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I got my radio amateur licence in December 2016. My callsign is OE1GAQ. Since then I'm mostly active via the amateur radio station of the Technischen Universität Wien (OE1XTU).

QSL NFT on OpenSea NFT-QSL auf der Ethereum Blockchain
Gerald OE1GAQ es Chris OE1VMC
QSP, no. 9, pp. 16-17, 2021.
PDF logo Deutscher Originalbeitrag
PDF logo English translation

Wir haben uns angesehen, wie dezentrale QSL auf der Ethereum Blockchain funktionieren und im März NFT QSLs zwischen OE1GAQ, OE1VMC und OE1XTU getauscht. Unsere Erkenntnisse sind in einem Beitrag in der QSP zusammengefasst.

Other amateur radio OPs startet investigating blockchain for QSL. I made an English translation of the QSP article and linked it on QRZ.com too. I let the QSP article run through DeepL to get an English version. You can use it to translate into your own language.

WW Digi WW Digi DX Contest 2023

This year I've particiapted in the WW Digi DX Contest as part of a OE1XTU team with OE4MQW and OE1KDK.

We've increase the Austria record again. But not only that - we made #1 worldwide in the Multi-Single-Low category!

WW Digi contest is a great way to test our station and propagation. Working FT4/FT8 as Multi-OP station is especially fun because we can talk while operating. We enjoyed collectively discussing the best approach for radio operation. The operation style was adjusted even during the contest. It truly feels like working a contest together and not just next to each other. We were also quite lucky when a huge thunderstorm narrowly missed Vienna.

WW Digi WW Digi DX Contest 2021

I participated in the WW Digi DX contest from OE1XTU and could increase the Austria record again. I could also make place 5 in the European Single Operator - Low Power - All Bands category and just missed the top ten worldwide. Even in the third year, FT8/FT4 contesting remains a challenge. The 73 confirmations are often lost to QRM or to weak propagation and I get the feeling that some experienced operators are skipping the RR73 altogether to save time. My not in log (NIL) were 5.3 % wich was just below the contest average of 5.9 %. For many QSOs, it takes some guesswork if the contact could be finished or if the other station logged it. In casual contacts I would just repeat my report and RR73 several times and hope that it eventually gets through, but in a contest this would take way too much time. The band did not spread out as much as in the previous year so QRM was high. FT4 seems to be dead in many bands, which is a shame as it would be useful to keep rates high for European contacts.
Perhaps, the most important lesson was that I can now maintain a conversation while working the contest. Manfred Siegl OE4MQW visited me in the afternoon and we chatted for hours while I worked the contest. It was a pleasure to have you in the shack.

QSL on the Blockchain
- Ethereum Blockchain NFTs allow animated QSL!
The blockchain NFTs can also be videos, which allows animated QSL cards!
I've created an animated version of my current QSL card, which I think is quite neat.

My NFT QSLs are available on opensea.io.

If you want to get your QSL as NFT, please contact me (my email is available on QRZ.com). I will then create the NFT for you.

OpenSea QSL on the Blockchain
- My QSL are available as NFT on the Ethereum Blockchain
I have started to experiment with QSL and blockchain technology in the past few weeks. The non-fungible tokens (NFT) seem to be a promising concept for the QSL needs of the amateur radio community. I have generated first QSLs for my QSOs as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain through OpenSea. Minting and gas fees might be a limiting factor for a practical NFT QSL system. As of writing, sending a NFT QSL cost 20 to 30 EUR, which seems excessive when considering that the amateur radio community operates its own postal system to keep paper QSL prices low (and digitally signed online QSL is practically free). Of course, I continue to send free paper QSL cards through the bureau for each QSO and I also QSL on LOTW, QRZ.com and every now and then on eQSL.cc and clublog.org.

If you want to get your QSL as NFT, please contact me (my email is available on QRZ.com). I will then create the NFT for you.

- Austria Record defended!
I participated in this year's WW DIGI contest to defend my Austria record. Again, I entered as single operator with low power at OE1XTU. I made #1 Austria, #23 Europe and #45 World in the Single OP, Low Power category. There were no Austrian stations with a higher score, so I am still the current record holder in Austria. Conditions were great for most of the contest, except for a thunderstorm that swept over Vienna on Saturday evening. As a result, I don't have a single 160 m QSO.
Overall operators (including myself) are gaining more experience in FT8/FT4 contesting. It seems that the WSJT-X software "feature" that automatically switched users between contest modes had been patched and a single operator could no longer trick the whole band into using the wrong exchange. There was some turmoil at the start of the contest, but overall the contest felt less hectic with fewer operators doings stuff such as rapidly switching between QRG, staying on callers QRG or initiating/interleaving several QSOs. Contest operation smoothed over a wider frequency ranged which resulted in less QRM. Still, deciding which contacts to log is a challenging task as the RR73 and 73 are often lost in QRM. My "not in log" was at 19 out of 375 and 6 stations received a "not in log" from me.
Operating with error correcting codes remains a challenge and there is much to learn.

AOEE 2020 All OE Exercise
- 80/40 SSB @ OE1XTU
Another fun year participating in the All OE Exercise. Special thanks go to OM Chris OE1VMC for organizing it. This year it was especially difficult due to COVID-19. We worked the contest in two teams of two people. Compared to last year we had significantly more contacts in the 40m band, but also about 100 less QSOs overall. We're not completly sure why. Anyway, we had a lot of fun and I had the please to team up with YL Gudrun OE1OMA - she even brought cake.

- Austria Record!
I participated the WW DIGI last year and I was super excited about it as I really enjoy the fast FT8 and FT4 modes. I entered as single operator with low power at OE1XTU. Alas, I wasn't feeling too well and decided to stop after only eight hours. I still had a great time and had a few insights in the contest. Operating in the contest was quite different from regular operation. The bands were crowded and soon everyone started to realize, that the usually preferred split operation wasn't going to work. Additionally, WSJT-X software apparently has a "feature" that it can automatically switch between contest mode. So a single operator that had set the wrong contest mode could throw the whole frequency band into oblivion. Operating with minimalist error correcting codes turned out to be a lot more difficult than I imagined it to be.
I still made #1 Austria, #17 Europe and #44 World in the Single OP, Low Power category. There were no Austrian stations with a higher score, so (because it was the first WW DIGI contest) I am the current record holder in Austria.

as part of DF0HQ
Again, I had the honor to be invited to DF0HQ to participate in the CQ WW SSB. The photo shows Tobby DG1ATN and me DL/OE1GAQ. I still learned a lot, mainly about switching between several antennas during a QSO and even while listening for answering OPs. I still need to improve my listening in SSB, maybe I should reduce my FT8/FT4 operation a bit ;-)
I also finally configured my LOTW for DL/OE1GAQ and 4O/OE1GAQ.

AOEE IARU HF Championship 2019
as part of OE0HQ (at OE1XTU)
Several members of the Amateur Radio Club of the Vienna University of Technology contributed to the Austrian headquarter callsign OE0HQ in the IARU HF Championship. From OE1XTU, I worked the 10m and 15m bands in SSB together with OM Wolfgang OE3VSW. Working only 10m/15m throughout a whole contest was a new experience for me. The bands are slower paced than 20m/40m (or working all the bands as single operator). This makes each individual contact more valuable. There are more incentives to make QSOs with weak stations and there is more time to try and contact other headquarter stations.

Again, I joined the OE1XTU team for the All Austrian Exercise AOEE 80/40m (amateur radio emergency emergency communications exercise): OE1LZA, OE8KDK, OE1BQH, OE1AKA, OE1VMC, Ivan and me.
With 319 QSOs we logged fifty QSOs more than last year. We completely ignored the 40m band (only 15 QSOs) due to bad conditions and fully focused on the 80m band.
Details are available in the OE1XTU Blog.

CQ WW SSB contest CQ WW DX SSB Contest 2018
at DF0HQ
I was invited back to Ilmenau in Germany as DL/OE1GAQ in October 2018. There, I had the honor to join DF0HQ for the CQ WW DX SSB Contest 2018.
I want to thank everyone for the warm welcome and their patience when teaching me. I learned a lot about beverage antennas, contesting, logging, listening and operating in general. Now the results are in and it is nice to see, that I could make some small contributions in the team that made #1 Germany, #3 Europe and #12 World.
Thank you DG1ATN and DL5ANT for the invitation.

Moveable log-periodic antenna at Moosbrunn Field Trip to Moosbrunn
I went on a field trip to the ORS transmitter in Moosbrunn. The short wave transmitter still broadcasts the OE1 program Ö1 Morgenjournal, Radio DARC and some other programs.

Doppelwandantenne Drehstandantenne

4O6GAS Visiting Montenegro
as 4O/OE1GAQ
I visited Podgorica for a business trip. Initially, I only made a few QSOs via the Lovcen repeater 4O0VKO with a handheld. I was heard by 4O5JD/m who invited me to the Radio Klub Podgorica 4O6BLM and the Student Radio Club 4O6GAS of the University of Montenegro. They have an impressive station and I got the opportunity to work a few QSOs. A pileup formed immediately and lasted almost an hour. After answering all stations we QRT and grabbed a drink.

I will print QSL cards for the contacts and send them via bureau.

Shoutout to 4O5JD, 4O6RF, 4O4DB and 4O1S for showing me the club stations.

Antenna TU Wien Antenna Mast
The amateur radio station at Technische Universiät Wien gets a new antenna mast. The OE1XTU Blog has a short article about it.

Ortsschild Ilmenau
Michael Sander (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Visiting DL country
at DF0HQ
I visited Ilmenau for a business trip and had the chance to visit DF0HQ. I even made a few QSOs with their impressive setup under the call DL/OE1GAQ, logs are on QRZ.com and I will try to print QSL-cards and upload to eQSL later. Shoutout to DG1ATN and DL5ANT for showing me around.

3cm band Microwave QSOs in the 3cm band
I worked some stations in the 3cm band with OM Stefan OE1ABU. The photo shows me with a horn antenna setup on the roof of the TU Wien. The church in the background is the Karlskirche. I used the photo as my first QSL card design. I assembled the 3cm setup with colleagues at TU Wien.

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