You may remember the statement I made in September 2012 when I visited Kosovo: “This is not about DXCC but to reintroduce amateur radio in Kosovo after more than 20 years”. The reintroduction of amateur radio in Kosovo is a fact and we hear Kosovar amateurs on the air often. We saw Z61FF and Z61VB alive in Friedrichshafen, where I invited them for a most enjoyable dinner and where they were introduced to several important players in our amateur radio community.
Kosovo as a DXCC entity is what DX-ers are really waiting for of course. The DXCC program is run by ARRL and under the current rules it is not possible to recognize Kosovo as a separate entity. I am pleased to notice that the ARLL Board of Directors at its July 2013 meeting asked that the DX Advisory Committee (DXAC) study and and if warranted, recommend changes to the DXCC rules. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
I hope EUDXF Members will find it interesting to hear about my IARU activities in Ghana
Amateur Radio Administration Courses (ARACs) have been offered in developing countries for more than twenty years. IARU has provided instructors and course material. Prior to 1983 and again from 1999 the ITU has co-sponsored these courses in developing countries. Host countries provide the training facility and local support. IARU has been looking for an opportunity to organize an ARAC in the English speaking part of Africa for several years. In January 2013 we agreed to have an ARAC in Accra in June 2013.
There were 24 participants in total, 20 from the Ghanaian National Communications Authority (NCA), three from the Communications Commission of Kenya, and one from the Ministry of Communications of South Sudan. The YASME Foundation sponsored the participant from South Sudan.
Participant learning objectives:
The primary objective of the ARAC is to train regulators (or prospective regulators) on the administration of the amateur service and amateur-satellite service in developing countries. Related objectives are to train others in associated positions such as managing disaster relief communications and to organize an amateur radio society. During the preparations of this ARAC it appeared that the Ghanaian administration had other expectations than addressing just the objectives described above. It was agreed to work on the Ghanaian National Allocation Table during the week of the ARAC. Course content: This ARAC became a combination of the traditional USTTI course (as offered by ARRL), production of a National Allocation Table and management training. Brennan Price N4QX presented typical USTTI elements, with additions on the European situation by myself. After an introduction the participants were put to work on the production of a national allocation table. Basis formed the work done by one of the NCA officers, who made an extract of the Radio Regulations. Participants discussed the purpose and layout of a National Allocation Table and were made aware of reference documents and stakeholder input. The amateur service served as a good example for other radio services. We also spent time on the question how to develop amateur radio in Ghana.
NCA Director General Vanpercy invited us to return to Ghana for further development of amateur radio in his country. There are about 10 callsigns issued to resident amateurs, but no local Ghanaians hold an amateur license. I agreed to come back with a group of radio amateurs from Europe and the USA. We discussed a tentative program including Instruction, an examination session, issuing licenses, the establishment of radio club(s), donation and installation of radios and antennas and a DXpedition style activity week. For this activity I need the support of EUDXF members. Therefor I will keep you posted on future plans.
Did we operate?
NCA issued amateur radio licenses to Brennan 9G5AB and myself 9G5AA. Ghana was the 72nd DXCC entity I operated from (three are deleted) and with 100 Watts and simple wire antennas I made 1200+ contacts on the WARC bands. My rig was a Ten-Tec Eagle and antenna’s were half wave endfeds at about 5 meters height. I was extremely happy that there were trees in front of my hotel room.
Thirty years have passed since 1A made its way onto the DXCC list. And an activation by an International team looks to celebrate the uniqueness of this event. So, from the 1st to the 4th July, we will listen them on the air as 1A0C from Santa Maria del Priorato, home of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
The callsign that will be used belongs to the “The Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps (CISOM)”, an organization specialized in bringing assistance and relief during emergencies. This underscores the dual value of this activation. On the one hand, there’s the fun side ham radio, giving a not so easy “new one” to as many stations as possible (especially from the US and Japan).
On the other hand, however, there’s the noble goal, as often seen in ham radio, where a spirit of cooperation and mutual aid are shared by operators all over the world. The team’s aim, in fact, is to raise funds – thanks to donations and contributions from QSL requests – in order to buy radio equipment which The Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps volunteers will be able to use in case of emergencies.
The operators list includes: 1A0X, 1A0Z, EA2RY, EA5RM, EA7AJR, EA7KW, F5CWU, IN3ZNR, IT9YVO, IZ8IYX, PB2T, SP3DOI and KH6CG as a pilot for North America and Pacific.
They will be active on HF+6m and the QSLs for contacts with 1A0C can be requested via Francesco Cozzi, 1A0Z. Check http://www.1a0c.com