EME FOR AFRICA Newsletter 2007-1

My apologies for the delay in getting out information any earlier on the plans for operations this year by the EME FOR AFRICA project and unfortunately we are starting out with some very bad news. Hannes, ZS6JDE has been waiting for his 2007 travel itinerary to be finalized and we had been hoping to be able to announce his first trip of the year. The project with which Hannes has been involved was funded by a church group in the U.S. and to date no funds have been received for the work this year in Southern Africa. Based on this, we can assume that the project in neighbouring countries has been terminated and there will be no further trips to 7Q, 9J or C9 anticipated in the foreseeable future.

I think everyone will agree that Hannes has done a great job during the past year making EME QSOs from some very rare spots under trying conditions. We wish that he had been able to have a larger station available to contact more of the smaller stations, but it just wasn't possible under the circumstances with limited space and time. His operations have taught us a lot about the abilities and limitations of a small EME station and the experience will be put to good use in the future. Hannes, thanks for your efforts during the past year and the many sleepless nights you spent out in the bush making some very rare EME contacts.

In the meantime, I have been working with Daniel, ZS6JR who will be hosting a group of Irish operators operating from Swaziland from 16 to 25 March. Their AFRI75 DXpedition commemorates the 75th Jubilee of the IRTS and will include HF operation during the CQ WPX Contest. In addition to HF operations, we will be supplying them with a complete 2m EME station and hopefully there will be considerable EME activity from their group. For more information take a look at their website at http://irts.ie/cgi/afri75.cgi

Present plans are for me to go with Daniel to the Swaziland site from 22-25 February, taking the EME station up at that time and spending as much time as possible on 2m during the stay. I will then return to Swaziland at the start of AFRI75 on 16 March and will remain on site for a few days introducing the IRTS operators to WSJT EME operation.

ZS6JR and K5LBU will also be hosting a DXpedition to Botswana (A2) from 5-20 July which includes the IARU HF Contest. There are still several openings for operators and it would be great to see one or more EME operators join the group. The same station equipment being used in Swaziland will be available for this trip, all we need is one or more operators. If you would like further information please contact Frosty, K5LBU at frosty1@pdq.net or Daniel, ZS6JR at zs6jr@absamail.co.za Costs are reasonable and you will enjoy the experience of being on the other end of the pileups.

Daniel has some excellent portable HF antenna systems for all bands including 160 & WARC with two mobile 15 metre towers. From his Johannesburg location the antenna systems can be moved fairly easily to Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland. if you or any of your friends are looking for a good DX destination please contact Frosty or Daniel. DX contest operators can expect to post some very competitive scores.

I'll get more information out just prior to my departure for Swaziland with preliminary operating schedules and frequencies. I don't expect to have internet available and operation will be primarily random. However, I will do my absolute best to get as many contacts as possible into my 3DA0 log during my operations.

73 - Hal ZS6WB