From 12:00 UTC, Saturday, February 1, to 11:59 UTC on Sunday, February 2, the Black Sea Contest will be taking place on CW/SSB, organized by the Ukrainian Black Sea Contest Club. It’s a worldwide contest where all stations may contact one another. However, QSOs with stations from countries containing a river whose waters eventually end up in the Black sea will be rewarded with ten points, i.e., stations of Central and Eastern Europe.
The full list of countries consists of:
Austria, OE – Albania, ZA – Belarus, EU – Bulgaria, LZ – Bosnia and Herzegovina, E7 – Hungary, HA – Germany, DL – Georgia, 4L – Italy, I – Macedonia, Z3 – Moldova, ER – Poland, SP – Russia (European part), RA – Romania, YO – Slovakia, OM – Slovenia, S5 – Turkey, TA – Ukraine, UR – Croatia, 9A – Montenegro, 4O – Czech Republic, OK – Switzerland, HB – Serbia, YU.
QSOs with stations on other continents will be worth five points; those within the same continent, but in a different ITU zone will be worth three points and will be assigned one point per QSO within the same ITU zone. For complete rules refer to the official website: www.bscc.in/index/rules_black_sea_cup_international_eng/0-21.
In addition, a contest from Greece that had been launched for the first time last year: the Triathlon DX Contest. This year it will be taking place on Saturday, February 1st. It will be a 24 hour non-stop event divided in three sections, each one devoted to a different mode. The start is at 0000z with CW until 0759z. After that, from 0800z the contest continues with SSB until 1559z, and finally the RTTY part starting at 1600z until 2359z. You can find more info as well as the complete rules in several languages at: www.triathlon-dx-contest.gr.
About Dxpeditions, of course the most relevant activity underway is that of FT5ZM from Amsterdam island, that has started its operation on the morning of Sunday, January 26. In Europe their signals are strong especially in the afternoon in all the bands between 40 and 10 meters (albeit at different times, of course) and these hours are often the most favorable for North America, that is the area where it is most difficult to work this Indian Ocean island. So, Europe has better chances than North and South America, being able to count on many more hours of good propagation. Hence we once again urge the European hams to follow the istructions contained in this article http://www.dxcoffee.com/eng/2013/12/31/note-european-dxers-ft5zm/.
The FT5ZM website with all info and updates is www.amsterdamdx.org. You can work this rare entity (the 5th most wanted) until February 12.
You will surely remember Zorro, JH1AJT for his activity from Myanmar last year. In these days, Zorro is active in SSB only from Bhutan as A52JR along with Sergio PP5JR, Eduardo PU5FJR and Bia PU5BIA. QSL via PP5VB. See http://www.dxcoffee.com/eng/2014/01/02/a52jr-bhutan/.
An Italian team is active from February 1 through 12 from Sao Tome as S9TF in the 80 – 10 meter bands. Their website is http://gmiross.wix.com/principe-is-2014. See also http://www.dxcoffee.com/eng/2013/11/20/s9tf-prince-island-iota-af-044/.
S9TF is not the only Italian team operating from an African island these days! IK7JWX I8LWL IS0AGY IV3FSG HB9DHG are active from Zanzibar as 5I0DX planning to operate also in the CQ WPX RTTY. See their page on qrz.com and http://www.dxcoffee.com/eng/2014/01/10/5i0dx-5h3an-zanzibar-island/.