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5H3DX Tanzania flag Tanzania

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2017 is well underway and I have travel plans in place.  Flights are booked on November 5th outgoing and December 5th for the return. My license renewal has been issued and I should be good to go.  I am considering requesting experiemental privileges on 60 and 6 meters, but I will not be able to make those arrangements prior to arrival.

I will be adding an antenna, a half-square for 15 meters as soon as I arrive, right after getting my doublet back up in the air.  A half-square adds no gain, per se, but it has no stray lobes that waste a lot of signal, and an inherent low angle of radiation.  I also have done enough experimentation with PSK to decide that I will probably want to use PSK63 and work split, like the RTTY ops do.  I have not experimented with RTTY (and out in the field is not the time to learn how to operate a new mode), and PSK is a better mode due to narrower bandwidth IMHO. Less power needed and a more effective signal. I definitely am hoping to have more radio time this trip, although I will have a good bit of teaching responsibilities.  I also will have some IT configuration duties; we will be adding to our campus wireless network and installing an internal phone system.  Final installation of full Internet access will likely happen around that time as well.

When trying to snare me as DX or any DX for that matter, PLEASE CALL ONCE, THEN LISTEN, regardless of the mode. Calling repeatedly doesn't give anyone, including me, a chance to hear.  Calling endlessly without listening may earn a spot on the "never respond to XX1XX" list.  Please follow the DX Code of Conduct. If I heard you call me I will try until I get you, provided you are paying attention.  If I am working split, I will state that.  Please don't call on my transmit frequency if I am working split, including digital modes. If I am rag chewing with a friend, please give us a break. Yes, I like to work DX but a good rag chew is also very satifying.  There will be plenty of opportunities to work my station this year.

PLEASE NOTE: To my knowledge, all requested QSL cards from 2015 & 2016 have been sent.  If you have requested a QSL card confirmation and it has not been received, please send me an e-mail.

Paper QSL policy: In the manner of most DXpeditions I will be asking for donations, but not for myself or for my expenses.  All donations will go directly to Children's Hospital, Zinga. This organization, unlike most "charitable" causes, spends 94% of what it collects on building the hospital.  I would like to emphasize that NONE of the money coming into the organization is EVER used for travel or any other personal expenses.  We are all volunteers; all guests pay for their own travel and expenses.

I will provide QSL cards to anyone who requests one, but we are asking for a $5 US donation for each card.  A PayPal account is in place, and payments should be made directly to 5H3DX.zinga@gmail.com.  In addition to the PayPal notification, please send a separate e-mail with your call, contact information, and date/time of the QSO. That way I can keep not only an accurate radio log, but also a log of those I owe QSL cards. As a show of good faith, I am not withholding eQSL or LOTW confirmations. The point here is not to force anyone to pay money for a card or QSL confirmation of any kind.

All donations will deposit directly into the account of the US branch of Children's Hospital, Zinga, called International Health Partners, the US branch of the operation.  I also will handle cash contributions, but I would prefer PayPal.  I will send QSL cards regardless of donation, but you might have to wait a while to get your confirmation.

Our X-ray building is complete now and, as of 4 June 2017, we are awaiting final safety approval from the Tanzanian Atomic Energy Commission.  Thanks to Rotary International and a long list of US clubs, we have a brand new Fuji X-ray source and a digital cassette and storage system. There is also a dental X-ray system that should be operational soon.  In addition, we have a new machine for general sonography.  Again, our thanks to Rotary for all their hard work in helping us move forward.  Three of the many stand out: Park Ridge IL Rotary, Luna Vista CA Rotary, and Rotary Club of Barhari - Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

The hospital is being built in phases.  Phase I, the outpatient department, opened in April, 2016.  The facility went live following the connection of our electrical lines.  The next immediate need is to complete labor & delivery suites, nursery, and neonatal intensive care.  Although much progress has been made in childhood survival, very little has improved with regard to perinatal and maternal deaths.  We have the expertise and personnel to change this.

2016 trip:  The 2016 trip is over from a radio standpoint. We departed 12 November 2016. I was only able to operate full-bore a couple of evening. Samahani (apologies) to the DX chasers who wanted to add 5H to their lists.  I would like to say asante sana (thank you very much) to all of the operator whom I worked, and who were patient with me. I am not a seasoned DXpeditioner. I am only a Ham who loves being on the radio.  

If anything will make you uncomfortable, it is a lion waiting in the lunch shelter at the game park. I'm sure we would have made a fine lunch!

lion lounging in the afternoon

My operating position in Zinga, with all the important stuff: coffee, antenna analyzer, 12 Ah battery, keys, and the amplifier for the KX3...

Operations were good after I was able to put a doublet up in the mango trees.  It is about 135' between tree-tops, and a 133' (40 meter long) double just barely fit in between them.  Antenna was up about 45' (15 meters).  There were still plenty of times where the band was not my friend, but the antenna worked much better than what should have been a fair vertical.

Along the west side of the new X-ray building:

X-ray building along the west side

Because of new responsibilities at the hospital, I was unable to spend nearly as much time operating, but my QSO rate was much improved over last year.  With only 5 evenings or real operations, I finished with 1310 QSOs.  I was working 40-30-20, depending on which band was open.  20 had been a real dud until the last night of operation, then it was open to both EU and US, with good signals from both.  I had a surprise opening to EU on 12 meters that lasted about an hour, and a small contingent on 15 meters.  I was able to make only one QSO on 10 meters and one on 80 meters.

This is the new X-ray building from the south end:

X-ray building from the south end.

It may not look like much now, but this will be the birthing center when completed. This is an enormous undertaking, both physically and financially. But we believe we are up to the task!  Due to the death of one of our principle officers, we are under "new management".  While the loss of Mary Ellen Kitundu is tragic, the position has been taken by her brother-in-law, Jesse Kitundu.  He is a well organized, forward thinking man.

Lilac breasted roller.

lavender breasted roller

IHP is registered as a 501c3 charitable organization with the IRS.  For more information check the International Health Partners web site.  Donations are always welcome.  If you can claim a tax deduction from a US 501c3, we will send a receipt for all QSL donations of $100 (annually) or more, or on request for smaller amounts.

Did you know there is a way to make charitable donations, at least in the USA, without it costing you a single penny? Through Amazon if you go to http://smile.amazon.com instead of the normal Amazon login, then you must specify International Health Partners US (Arizona) as your charitable recipient.  Then for every $100 spent, a donation of 50¢ is made to the organization.  But you MUST go to Smile for the donation to occur.  If you are like me, the online payments add up over a year.  Every dollar counts.  

If you have read this far, you might will be interested in our project at Zinga.  Our challenge is to build the first free standing children's hospital in East Africa.  There is not a single dedicated pediatric faciltiy in the region.  We endeavor to bring a high level of care to the children of Tanzania.

*News Update* Progress is visible on Google Earth:



The next hospital unit to open will be labor & delivery, nursery, and neonatal intensive care, followed by general pediatrics and various specialty units.  For more information, visit http://www.ihptz.org.


2015:  I had a great deal of fun with the operation. My apologies if you tried to work me and didn't catch me. Fear not, I shall return, so you will have another chance. I was limited by an inadequate antenna and a lack of mains power. It was fun operating with batteries but challenging. Next time I will have power, a pole for an antenna and rotator, and a hexbeam or mini yagi (or both). I also have some possibilities for a very long doublet for low bands. This trip, I worked 30-15 meters, and I had a few stations who worked me on all four. I could hear a bit on 40 meters, but it was down a good 10 dB or more from 30 meters. The Hexbeam arrived but there were too many other responsibilities that prevented me from assembling it. I will be getting a phone pole installed for future antennas.  On the next trip, I may try some work with a magentic loop.

CW was enough to occupy my time, so much so that I never even plugged in the mic. I don't think I would have enjoyed SSB all that much.  Final tally in 2015 was around 1300 QSOs with almost 1200 individual stations. I worked 81 DXCC entities. Certainly not record breaking but it met my expectations. So I am looking forward already to the next trip.

Even though the 2015 visit is over, I'm already looking forward to the next visit.  The house is beautiful and the hospital is starting to take shape. How many can boast fruit trees to the south, banana trees to the south and east, mango trees all around, and a baby baobab tree to the north?

This is Africa. Our electricity was promised repeatedly. The process to install the power started a year prior to 2015 my visit. By the beginning of November, 2015, we had poles and lines, but no connections to the buildings.  During the 2015 trip I operated with an LiFePO4 battery pack. There was stiff competition for the solar charger, so it was difficult to keep everything charged and ready to go.

African sunset, Selous National Game Reserve.

I love to rag chew.  If I am in the middle of a QSO, please wait your turn and do not interrupt.

I hope to maintain the 5H3DX callsign indefinitely. QSLs will be sent via LOTW and eQSL, but like other DXpeditions, a QSL card and priority will be give to those who make donations to IHP, as noted above.


(ex 5H9CP)



8332440 Last modified: 2017-09-15 23:17:31, 13171 bytes

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