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Montenegro landmark

from SM0JHF on October 7, 2013
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A visit with Ranko, 4O3A

The place is called Obosnik, a hilltop at the entrance to the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. Montenegro means Black Mountain and this tiny republic is mountainous, however the mountains are black only when silhouetted by the setting sun. At daytime this country is extremely attractive, The Bay of Kotor itself is regarded as World Heritage by the UNESCO and every day thousands of tourists pass the landmark of Montenegro, viz. the station of Ranko Boca, 403A on Obosnik. This place had been used solely as a military observation post and a radar site before Ranko moved in next door sometime at the end of the 1990s. At that time he was still signing YT6A as Montenegro was united with Serbia.

Obosnik hilltop with the 4O3A installation on the right. Picture taken from Tivat across the bay at sunset.

Ranko was born in 1960 and became member of the local radio club in 1975. Pretty soon he discovered the fun of contesting. Received his first license in 1980 but still, most often, took part in competitions from club stations. The art of radiosport was very popular in Yugoslavia. In early 1990s the Balkan war broke out and the result of it was a division of the federation. A few new independent countries - and new DXCC entities, or contest multipliers - were born. However, it was first in 2006 that Montenegro dissolved its union with Serbia and received the 4O prefix from the ITU. Ranko became overnight a wanted man. He already had an advanced station and excellent skills as operator, so 4O quickly disappeared from the Most Wanted List. Since the independence more than 550 thousand contacts have been logged at 4O3A, and they all are uploaded to the Log of The World. The station is active almost every day and on weekends the activity is obviously increased. The station is open to visitors and plenty of excellent operators, and plain visitors like me, have been here.

The five towers of 4O3A on the left.

Expanding the antenna farm is an ongoing process. I did not count the antennas, they are too many and too high. More details are surely to be found on Ranko's web at www.4o3a.com When I dropped in, or rather managed to slowly climb to 2000 ft, a few guys were working on a new 7 MHz rotary antenna. It was a weekend in September 2013, a month before the CQ WW SSB. Ranko plans to do a Single Operator battle in this contest. I'll try to give him a shout then.

Ranko, 4O3A, inspecting the progress on a new 7 MHz antenna. Bore, 4O6Z, puts the final touch on the array.

Rotary 120 ft towers on the left and the self-supporting 150 ft tower close to the building.

A view of the bay behind one element of the 80-meter Yagi before it is lifted.

The top of the 150-ft freestanding tower.

The three 120-ft rotary towers.

Two 4-SQ arrays on the eastern slope of the hill.

Inside the radio room, the equipment is under protective covers because of drilling in the walls. From left:- tired Bore, 4O6Z, technician Bojan, Ranko,403A, Snezana, 4O4W, and Dragan, 4O4A.

Ranko flies back home in a small helicopter together with Marko, 4O9TT, saving a lot of time, as the road up to top is still difficult and long.

Henrk Kotowski, SM0JHF

2013 10 06


Member Comments: Add A Comment
Montenegro landmark Reply
by K5NX on October 28, 2018 Mail this to a friend!
Saw this on the way out of the bay last week. Impressive location. High with water all around.

K5FUV
 
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