Chasing DX is a time-honored tradition in Amateur Radio. When it comes to slow scan, even experienced Amateurs have the opinion that it takes a lot of power and big antennas to work those far-away stations. This is definitely NOT the case. The examples on this page show stations worked using QRP power levels at my end (typically 5 watts output) using a Cushcraft R7000 vertical antenna.
Use the highest frequency band that will provide reliable openings. Right now, at the low-spot of the current cycle, 15 meters is your best bet. As conditions improve, 10 meters will be the band of choice. Also, try to be there at the start of an opening, as signals are often quite strong initially and there will be less competition.
While beams and power can certainly help, your best bet is an understanding of propagation and solid operating practice. I might add that all the DX stations I have worked have been very cooperative and the QSL rate is up near 100%, compared to perhaps 25% for stateside stations. This results in the absurd situation where I will probably be able to get an IVCA DX award (50 countries) long before I can get the required 50 cards for my QRP WAS on SSTV!
Here is Yoshi, JL1TZQ outside of Tokyo, worked on 15 meters. This contact was special because it finished off my QRP SSTV Worked All Continents (WAC) award!
Here is Karl, DJ4FO, near Bremen, Germany. Karl was worked on 15 meters as the band opened up one morning but before things got too crowded!
My first SSTV QSO with Spain was EA2CBY on a marginal opening on 15 meters. Not pretty, but a new country in the log!
Horst, DL4FAK, was on vacation in the Canary Islands (/EA8) when I worked him on 15 meters - a new DXCC country!
Bill, GM3UCH, located outside Edinburgh, Scotland, answered my 5 watt CQ on 15 meters one morning.
Belgian stations are quite active on SSTV. Danny, ON4VT, shown here during a 15 meter QSO, operates an SSTV DX site on the Web.
Teresa, PT2TF, is from Brazil and is one of the few active women SSTV operators. I have worked her on both 10 and 15 meters and this picture is from a 15 meters contact.
Nils, SM5EEP, is a long-time SSTV operator located in Fagersta in Sweden, shown here during a 15 meter QSO.
The list shown below is not up-to-date, but certainly shows that operating QRP SSTV is certainly practical, especially with modern SSTV software with DSP capabilities. Just think how well you could do with a beam!
Ralph E. Taggart (Gyrobee@aol.com)