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Click for Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo Forecast

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


9Q1EK station and friends 9Q1TB – 9Q1D – 9Q1NT


First information. The 9Q country is “Democratic Republic of Congo” (ex ZAIRE).
To avoid confusion with the Congo TN.

I would like all of you to know that it was far from easy to obtain an individual license in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
I have been in the Rep. Dem. of Congo (ex ZAIRE) for 5 years. Throughout this period, the country has been at war. It has been divided into 3 rebel sectors (if you follow the press you should know). No ministry was operating correctly. Believe, me, it was a very bad period!

Every day we live with power failures that last for several hours, and the same goes for the water supply and it can be dangerous at night, in a city of 8 million inhabitants.

Just imagine, during a pile up with the power failure that we are not barefoot “ON AIR” with 12 vDC power and couple of candles!!!!!

furthermore, here we have many time a QRN in the equatorial zone and without forget the cherry on the top of the cake......a big defectiv station transformer 350kv at about 800m of the shack !

Not easy…. to try to explain: PSE STBY NO CURRENT – AS AS TU or QRX QRN S9+

(Also access to internet DX cluster only during work business hours).

12v DC battery and 12v emergency light + candle….
(electricity power shutdown 4 or 6 time per days during mini 1h30 with AC voltage at any time between 160 to 260 vAC….)

To say nothing of the corruption, the people you have to contact if you want serious, credible information.
As for the postal service... letters are lost, opened, or delivered sometimes more than 10 months late.
We all know that this country is sought after for its advantageous prefix.
Finally, after one year’s and half of patience, meetings, lunch meetings, conferences, councils, assistance, information’s about the notion of international amateur radio regulations and promises of personal involvement to train instructors for amateur radio diplomas ; after losing a whole lot of money in baksheesh (e.g. over $600, just for paying the 9Q0AR club membership fees – ask Gus ! – and/or paying totally fake contacts or information, we have officially paid out $250 in license documents from the PTT Ministry, $500 from the ministry of Finance, $120 to the National Security Service (the secret service), $100 in registration fees.
Add it up; you’ll see that we’ve been generous with our lost time and lost money, just to get an authentic individual license and so that the Ham in the world can contact their rare country.
It took a lot of dedication to want to set up amateur broadcasting in 9Q. Take it from me: Gus (9Q1D - SM5DIC), Ghis (9Q1NT - ON5NT); Phil (9Q1TB - F5LTB) and myself (9Q1EK - VE2EK - ZS1II) have spared no effort.
. Unfortunately, Ghis wasn’t able to play this call sign for long time.
It was so long to obtain that and he had to leave the country for other UN missions.

To date, the only legal call signs with an official license in this country are: 9Q1EK - 9Q1D - 9Q1TB - 9Q1NT, and the club 9Q0AR.

9Q1TB, Philippe

9Q1NT, Ghis and 9Q1D, Gus

At the first time, the simplest and fastest way for me and 9Q1TB was to register with eQSL to transfer our logs via Internet every morning. We knew that this service wasn’t authorized for DXCC, (but they have other awards as eDX, eDX100, eWAZ, eZ40, wanted also by HAM), which is why I asked for information on LOTW (Emails to dated of 12/14/2006 11:12 AM, and mail of "Mills, Wayne N7NG" 12/14/2006 01:56 PM) to satisfy the world’s and allow them to get their DX diplomas with this rare country.
We haven’t forgotten them, but when we see some very unfavourable comments on DX news (“don't work with him") or, on the DX cluster “eQSL HI HI ;-)”, "shame on them, it’s a waste of time for the QSO”) it can be really irritating, given what I’ve just explained to you!

**** Recently, on 18 December 2006, Osten, SM5DQC, very quickly and very kindly offered to help by becoming my QSL Manager and assist in all requirements in terms of cards, log management, shipping, etc., I warmly thank him for it and won’t forget what he’s done.

So I think everything’s fixed now. Each Ham’s contacting 9Q1EK or other 9Q friends stations will know what had to be done for them to benefit from a contact and obtain their rare DX, and to have a thought for the ways and means and conditions we have to deal with.

R7000 on top.

Couple of dipoles and delta loop shared with 9Q1TB.

Not enough space for antenna’s… between two telescopic masts.
Soon, may be next few weeks, I will install a beam 3 el. Cushcraft A3S, in place of telescopic mast.

QSL model via eQSL

QSL model via SM5DQC

Hoping to hear you on the air despite the QRN in the equatorial zone and the poor propagation.
I wish you a happy 2007 New Year and good DX’s.
NB: soon, Gus, Phil and me, will prepare an article with pictures on 9Q activities, reports, etc....for Ham magazines.

73’s de 9Q1EK



I like the Morse and I am a small keys collector.
I must have approximately 20 parts which come from second hand trades or friends gifts.
They all are restored and operational. I hope one day to increase this collection.
Three keys never leave me during my displacements for my UNO missions in the world.

A old one, a vibroplex, and a bencher. Here in Kinshasa, (the old model is from KENT. This English company manufactures precision Morse keys), and the vibroplex are on the top of my TV, because I like to see them, to touch them each day. (2nd love hi),
Bencher, I use it during my current QSO’s under 9Q1EK. The remainder of my collection is at Montreal, with my daughter VE2MNS.
I received one day by the fast mail from Japan an old Morse key that was used during the second world war. It was a great surprise for this formidable gift.
I was never as much happy to see an old key in perfect condition especially from Japan because it is easier to find US keys or from Europe, but really rarer from the Asian side, Eastern Europe and Oceania.

My first CW QSO were with J38 in 1971 (FK8KAA).

A few months after, with a little more experiment and of morse drive. HI, that did not go rather quickly! I built a double contact with a blade saw…
I do not have unfortunately this key because I left it to the friends of the club.
Really easy to realize! Some parts of metal, the contacts GOLD of relay on the other, blade saw on the two side contacts. It was the big foot for me.

I’d moved after the blade saw to the JI36 semi automatic made by The Lionel Company. During World War Two, the Lionel Electric Train Company made thousands of copies of the #6 Lightning Bug for the U.S. Army.

The JI36, having a flexibility in use with the adjustment of the weight part, giving a quality, a “key” of easily recognizable personal handling according to the operators.
With electronics this “personalization” is less obvious, but can be still made different manner.

I also tested a Japanese key, Hi mound (BK100),

two German electronic key, ETM-1 and ETM-3.

My preferred during long years was the Vibroplex double paddles.

After all that. I have moved to the electronics keyer.
I built in the 1984 from a 8044 curtis, a small electronics driven by the vibroplex key.
Other models followed… while adding there memories type 21L02.

Today, still in 9Q, I use also this homemade electronic version that goes back in 1987. Hi, and during the contests with 4 selective memories. Two, can be put together for the long messages.

With the Bencher, that I also like, at the time, the QSJ was high for me, I made the plans (being a also laboratory metrologist background, it was easy to make it…).
Then two exact copy of bencher keys BY1 models were born with the assistance from some Ham friends being in the precision mechanics.

I never tested Schurr key, I think that I lost something, but it is not too late yet. One day will come.
After thus, a few 5 years of interruption of CW QSO, I take again that since Kinshasa 9Q1EK and with a great pleasure!!
With all the viruses which trail, the Morse virus is less dangerous Hi!

Soon, it will be necessary that I have a better accessories because during many Pile-up has each time I launch a CQ under 9Q1EK with a system more serious than mine.
Easier, to use with memories buttons near the key.

I think to test one day the MFJ-490. .

Earlier, I think to test also, the Super Combo Keyer uses by Bernie, ZS4TX,
Equipped for the SO2R and with the memories, easier to use and more recent than my old electronics keyer …

9Q1EK December Station 2006-12-23 Homemade 1984, Electronic keyer just under the TRX (aluminum plate).

Thus has soon, the pleasure of hearing you in CW and to add 9Q1 on your log.

- -… … - - de Georges, 9Q1EK / VE2EK / ZS1II