5H3ME in 2008

The visit to Mike (5H3EE) and his family in Dar es Salaam / Tanzania was planned for longer. On 14 July 2008 waiting was finally over. After a 13-hour flight with comfortable Qatar Airways we – my XYL Inge and I – were warmly welcomed by Mike, his XYL Zawadi and their son Malique on the Julius Nyerere International Airport Dar es Salaam.

QSL card for my 5H activity

For us began 14 beautiful holidays with highlights as we visited the Usambara Mountains and the Mikumi National Park where we had indescribable impressions. Very pleasant for us was the acquaintance of Zawadis family, which lives in Lushoto. The friendly and straightforward way we were welcomed leave in us a deep impression!

Of course, when planning the trip one thing was clear: I wanted to be QRV from the currently still rather rare amateur radio country 5H. Therefore, Mike was seeking for a license for me at the competent authority, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority. Great was my pleasure, as he sent me the certificate with my desired call 5H3ME and assured me at the same time „full“ control over his station during our stay.

5H3ME on air

One day after the arrival no one could really hold me longer: On 16 July 2008 at 19.42 UTC (22.42 local time) I started the first CQ call on 40 m in CW (all QSO’s were done in CW). I was excited because I couldn’t estimate both Mike’s Equipment (FT-890, FL-2100Z, Multibanddipole) and the Condx exactly. The first QSO succeeded with SP1ALK, followed by approximately 50 stations mainly from Europe and Asia, up to the first breather after one hour.

Malique is helping me to build antenna

Although I am not the youngest, and so in DX and contest operation not the most inexperienced OM: It was really an uplifting feeling suddenly to have a PILE UP and the need to handle it. I was able to manage this increasingly better, although the relatively large NF-bandwidth of the FT-890 (compared to my own TS-850 at home with the same small signals) was very strange. 

As I was QRV almost exclusively at night in the first holiday week, at first most QSO’s where on 40m. Only in the second week I was QRV a few hours every day on the higher bands. The better Condx and a small improvement of the antenna allowed also some good series on 10, 14, 18 and 21 MHz temporarily. A total number of 2229 QSO’s are in log, which can be checked on my hamradio server.

A special event was the visit to the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT), where the club station 5I3A is located. I was warmly welcomed by Joseph 5H3WJ who told me about technology and operating of the club station. Joseph is a lecturer for information technology at DIT and as radio amateur mainly QRV in RTTY.

Joseph (5H3WJ) and Ron at the club station 5I3A

Finally a warm thank you to Zawadi and Mike for the beautiful holidays in Tanzania and Mike especially for the support of my 5H activity. This activity aroused in me a desire for more . . .