Z81X – South Sudan

left is one of the shacks

left is one of the shacks

On 15 November IARU Region 1 organised a Radio Spectrum/Regulatory Workshop with the aim to assist the South Sudanese administration with the implementation of amateur radio.

The workshop was part of a goodwill project in cooperation with Radio Arcala, DX University, the YASME Foundation, ARRL, Rock City Investments Co, Yaesu Musen Co. Ltd of Japan and the European DX Foundation. The workshop took place on the compound of the European Union in Juba the capital of South Sudan. Most of the 21 participants work for the South Sudanese Radio Communications Agency, others came from the Ministry of Interior.

South Sudan became an independent country in 2011. Currently amateur Radio is allowed on a provisional basis. There are two resident foreign amateurs who received full amateur privileges. Since 2011 only one DX-pedition was active from South Sudan. The license fee of USD 100 is something that a foreign amateur can afford. However for a national of a country with a GDP per capitata of around USD 1000 it is an excessive amount.
Import of amateur radio equipment is complicated but possible with the permission of the Ministry of Telecommunications & Postal Services.

The objectives of this workshop were

  • to train regulators on the administration on the amateur service and amateur-satellite service;
  • to assist the administration on creation of amateur-radio regulations and the related national frequency allocation table;
  • to discuss the amateur radio’s benefits for the society;
  • to evaluate the prospects of establishing the amateur radio service for South Sudanese nationals;
  • Our program included the following subjects:

Organisation of ITU;

  • ITU Radio Regulations articles 1.56, 1.57, 5, 19 and 25;
  • organisation of IARU;
  • introduction to Amateur Radio Activities;
  • how society can benefit from Amateur Radio, with relevant education and emergency communications;
  • National Frequency Allocation Table – introduction of amateur spectrum;
  • National Amateur Legislation.

Are we done?

The introduction of amateur radio in a new country can not be completed in a one day workshop. The country has so many more important things to take care of that introduction of amateur radio to South Sudanese nationals will only be successful with the consistent help of the international amateur community. The next step (to be taken this week) is to explore cooperation with the University of Juba in order to set up a training program for the first generation of South Sudanese radio amateurs.

one of Z81D's antenna masts

one of Z81D’s antenna masts

Did we operate?
On Saturday I had the privilege to spend about four hours behind a radio in Z81D’s shack in Rock City, close to Juba. While the rest of our team was busy setting up low band verticals and beverages I made some 650 QSO’s on 12 and 10 meters in SSB. The rest of the team will stay in South Sudan until the end of November focussing on low bands. By the time I got home on Monday morning the team had already 5000 QSO’s in the log with 2000 on 160 and 80 meters.

Hans PB2T

Republic of South Sudan, Z81X

A multinational group of Dietmar, DL3DXX; Wayne, N7NG; Hans, PB2T; Olli, OH0XX; Martti, OH2BH; Pertti, OH2PM and Veijo, OH6KN and Tevfik, TA1HZ (team doctor) will be in Juba, South Sudan from November 14 to 28, 2013 and will activate Z81X with an emphasis on low bands, 160m and 80m. The period includes the CQWW CW contest with some single-band entries and low-band SSB focus during the contest weekend.

Hosted by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, the group led by Hans, PB2T, President of IARU R1, will conduct a series of workshops and establish a sound amateur radio spectrum management regime and related regulations. It will also introduce Amateur Radio to Ministry of Education. Also participating in these efforts are two local amateurs; Massimo, Z81B (IZ0EGB) and Diya, Z81D (YI1DZ). This part of the program is supported by Yasme Foundation Inc.

The plan is to activate three FTDx3000 stations & amps and low-band verticals and beverage antennas. Two different radio locations may be used. The operation will be generator based. Z81X team will use their QRZ.com pages for providing further updates and recognizing their supporters with Vlad, UA6JD as their webmaster.

The Z81X Project Goodwill South Sudan is organized jointly by Radio Arcala, DX University, IARU Region 1 and Rock City Investments Co., and the equipment sponsor is Yaesu Musen Co. Ltd of Japan.

In support of the DX University we will observe specific relationships between pileup behavior and operator technique. Additional information will be available before the expedition begins.

The highest cost item is equipment transport, with courier service the only reliable means of transportation. The group welcomes support from individuals, clubs and foundations to offset some of the high equipment transport expenses. You may contact any of the group members for your potential support or use Paypal at Z81X QRZ.com.