#11: OK2SW – Czech Republic

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this QSL card is that it used to say Czechoslovakia, and was modified to say Czech.

The QSO was in October 1993, on 20M, and I would have been at my house at 242 Bella Vista Way in SF, and my son Graham, would have just turned 2 years old. In just months we would have moved to Lafayette. Which reminds me – I decided to move us by myself. I rented a U-Haul and packed it up myself. I remember while carrying something heavy that I felt this “electric shock” like pain in my back, but it went away and I thought nothing of it. After moving in 1994, later that year I would wake up at 1 AM to have no feeling in my left leg. I was rushed to the hospital and had emergency surgery the next day to have half a disc removed between my lower vertebrae. To this day I have paid the price. I had been a runner, but after back surgery and a long an painful recovery, my physical therapist recommended cycling or swimming instead of running – and so I got into cycling. To this day I ride my bike to and from BART every day. For many years I was serious cyclist and rode many Metric Centuries and at one point – in 1996 or so – I rode 160 miles a week on average.

Funny how a QSL card can evoke such memories.

EU ITU Zone: 28 CQ Zone: 15

Added to the DXCC List: Czechoslovakia was on the original 1937 list, but was re-admitted as the Czech Republic in 1993. It was one of several entities re-admitted after the Berlin Wall fell and several countries would split apart and add to the list. The former Yugoslavia being one of the most dramatic. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_Republic


Rareness Factor: “Garden Variety DX with EU Pipeline”.

Current Clublog Most Wanted (as of this writing): #327

DXpeditions: I have never heard of a DXpedition to the Czech Republic

Merit Badges

Garden Variety

EU Pipeline


I was still living in San Francisco, but in the next year I would be very busy looking for a house in Lafayette, CA. This QSO was most likely made with the Icom IC-725 and Cushcraft R7 vertical, and Bencher key:

It seemed that everyone had one of these Bencher paddles back then – it was pretty innovative to have the spring setup as it did.

DXCC Entity “Vital Stats”

20M QSO – made during the West Coast night, on the Short Path, and the solar conditions were:

Cycle22 Start 1986.8 Number 12.3 Peak 1989.6 Number 158.5 Years to Rise 2.8 Years to Fall 6.8 Cycle Length 9.7

I have enjoyed EU QSO’s – because there always seems to be a little polar flutter. While not rare, EU from the West Coast is more of a deal than say from the East Coast.

Important DXCC Resources

  1. ARRL DXCC Standings – http://www.arrl.org/dxcc-standings
  2. LOTW – https://lotw.arrl.org/cgi-bin/lotw_page_auth/default
  3. Clublog – https://clublog.org/index.php
  4. The History of the DXCC by (me) – History of the DXCC

BTW – I think the best DXCC List is either found at Clublog or in LOTW. The ARRL DXCC Desk and other parts of its web site regarding DXCC almost look abandoned. Luckily, LOTW and their standings lists look well kept, supported and looked after.

Parting Shots

  1. I used to listen to Radio Prague International, and I have heard that Prague is a wonderful city – a must visit place
  2. Gustav Mahler, Jan Hammer are two Czech musicians I am familiar with.
  3. There are some Czech names that seem related to where my family originated from – like Neckar – which is the name of the river where all of my relatives live near – almost a tribe of sorts. The name Holoch is a fairly rare German name – I have often wondered if it is actually a name of people who migrated to Germany from some other place – I found this entry at this web site: https://books.google.com/books?id=iL5deaY7BaEC&pg=PA135&lpg=PA135&dq=earl+of+holoch&source=bl&ots=aFfnUoHYE5&sig=NLVbrHz5qaHO4PdzNmQ-AMzQnts&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwje1-3m4PXaAhWKh1QKHeGpBloQ6AEINzAE#v=onepage&q=earl%20of%20holoch&f=false
    while its talking about the history of England – it references the Earl of Holoch from Bohemia, which would have been pre-Czechosolvakia near Bavaria, Germany. In fact, I may have just found a connection that I couldn’t find years back when I tried to trace the Holoch name. I was under the impression that my name was Von Hohenloch – because I stunbled on a coat of arms from 1156. I never trusted that – since there are scammers out there who make such things up. HOWEVER, this web site: https://www.zedler-lexikon.de/index.html?c=suchtreffer&ganzeswort=FALSE&suchbegriff=Hohenlohe&sortierschluessel=id&id=475305&maxtrefferzahl=25&l=deIt is entirely possible that Holoch is related to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hohenlohe-Langenburg
  4. Who in the world would have thought a Czech Republic QSL card from 1993 would lead to a very possible Holoch family connection?

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