You can find N3BNA in most any HF contest, and as part of various other contest groups. When not on a dxpedition, or as part of any number of group operations, I can usually be found operating in the multi-op category, in order to encourage other future contesters. So if my voice sounds young and squeaky, or the code a bit uncertain, please have patience (it could be me and I need the help).
I love travel and DX, and have been fortunate to operate from many countries, leaving behind both friends and morse code key or paddles. In November 1998 I operated as both ZP0Z and ZP5/N3BNA from the QTH of my special friend ZP5AZL, and also as LU/N3BNA from "el fin del mundo" in Tierra del Fuego. I had a very special time in Asuncion, and the boys at Radio Club Ushuaia were among the friendliest that I have ever met. The previous November I had the opportunity to return to Africa (I lived in 9Q5-land for 5 years) and operate from the home of Paul/5X4F, one of the nicest and most patient men on earth. We operated from the NW corner of Uganda on the border of Zaire and Southern Sudan. At that time Kabila's armies and Ugandan rebel groups were very active in the area, and many foreignors had to leave. We could hear the heavy artillery. It was a memorable trip.
And good things keep repeating as I was invited back to visit Paul Wyse-ET3PMW (now in Ethiopia)who had hosted me earlier in NW Uganda. We had a grand time playing with antennas and radios, talking "shop" and and giving out some 'Q's in the 2002 WPX-CW contest. Later Paul (who had operated in many African countries) joined us at ZP6T for the CQWWCW at the fine station owned by ZP5MAL, who later accompanied us at V26B.
We were joined at ZP6T in November 2002 by a third friend Jorge -CX6VM. Tom, Jorge and I were good friends and later made many dxpeditions together, including Ti5N, 9Y4W, PJ4X, and other times I would visit the station of ZP5AZL and operate as ZP0Z. Jorge, CX6VM began collecting antennas and towers, and I kept encouraging him to put them in the air. Finally he built a beautiful station on a huge ranch in northern Uruguay, and Tom and I joined his new station to operate as CW6V. Later I returned several times to join Jorge as CW5W, and also returned to Paraguay many times to operate in the contest and visit my friends there.
In addition, I traveled to Haiti on a crazy project to help repair a 240 foot broadcast tower. With no power and primitive tools we managed to successfully jack up the entire tower and replace the baseplate and insulator. A detailed story of this trip was published online by F5LSD as the HH7/N3BNA story. http://www.onz.be/Gelezen/ham%20mag%209.pdf
Two years later I returned to Haiti for another radio tower project and establish a new station in Jacmel. After the work was completed, I operated as HH8/N3BNA. During the same time, I made a trip to Honduras to visit an old friend and although hospitalized, I went back to the mountains to operate in the contest despite having severe hearing loss due to a medication error. Despite all the odds, I put in a strong effort as HQ5A.
Our first trip to PJ4 was planned well in advance to be timed with good solar conditions, and new country status for Bonaire. Unfortunately both were delayed !!! But two years later we tried again. My friends CX6VM and ZP5AZL could not return for another PJ4 operation. However we found new colleagues including JH5GHM, LU2FA, LU1FAM and LU8ADX, and we had a great contest as PJ4Tango in the 2011 CQWW-SSB contest. A huge thanks to Hans PJ4LS for helping handle all the paperwork and technical detail to ensure that our visitors were welcomed.
Twenty years after founding the V26B super-station, WT3Q, AB2E and myself returned for an anniversary operation. I invited PY2NY and his lovely wife Ana who I had met in Slovenia many years before, along with my friend JH5GHM. We were joined by N3OC, W2BZR,K3GEG, HB9OCR and I2WIJ for a MM operation with only 3 stations. We had a wonderful time meeting old and new freinds and renewing acquaintenance with our wonderful host V21N.
Many years ago I attended the 2000 WRTC competition in Slovenia. While there I met a new friend, Romeo S52RU. We kept in contact through the years planning dxpeditions, and finally I was invited to a dxpedition to Lampedusa Island in African Italy to operate in the CQWW contest in October 2013 as IG9Y. As you may know there are a lot of refugees that are desperately trying to reach Europe and many of them lose their lives in the process. Just before our trip a large boat full of people went down, and Pope Francis came to Lampedusa to remember them. Our team was mostly from Eastern Europe. We traveled in a large van/truck full of antennas, amplifiers and good food and drinks. From Italy we took a boat to the island of Sicily. From Sicily we were to take another boat to Lampedusa, but the winds were too high and we had to stay 2 days at the port. Finally we arrived with all our equipment. This was a "Field Day' type operation as there were no towers and no trees. The Slovenian guys did an amazing job of building a big station with 4-square antennas for 40 and 80 and multiple yagis for the high bands. A huge amount of work! And the results for IG9Y were amazing, especially for a Field Day type operation.
For many years I have traveled to Haiti. Usually we have a radio project that includes building a small FM broadcast station and tower with antenna, and operating in my spare time. I have operated as HH7/N3BNA and HH8/N3BNA and HH2/N3BNA. Every trip I received assistance with my license from Jean-Robert-HH2JR . We corresponded for years. In the last year I have been involved in building a large new AM station. Since I am leading the project I made a point of meeting my friend Jean-Robert. Suffice it to say, we really hit it off well. He is a true amateur gentleman. When we needed a place to operate in the contest, he invited me to operate from his home as 4V1JR for both the 2014 CQCW and the 2015 ARRLCW contests. I made many trips and spent over a month in Haiti during this time. We developed a real friendship and I am only sorry that I did not meet Jean-Robert earlier. The AM radio project has been a success and is on the air, but I will be going back to raise the tower to 300 feet, and install more radials (and hopefully do a little Dxing)
In February of 2016 I returned to Haiti and the big tower project. It has been my dream for many years to use the big tower to get on 160m and provide the deserving a topband QSO from Haiti. In particular it is difficult for EU and western USA stations to contact Haiti on topband because of antenna limitations. On this trip we were honored to be invited to use the callsign of 4V1TL in memory of the "father of Haiti". My friend WS6X joined me and we erected a big delta loop on the 180 foot tower. My dream was realized. We were LOUD and made contacts all over the world in the CQ160 contest. We made many contacts in Eastern EU and west coast of USA. This would not have been possible with a low antenna. Thanks for all the contacts...it was a blast! . And I give thanks to God for his protection and our many successes on this trip.
I have also operated as XE1ISE and later XE1SLE, 9Y4/N3BNA,9Q5/N3BNA, LZ/N3BNA (one of my favorite trips) and of course from V26B where I was one of the "founding fathers", and still return when not further afield. I operate outside the contest (when not climbing the wonderful set of towers) as V26A. Hope to find you in one of my future logs!
73 and DX,
Dale - N3BNA
Rev: N3BNA - Mon Jun 22 16:28:16 1998
PLEASE NOTE - My QSL manager for all dxpeditions is KA2AEV. This includes all portable callsigns such as ZP6/N3BNA, CX/N3BNA, HH7/N3BNA, 9Y4/N3BNA HH8/N3BNA, LZ/N3BNA etc. All go to KA2AEV. If you send them to me I will gladly forward them, but it will delay your card. ALL MY DXPEDITIONS AND CONTEST OPERATIONS HAVE BEEN UPLOADED TO LOTW.
ADDITIONAL note regarding 4V1TL. This special callsign was assigned to the Radio Club of Haiti and the QSL manager for this callsign is via W3HNK.
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