Republic of Estonia celebrates its 100th birthday!
This is our capital, Tallinn (drone operator ES1TU)
9 minute introduction to Estonia
Event will be held from 1st of February until 31st of March.
There will be 15 different stations activated with the prefix ES100. Each QSO with ES100 station will give
2 points for EU and 4 points for non-EU stations per mode (SSB/CW/DIGI) and per band (160-10 incl. WARC).
For example working ES100A on 80, 40 and 20 meters on all 3 modes will give you total of 18 points.
DX stations will get 36 points.
ES100 stations are expected to upload their logs daily. This progress can be tracked in "Activity" menu.
You can track your progress under "My Progress" menu. It also shows last spotted times for your missing slots.
"Leaderboard" menu shows top 100 stations with highest scores.
ES100A, ES100C, ES100F, ES100G, ES100J, ES100L, ES100M, ES100O, ES100P, ES100Q, ES100R, ES100S, ES100U, ES100X, ES100Z
After reaching an award milestone, you can claim your award under My Progress menu by following the instructions.
Award will be available for downloding in PDF format. Those who achieve minimum of 100 points,
can also order a special wooden plaque. Wooden plaque request deadline is 31st of May.
The dawn of amateur radio in Estonia took place in the early 1920s when three schoolboys from
Pärnu - Eugen Tumma, Vitali Suigussaar and Karl Olof Leesment started their experiments.
On August 5th, 1924 K.O. Leesment (on first photo) completed a short-wave receiver to listen to
amateur radio traffic of European hams – and this date is considered as the start for the
short-wave ham radio in the country.
In the spring of 1926 V. Suigussaar (photo 2) had his first proven amateur radio contact on air.
As there was no institution existing at that time in Estonia to regulate such activity,
guys invented the call-signs on their own.
The prefix ES in Estonia was introduced since January 1st, 1929.
On March 1st, 1935 the Estonian Radio Amateurs Union (ERAU) was officially registered by
the Ministry of Internal Affairs as an organization uniting amateur radio activity of the
country. This fact marks the official birth of the organized amateur radio in Estonia.
On September 1st, 1938 ERAU became a member of IARU.
By 1941 ERAU had 76 members. And then there was World War II. Once the war settled,
only 14 members were left in Estonia. For 45 years we lost our ES prefix .. and our country.
You can invade a country but you can never invade the Ham-spirit.
For the next 45 years we were operating under prefix UR2.
The first post-war amateur radio club station UR2KAA (on photo) started in 1947 in Tallinn.
The main organizers here had also roots in the hobby back in 1930-ies – like A.Isotamm (ex ES5F)
and A.Jätmar (ex ES4F), but they never restored their individual licenses.
Soon other regional club-stations were founded – UR2KAE in Tartu and UR2KAC in Rakvere were the firsts.
Usually home built transmitters were used, receivers originated from the Red Army mainly.
The beginning of 1950s brought several limitations to the hobby in the Soviet Union.
Since 1950 it was allowed to have contacts only with radio amateurs from the other Soviet republics
or socialist countries. Almost no new amateurs were licensed and practically nothing happened in ham
radio during several years. New "fresh" air was let in only after 1956 when many of those limitations
were taken off or loosened and the hobby got a chance to develop further.
In 1960 the total number of licensed radio amateurs in Soviet Estonia was 92.
While the traditional transmit modes so far had been CW and AM, then 1960 saw a breakthrough
of SSB in phone communication. Enn Lohk (then UR2AR) had the first two-way SSB contact from Estonia
on January 7, 1960 and quickly became the leader in implementing this mode in the whole Soviet Union.
He was also the first in the USSR to get the "WAZ TWO-WAY SSB" award.
An international recognition came when Enn Lohk (UR2AR) and Tõnu Elhi (then UR2DW) organized an expedition
to Franz Joseph Land in 1972, which was awarded as the best amateur radio expedition of the year!
Even though Soviet time was devastating for the country, our hobby was doing pretty great.
Most people built their own rigs (because USSR decided to live in isolation) and were really
good with soldering irons and electronics. Many good relationships with UA hams were formed.
Luckily, there is justice in the Universe. In the early 1990-s USSR collapsed.
We got back our very own prefix ES .. and our country!
As of today, ERAU has 380 members.
We have our annual summer days (since 1964) that usually brings together up to 200 active hams.
New century brought along also a new leader in the Estonian HF contesting.
An active and talented young guy - Tõnno Vähk (ES5TV) started to invest seriously into his
contest-station near Jõgeva and by now has clearly built up a world-class contest site.
The flagship antenna there is an enormous double H-frame tower for 15 meters (8x5 elements).
Multi-operations from his station usually take place under ES9C callsign and frequently
makes it to the very top positions in most major contests.
So, here we are. From three schoolboys soldering together their first tube receivers back in 1924 to
ES9C impressive antenna farm and contest station we have today. During its 94 years of history,
Estonian amateur radio has seen many devoted people.
There's no way I could end this story without mentioning few, who gave enormous amount of energy
(probably their entire life) to our hobby, driving and shaping it over the decades (60+ years):
Arvo Kallaste ES1CW, Enn Lohk ES1AR, Teolan Tomson ES1AO.
In the name of amateur radio community, I take the liberty to say a big THANK YOU to those 3 legends.
We promise to keep our hobby in good shape for years to come.
Story compiled by ES1TU
We will use two online QSL platforms – LotW and eQSL.
We are happy to send out paper QSL cards. All paper QSL card requests must be done before 31st of May.
Requests made after 1st of June will be replied if QSL cards are still available.
Please be noted – We don't need your QSL cards.
If you want to get ES100 QSL cards via bureau, register your call here:
YO8BDQ currently has 162 points (193rd place), which gives Golden Award and optional Wooden Plaque.