First QSO on African soil? - 8May 2022

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Joined: 02 Jan 2022, 10:20
Location: JO01GJ

First QSO on African soil? - 8May 2022

Post by scubafrique »

I don’t actualy care if it’s the first or not - but it’s a title to lead with.

I got excited about (tr)uSDX for its light weight capabilities and put together a rig weighing 1.1 kgs, (that’s about 1/2 a sack of flour imperial):-

> (Tr)uSDX
> 40m cut EFHW, 49:1 unun wound around an ft140-43
> 3m rg174 (BNC) coax with dirty choke
> 4s 18650 li-ion pack soldered together no BMS (the one I brought diddnt work)
> voltage rectifier all eith 30A Brad garrison connectors
> All inside a hard fabric molle carry case

I conduct a +-115 kilometer 6 day off trail unsupported hike through the Kruger national park twice a year - what that means is we park half the cars at the finish point, drive to a start point (about the same distance as Kings Criss St Pancras to The end of Brighton Pier away, snd start walking through the bush to the end point. We sleep in tents we carry at a point where we find (dig for) water there are no fences no roads no facilities or support just what we carry. My pack is too heavy and weighed 27kgs (this is the lightest it’s been but is still way too heavy.) we carry about 5l of water each and use pretty much all each day. (27 kgs is roughly 60pounds)
By 8pm each night we’re tucked up in sleeping bags physically exhausted but mentally alive.

Hence my desire to face a radio up and running.

Well it wasn’t all successful the reception was awesome I listened to QSOs from USA Australia England Italy snd Poland in 20m as well as all over South Africa snd Australia on 40m
My antenna was a wire attached to a rock snd thrown over a tree we camp at the lowest point close to water, so in reality it was really compromised, but there was zero local noise which was fantastic to listen to. And I did fall asleep with the speaker in a couple of nights walking up to being strangled!

On our last night in the Kruger I did get out on the 40m band as the guys were on a local sprint managing 9 QSO’s (all SSB) with healthy reports coming back and in the 480-850 kilometer range. Most commented positively on the audio quality and there was sone local interest / disbelief it wasnt a commercial radio

Driving out the reserve I stopped at the top of a local kopje threw the wire over a tree taking 3 minutes to get set up and waited politely for 20 minutes before getting a chance to interrupt a QSO then had a great chat even giving my mobile number over the radio and received a WhatsApp message when we got to signal

Hats off to the AliExpress guys they seem to be doing things right - I’m still wanting to get a group buy radio but will buy another one from AliExpress (together with an ATU)

To have QSO’s from deep within the Kruger bush where there is no mobile phone signal was incredibly rewarding

I’ve now skimmed things down where I can and brought a Sotabeams Carbon 6 mast together with a linked counterpoise for 20&40m snd changing to a 3s Li-ion battery pack in an old army ammo pouch it still comes in at 1.1kg but with the mast I can certainly get more versatility.

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Joined: 01 Jan 2022, 01:12

Re: First QSO on African soil? - 8May 2022

Post by M5AEI »

It was great to hear your first adventure in the bush with the (tr)uSDX and what equipment you had with you. I have a similar setup just waiting for the opportunity to get out and about with. I was lucky and managed to get two perfect group buy radios from the first UK group. :D

I will probably start with POTA as a test run.

All the best for your future adventures, I look forward to hearing more.

73 and Good luck

Ellis M5AEI

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Joined: 24 Jul 2022, 21:03

Re: First QSO on African soil? - 8May 2022

Post by m0kka »

Ahh been something I have had on my mind for a long time to do. Visited Kruger and a number of other parks in Africa and the idea of getting a signal out would be so rewarding.
Have though about walking the Fish River and may do some day.

Keep us posted on you future events and radio ops from the bush.

Cris M0KKA
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