK2ICV (Moved to Australia)
1997 - VK9LX Team leader Lord Howe Is. DXpedition.
Second Place Oceania multi op. category in CQWW CW
1998 - VK9LX Team leader Lord Howe Is. DXpedition.
First Place World DX pedition multi op. category in CQWW CW
1999 - VK9LX solo operation,1 week, Oct. 1999.
10.000 QSO's in 6 days, all bands 160-10 + WARC and RTTY
2000 - VK9WI Willis Island DXpedition- CW, SSB, lowband and RTTY operator
2001 - VK9LX/9 Norfolk Island, mini warm-up expedition 2400 QSO in 22 hours, all CW.
2002 - H44XX Solomon Island, March 28-April 12.
2002 - H40XX Temotu Province DXpedition
2002 - May: WPX CW Contest, M/S team memeber and operator from YT6A. High climed Eu score.
2003 - First place Oceania winner - single op / all band CW IARU 2003 1300Q and 1.1mil points operating as VK1AA/2

Editor of 'Who's Who on the TopBand' www.topbanders.com
Owner and administrator of BalkanDX Mailing Reflector (170 members, since 1999.)

Age 42, married, with one son 7 1/2.
Owner of watch and clock repair and restoration business in Sydney.