Interview with Hrane Milosevic-YT1AD

Posted: September 24, 2014 in Uncategorized


Hrane-YT1AD on the voyage to Banaba Island & operating at 3D2R.


Dr. Hranislav “Hrane” Milosevic was born in Kraljevo, Serbia in 1955. He received an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Sarajevo, and then a Ph.D. in Novosibirsk, Russia in Mathematical sciences.

Hrane was first licensed in 1969. He has visited over 130 countries and has activated many of them with over 70 different call signs. He was President of the Amateur Radio Union of Yugoslavia for twelve years. Hrane is an avid contester and has competed in WRTC in 1996, 2000, 2002, 2010 and 2014.

I first met Hrane Milosevic-YT1AD in April, 2010. Hrane was a member of my Dxpedition to Iraq as YI9PSE. Hrane arrived in the middle of the night and impressed me as he wanted to go right to the shack and operate instead of getting some rest after his travels. I was truly impressed as Hrane is a master CW Operator. Hrane has become a dear friend and mentor to me and has guided me over the years. I greatly admire his approach in how he does Dxpeditions. He welcomes new Dxpedition operators to his teams and he feels that everyone has something of value to contribute, whether it is skills or a great attitude. Hrane lives with his family in Belgrade Serbia. He has a very large Contesting station in a small village South of Belgrade called Vitanovac. I visited Hrane at his homes in November 2012 and we toured the Balkan region together visiting his ham friends in Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Greece and Mt. Athos. It was a thrill to operate from almost each of these countries, including Hrane’s contest station in Vitanovac and his home in Macedonia. Hrane is a World Class Contester, Dxpedition Leader, Explorer, Pilot, Professor and CEO of a Serbian Technology Company. He is also my good friend.


Paul-N6PSE: Hrane please tell us when you became an amateur radio operator and who were your mentors?

Hrane-YT1AD: I started in the hobby in 1969 at age 14. I joined the Radio Club Kraljevo-YU1DKL in the town where I was born and grew up and which I love as much as my own place in Vitanovac.


Paul-N6PSE: Hrane who was your ham radio Elmer?

Hrane-YT1AD: My amateur radio learning experience was very gradual. I learned a lot by listening and reading. I admired the achievements of Nikola Tesla and everything that he accomplished for society and that inspired my interest in technology and innovation.

YT1AD from AirDSC05044%20[640x480]

Hrane’s YT5A contest station as seen from his aircraft.


Paul-N6PSE: What are some of the most valuable lessons that you’ve learned from being an Amateur Radio Operator?

Hrane-YT1AD: Learning the basic skills, listening and practicing hamspririt, the main tenants of our hobby today are so important. I teach this to my children and to my students at the University where I am a Mathematics Professor.


Just some of the antennas at Hrane’s YT5A Contest station in Vitanovac, Serbia.

Paul-N6PSE: Hrane what does being a ham radio operator mean to you personally?

Hrane-YT1AD: Nice communication, good relations and ability to acquire new knowledge and friendship. Possibility of fun. And all this is the biggest gain for the man and his loved ones. Amateur Radio is my life. This hobby is part of myself and is part of my family and everything that I do. It has opened many doors for me. It has allowed me to make many friends all over the world and to travel to many very interesting places.


Paul-N6PSE: What is your most dangerous encounter on a Dxpedition?

Hrane-YT1AD: An Expedition to North Korea is a dream of all hams in the world over the last thirty years. I have twice visited this mystical land with another friend. There is much uncertainty there and things are often strange and difficult. We were there for seven days waiting in our hotel not knowing what tomorrow would bring. We were able to obtain a license from North Korea with the call of P5A however the military authorities prevented us from using our equipment or getting on the air. When we flew out of Pyongyang, we were joyful and sad. We were not able to make a single contact, yet we heard many “Pirates” making contacts with our P5A call. This would be very upsetting to many hams later but it was not our fault, we tried our best to make P5A a reality for the DX Community.


Hrane operates as a member of YI9PSE from Erbil, Iraq and as the leader of 3D2C.

Paul-N6PSE: Now that you are a more seasoned Dxpeditioner, what are some of your personal goals?

Hrane-YT1AD: I hope that my desire to work from the islands of Palmyra-KH5P and Kingman Reef-KH5K will be achieved soon. I spent time in the Pacific this year looking at vessels for hire and talking to various US Government officials. This project will be quite expensive, about $300,000. I feel that with my good relationships with the US Fish & Wildlife Service and a good plan, everything is possible. And as you know, we have a very good team, a team of true friends.


Paul-N6PSE: Hrane how do you want to be remembered by your ham radio peers?

Hrane-YT1AD: I hope that we are all around for a very long time. I think it is important for people to understand issues and ideas from many different viewpoints. I hope that the amateur world will remember me for my results and for my personality. I love amateur radio.


Hrane often operates from the 3V8BB contest station in Tunisia.


Paul-N6PSE: How did it feel to make the first Contact from the new country of South Sudan?

Hrane-YT1AD: It was a great honor and a tremendous pleasure to be in Juba, South Sudan with the entire ST0R Team. Thank you to all the ST0R team members for your companionship on this great adventure.


Paul-N6PSE: Who do you respect in the area of Ham Radio Dxpedition leaders and why?

Hrane-YT1AD: W1AW and W6KG are known as the giants of our hobby by most of the old time amateur radio amateurs. However, I particularly respect those that organized expeditions to rare places on this earth and came in harm’s way or died so that others could have the pleasure to confirm a contact with a rare DX Country. As a life member of the ARRL, I support and acknowledge all of the activities that this organization does for the amateur radio community and they have my utmost respect.


Paul-N6PSE: You’ve been to North Korea, you went to Yemen and Eritrea to get permission, you’ve been working quietly to activate many rare places. Is it getting more difficult to get permission to do radio?

Hrane-YT1AD: In some countries, it is easy to apply and obtain a license, however in some as you have mentioned, due to political bias, it is difficult or almost impossible to get a license. But every miracle has a reason and I hope that in the future it will be much easier to get a license in these countries.


Paul-N6PSE: Hrane, tell us about your K1B Baker Island Dxpedition. Was it difficult back then to get permission?

Hrane-YT1AD: It was interesting and with  a lot of interesting circumstances. But after obtaining permission to disembark from USFW service in Honolulu, in this organization, which protects nature of the islands in the Pacific, I have made ​​a lot of friends. Thinking  for the expedition to K1B, the hardest one was landing and daily temperatures below the canvas wings about 110-120  F. A greatest satisfaction was 95.127 QSO’s, which is the first time someone did more than 90,000 connections in the category under tents and with generators.


Paul-N6PSE: Hrane, at the culmination of the September, 2011 Dxpedition to Rotuma Island as 3D2R, you established the 3D2RI Rotuma Island Club Station at Rotuma High School. Can you give us an update?

3D2RI, Radio Club in High School in Rotuma Island, part of Fiji Island groups is a proud product of the 3D2R team in 2011. The problem is that, as every year the students after graduation go on to the main island of Fiji group where they extend their education. Rarely do the students return to the island. So it would be nice if every year someone goes to this Island, enjoying its beauty and continue  the work of amateurs on the island. The inhabitants of Rotuma Island welcome every ham. One group was last on the island a year ago and after their visit everything worked fine.


Oms-PY5EG and Hrane provide classroom training to students at Rotuma High School.


Paul-N6PSE: Hrane, some in our hobby think that doing Dxpeditions is profitable, what would you tell them?

Hrane-YT1AD: It is ridiculous to suggest that there are profits. The organizers of the Dxpedition assume incredible personal and financial risk. They often lose a lot of time and money to achieve success. Dxpedition leaders have a vision in their mind of what needs to be done and how it needs to be. This is most important for them and if they lose some money along the way they absorb that loss so that they can have a chance at success. These leaders are not ordinary amateurs that sit home in their chair and wait for the rare DX to appear. It is easier for some to criticize than to praise. We Dxpedition Leaders know that when the ship is sailing in the open ocean, we never know what lies beyond the next large wave. We calculate our risks and we take our chances. Making a profit is never part of that equation. In spite of all of this, I love the South Pacific and plan to return time and time again.


Hrane instructs Rotuma HS students on making contacts and exchanging information.


Paul-N6PSE: Hrane, you were one of the first to activate Swains Island as a new entity. What were your challenges?

Hrane-YT1AD: Activating Swains Island was a unique experience with a special team. There was so much that was unknown. It was very hot and the mosquitos ate upon many of us. We were so excited to make 117,506 contacts which at the time was a new record for tent and generator DXpeditions. Our activity brought much fun and excitement to the Dx Community and we are very proud of that experience.


Paul-N6PSE: You’ve traveled to many places. Did you ever feel that you were in danger?   Yemen or Iraq?

Hrane-YT1AD: When the decision is made to participate in a Dxpedition, you put away the fear and enjoy the feelings of adventure and excitement along with this great responsibility. I thought Iraq and Yemen were both nice and interesting.


Paul-N6PSE: What is your favorite, most enjoyable Dxpedition location?

Hrane-YT1AD: For Europeans, even for me, it is a great challenge and experience to visit each of the islands in the South Pacific, especially Micronesia. I also feel that Fiji is paradise on earth. For more than twenty years, I have visited these islands and operated as 3D2AD, 3D2CI, 3D2CY, 3D2R and 3D2C.

 3D2C 001

Hrane has made two Dxpeditions to Conway Reef.


Paul-N6PSE: Hrane, do you have any regrets or things that you would do differently?

Hrane-YT1AD: If I had my life to live again, there is nothing I would do differently. My life, my professional achievements, my family, business and science is what fulfills me and makes me happy. And this wonderful hobby has always been a big part of that.

Paul-N6PSE: Hrane, is there anywhere that you still dream of activating?

Hrane-YT1AD: Yes, but they will remain dreams for now. I will one day live my dreams and I will share them with the DX Community. I am very happy to have friends, you radio amateurs. Thank you for all connections, contacts and calls and I wish you the best from my beautiful Serbia.

73, Dr Hranislav Milosevic, “Hrane” YT1AD, YT5A, N9YU, Z32A…etc…

Paul-N6PSE: Hrane, thank you for all that you have done for the DX Community, thank you for the support and encouragement that you have given to me and most of all, thank you for your friendship.


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