My operation in 5X (Uganda) is over. Having returned to J2 (Djibouti), here’s an account of my activation. Meanwhile, I’d like to share with you some of my pictures of this incredible country – a pleasant climate, the kindest of people and magnificient scenery…
Let us begin with the radio side. The station itself was scaled down to a bare bones minimum with the K3, an electronic keyer for CW and a vertical antenna made on the spot, intended mainly for the higher bands. The site was located to the northwest of Kampala, about a two hour drive at an altitude of 1100 meters, a great location as far as traffic goes.
Dave, 5X1D was a big help in acquiring the license which he got to me a few days after my arrival. I had asked for the callsign 5X5RO, but the local administration changed the call due to an administrative problem during the creation of the record. 5X1RO was reassigned to me without incident beginning the first day of operation. As far as QSOs are concerned, I will validate those with 5X5 all the same; it will suffice for those OMs who contacted me utilizing this prefix to change it to 5X1 in order to get a QSL.
Operation was mainly CW, but that wasn’t the case with Djibouti, I was still able to make a few contacts on PSK31 to the delight of certain aficionados of this mode.
I didn’t do much on 10 and 12 meters in as much as there was constantly strong QRM on these bands, thus concentrating my activity on 15 and 17 meters and sometimes on 30 and 20 meters depending on my availability. Signals were quite strong with impressive pile-ups. There was at times a lack of discipline which I now deal with quite simply by suspending operation; it’s easy enough to listen before calling and to work QSK.
There was also a little participation in the WPX CW Contest towards the end, having been able to provide the prefix to a select few.
It’s no surprise that eight of ten contacts were with Europeans, followed by the continent of Asia, principally with the Japanese. With a total of 4,224 QSOs, 8% were duplicates, especially the JAs; there were 95 DX entities and 297 contacts with French stations which I always favored, all garnered in 35 hours of accumulated operation.
This 5X activation will remain one of my best expeditions. The QSL is almost ready to go. You can send yours via the bureau or direct to F8DFP.
Now, I’ll let you take a look at pictures of the animals, landscape, and people of this country who have learned to fuse together modernism, development, traditions, respect…a real deviation from the norm on African soil.
Translation from the French text by Mark, W0BG.