ZL2JR – Jim Robertson, (SK)

They say that nothing is impossible however, achieving DXCC on the VHF or Lower HF bands is very difficult indeed. 160M DXCC is very rare in New Zealand. In 2009, Jim Robertson, ZL2JR hung his 160M DXCC up on the wall with a 131 entity total. I had the pleasure of looking through Jim’s cards a few years ago and some of them are difficult to work on 20M let alone actually working them on 160M. Jim had a passion for radio as far back as the early 1930s. As a schoolboy he constructed a crystal set and then used the old family radio used to listen to the shortwave stations around the world.  Jim arrived home one day after school one day 1935 and heard two stations in Bolivia  and LR5  LR6  LR7 in the Argentine. The local DX club said it couldn’t be done. Later he received a magnificent large certificate from  LR5  which proved them wrong.

Eventually Jim entered the world of amateur radio and passed his examinations in August 1939 just before the Second World War started. Callsigns and Registrations were not being at that time as amateurs throughout the world were not allowed to operate in wartime.  He was “called up” a month later at age 18 and was assigned to the radio section at RNZAF. When the war was over Jim was registered as ZL4DC in Dunedin 1946. During the past 50 plus years he has been, ZL3PK in Christchurch 1969, ZL2ANR in Wellington (Plimmerton) 1974 and was offered ZL2JR by the local retiring Radio Inspector in the mid 1980s if he paid the $10.00 registration. Jim is well known around the world for his booming signal which is due in part to his superb location on top of the Plimmerton Hill with 360 degree views and no obstructions. He was a frequent participant in the Stew Perry “Top Band” contest giving rare ZL 160M contacts to participants on both SSB and CW.

It takes years of dedication and sore ears to finally get that elusive 100th card. Greg, ZL3IX is the only other recipient of the award on the current DXCC list with over 150 countries confirmed. It is rumoured that Roy ZL4BO has over 200 confirmed on 160M and the late Peter Watson, ZL3GQ certainly achieved that milestone with DXCC on all nine bands. Perhaps there are others that I am not aware of. At the other end of the scale a VHF DXCC is perhaps even more difficult especially from ZL at the bottom of the world. Bob ZL3TY has earned a VHF 2M/6M DXCC with some moonbounce thrown into the mix. Bob Sutton ZL1RS has been working moonbounce for years on the VHF bands and is probably close to the 100 mark. Chris ZL2DX has been working 2M moonbounce for a few years and is up around the 65 country level using WJST software. I fully believe that there will be a 2M DXCC issued to a ZL sometime in the next few years

Written for Break-In in 2009 by Lee ZL2AL

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