Press Release C5WP operations (now also including S0 and 5T0 and 6W operations) :
“not the ordinary DX-pedition but a unique merging of amateur radio and charity”
Pedro ON7WP/AA9HX will be driving a Nissan Patrol Jeep, a donation to serve as local utility vehicle in Buntung, from Belgium to The Gambia with amateur radio on board. He will leave Brussels on early morning 12 December, first crossing France and Germany to take a ferry to Ceuta where he will sign as EA9/ON7WP. He applied for licenses for all countries on his way to the Gambia, starting from Morocco as CN9WP, later operating as S0WP from Western Sahara and 5T0WP from Mauritania and maybe also from Senegal if they read their mail…
Mobile equipment will be a Codan SRX2012 with Codan 9350 antenna and a Kenwood TS480 for 6 meter operations. Evenings on campsites he will deploy a Butternut Vertical. Frequencies will be centered around 7145, 14200, 18150, 21300, 24950, 28500 and 50150 non-split while mobile as the Codan rig does not really allow smooth split operation.
Arriving finally end of december Pedro ON7WP will be active from his second home “Kerr Pedro” in Buntung, The Gambia using his other callsign C5WP. Kerr means “house of” in local Pular language. Pedro is actively involved in a private charity organization www.SmileGambia.org that supports a small Village called “Buntung” inland central Gambia. It is a remote town with no water or electricity. During the past years Pedro and his family installed a water well, solar power, grinders for the pearl millet crop, a fuel powered kilowatt generator, a few laptops on solar power, a small school and some guest houses to accept other philanthropists.
Last year he installed a Spiderbeam antenna that greatly improved his signal. Due to an almost non-existent noise level he can hear all the weak ones, and this year he is going to do some extra efforts for the lower bands, not easy on the savanna grounds. Plenty of space to put antennas but no towers apart from the palm trees, and serious restrictions on any hardware that all has to be flown in by plane. Since august he has a vertically polarized delta loop for 40 meter that gave outstanding worldwide coverage from just the barefoot solar powered TS480 Kenwood rig.
Active from around christmas onwards, he will focus on WARC band operation but also try some 6 meter traffic. Plans exist to put up apart from the delta loop for 40 meter a Butternut vertical for 40 and 80 meters. After a week of solar powered operations he will move to the coastal area where he will focus on low bands, having possibilities for sea-side travelling wave antennas that proved to be good last year. End of the operations will be January 9th. Another period op operations is planned later this year when Pedro will be driving a Nissan Patrol Jeep, to serve as local utility vehicle in Buntu, from Belgium to The Gambia with amateur radio on board.
As charity work comes on the first place, Pedro’s operations will be limited to his free time. QSL will be only direct to his home address in Belgium, and the 3 Euro asked for will be awarded with a full colour QSL card showing the Buntu Village guest houses. Payment can be included with the card but alternatively also paid online using Paypal using the “donate” button on the www.SmileGambia.org website. The small profit goes entirely into the charity project.
Amateurs interested in operating from the Buntu village facilities are invited to contact Pedroc5wp@smilegambia.org for details. Last year we had a visit of MD Dirk ON5OF who did some outstanding work dealing with the health of the population. Most people never went to see a doctor in their whole life ! This road trip Pedro gets company from Kurt Adams, a solar power specialist who will improve the little power plant in Buntung with fresh panels. The trailer with help goods he helped building uses solar panels as fences and roof.
If you dreamed of operating from a remote African location and you are ready to bring some donations for the people or improve their life by your expertise, whatever it may be, this might be an experience of a lifetime.
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