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22 February 2018

A special SADXA meeting was held at the for a presentation by K9JF - Jim Fenstermaker, past ARRL Northwestern Division Vice Director and Director and Vice President. He was a member of the ARRL Administration and Finance Committee and served as Chairman as well, having elected to the ARRL Executive Committee five (5) times. Jim retired from the ARRL Board 2 years ago.

Jim's radio activities began early in life establishing a never ending passion for DX'ing.  He accomplished DXCC at 16 and has never stopped.  He #1 on the DXCC Honor Roll with 368 worked and confirmed.  He has 9 Band DXCC 160 -10 and over 2500 entities confirmed in the DXCC Challenge.  He holds the USA County Award with all 3077 worked and confirmed.  Jim is an A-1 Operator.

As a member of the ARRL Strategic Working Group in 2016, he was instrumental in convincing the ARRL to adopt measures that would allow changes which enabled an entity such as Kosovo to become a recognized country.  United Nations, the ITU and ARRL policies were geared to prevent countries such as Kosovo, part of a previous USSR satellite which in 2008 had declared independence from Serbia, to become a member of the IARU.

The conflict between the ruling Serbs and ethnic Kosovo Albanians led to the Kosovo War in 1998 which had been brewing from as far back as the 80s. Even though Kosovo had been declared a country in 2008 by most of the world, UN world politics and ARRL policy prevented Kosovo from being recognized as a DX entity until Jim and others finally were able to steer the ARRL toward changing the rules.

After all this, Kosovo was finally granted DXCC status on 21 January 2018.  As an added benefit, this action opens up the door to future additions of entities in similar situations.

Jim's bio can be found here on QRZ, take a look

K9JF - Jim XYL W7SAF - Shirley
AA7A - Ned XYL - Jan
Our President - K6WSC opened our meeting, welcoming our guests for the evening.  We also had Vail resident, KI7JEM - Doug attending. Doug had read the announcement of the meeting in the W7SA - Catalina Radio Club reflector and decided to attend. W9JF - Jim gave us an excellent presentation starting with some history of Kosovo and how it became a DX entity.  He had some pictures of the cast of characters who were involved with the frenzy of activity leading following the 21 January 2018 meeting adding Kosovo to the DXCC list.

Although Kosovo had become a country in 2008 and the Shoqata e Radioamatoreve to Kosovoes (SHARK) the Amateur Radio Society of Kosovo being accepted into IARU membership, it took another 10 years for them to be added to the DXCC list.

Within days, an international team of operators gathered from ten different countries around the world including DL3DXX, OH0XX, OH1MA, OH2BH, OH3JR, OZ1IKY, S50A and S51F joined by our own K7JF - Jim representing the US as ARRL Honorary Vice-President and PB2T - Hans of the Netherlands, IARU R1 secretary. And, of course Kosovo hams Z61DX, Z61FF, Z61VB, Z62FB and Z63DBB.  Other locals also participated.

Below are a few pictures of the events.

Z61VB and PB2T

Jim said that there are relatively few hams in Kosovo but they are striving to increase their numbers and are very determined to become more active though limited in equipment in that Kosovo is a relatively poor country.  People around the world have donated equipment for use to get them started.

In the end,  the first activation of Kosovo resulted in almost 87,500 QSOs with 26, 487 individual call signs.  Of course, Kosovo was the #1 demanded country in the world so what would you expect?

After Jim's presentation, AA7A - Ned , ARRL Southwestern Division Vice Director, addressed current ARRL issues and told us of what he had been up to and plans of future activities.

This was a very nice presentation and, of course, Ned is always welcome to give us a rundown of what he's been doing. It' most certainly to be a good show when Ned is presenting.

George, the owner of the Vail Steakhouse
Sitting outside the Vail Steakhouse!


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