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C5DX The Gambia flag The Gambia

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NEW    C5DX (2018) Sandringham School Amateur Radio Club DXpedition  NEW 

PHOTOS ADDED BELOW _ We are on the air!

C5DX licence has been granted and will be activated again between 9th February - 16th February 2018 as part of a school trip to the Gambia.

We are taking 18 students (sixth form) and 3 staff including myself to return to Farafenni Senior Secondary High School. This is our 10th year of collaboration and visiting the school. On this occasion, we hope to see the next major project near completion - a major extension to their school library to create a dedicated learning space for students to use in and out of school hours. This has been achieved from fundraising at Sandringham School, St. Albans

I will operate CW and four licenced students from Sandringham School Amateur Radio Club (M0SCY) who are also on the trip will operate SSB - Jessica (M6LPJ), Polly (M6POG), Morgan (M6MXD) and Stan (M6SQO). It will be their first DXpedition and they will be learning how to operate from a semi-rare country so please bear this in mind and be patient with them as they learn the craft of DX operating. Remember the DX code of conduct. 

We will be running 400W using a K3, KPA500 and KAT500 into a multi-band dipole (the new Aerial-51 Model 807 ultra-light OCF Dipole) kindly donated by Aerial-51. SpiderBeam has also part sponsored this DXpedition with a 12m SpiderPole and associated equipment. A VERY BIG THANK YOU to both Aerial-51 and SpiderBeam for this generosity.

Jessica M6LPJ operating pile up on 20m SSB

Polly M6POG with the pile up on 20m SSB

Stanley - M6SQO with pile up on 20m SSB

SSB will most likely be on HF, whilst I will operate HF and also experiment with some LF bands depending on conditions and antennas. We will operate split - +1 for CW and +5 for SSB. Watch out for the spots and we look forward to working you all soon.

Limited time operating due to school trip functions however 800+Qs in log after day 1.

Conditions are not great - lots of weak signals.

 

C5DX (2016) - DXpedition and demonstration of amateur radio to school students in The Gambia

Logs uploaded to LoTW and ClubLog 

C5DX  Friday 12th February - Friday 19th February 2016.

Went back to The Gambia to open the new school hall at the school. Amazing experience and the hall is one of the largest in schools in The Gambia. This project cost around £30k and has made a significant difference to not just students at the school but also the local community who use it out of school hours.

 

Staff and sixth form students outside the new School Hall named after our school in England.

Alan (G4DJX) as guest of honour about to formally open the new school hall.

Opening ceremony as viewed from stage.

Me (G4DJX) far left and head of PE far right outside new hall with some of the PE students in sports kit and a Rugby Ball donated to Farafenni Senior Secondary School. We played some touch rugby afterwards and the students were great!

Operated CW from our hotel in Banjul as well as demonstrated SSB from Farafenni Senior Secondary High School. Made 4000 QSOs in between duties whilst on this school trip. The station consisted of a K3 (100W) and wire antennas. The location of antennas was not perfect due to many surrounding palm trees and buildings.

Station at the school.

Students about to pass some greetings messages via C5DX.  G4DJX operating.

Aerial-51 OCF dipole.

Aerial outside hotel room in Banjul. 

Operated 40m - 15m with some openings on 10m. 

Worked split 1 UP. 

Thank you everyone for hearing me.

QSL either LoTW, Direct (NO IRCs - only green stamps) or BURO. 

 

 

Previous C5DX DXpedition - 2015

LOG UPLOADED TO Club Log on 21/02/2015  https://secure.clublog.org/logsearch/C5DX

LOG UPLOADED TO LoTW on 1/3/2015

 QSL CARDS NOW AVAILABLE - please NO IRCs for direct cards. Green stamps or correct postage if in UK.

Between 13th - 20th February 2015 I was in The Gambia on a school trip.

Details of trip: I am the headteacher of Sandringham School, St. Albans (www.sandringham.herts.sch.uk) and since 2008 we have developed a strong link with Farafenni Senior Secondary High School in The Gambia. The link has been focussed on developing the curriculum (science, maths, English and humanities) with various staff visiting from each school and two visits involving students. On this trip, we took three staff and five students. We have also sponsored a number of students through the school who would ovtherwise not have been able to be educated. This costs around £100 for their four years at the high school. This was my second visit and I wanted to demonstrate Amateur Radio to school students and staff as part of our scientific development of the curriculum.

School hall project: We have also been fudnraising to provide a school hall for Farafenni School. So far we have raised £10k and the exterior structure of the school is now complete (see picture below). We need around £5k more to complete the project, so if anyone is interested in helping out with some sponsorship this would be really helpful. Please e-mail me if you are keen to support this worthwhile project.

Callsign: the callsign, C5DX was requested and issued by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) in The Gambia. They were very helpful.

Equipment: K3 and small switched mode PSU.

Antennas: Home made 40m-10m Windom,  50m of RG58 coax, 10m telescopic fiberglass pole. Thank you to everyone who managed to hear my signals - they were weak due to limited antenna space surrounded by many tall palms and buildings. Apex of windom was around 10m with ends at 2m.

Operation details:  Between 13th and 15th February and 18th to 20th February operated from Badala Park Hotel, Serrekunda - by the coast. Between 16th - 17th February operated from Farafenni High School, Farafenni. This is about 180km inland from Banjul. 

Logging: Used an i-Pad running the Mircules HAM QuickLog app. This worked well and was a convenient method of logging for a small operation like this.

Statistics: Made a total of 2007 QSO's with limited operation time around business. 73 DXCC and 267 band slots in total.  

Reports: I wanted to provide accurate reports (not 599!) This slowed things down because I think people thought I was struggling to copy; this was not the case - I received well even if you were 519! No need to repeat calls etc if I have it correct first time.

Split operation: Used UP1 for most of the time in an attempt to keep any interference to other stations to a minimum. This did slow things down somewhat and on the last day I simply listened UP which meant that some of the weaker stations could be picked out if they called on a clear frequency. 

QSLing: I will upload the log to LoTW as soon as the certificate is issued by ARRL (this has been requested). Will also produce a QSL card for those who would like a hard copy. Please send SAE and sufficient postage (IRCs NOT ACCEPTED - cards will be returned via Buro)

Really enjoyed the pile-ups and hope you managed to get through at some point.

Photographs:

Station - K3 and i-Pad logging

Windom antenna (you can just see the 4:1 balun and one leg of the dipole) - notice how it is surrounded by some pretty tall palm trees.

This photograph shows one of the legs of the windom - as it slopes down behind the hotel complex to about 2m above ground level. North is directly through the building!

The windom and a 15m dipole erected at Farafenni High School - this was in the clear and about 7m high.

One of the Farafenni students who passed some messages on SSB.

 

Our group from Sandringham with staff from Farafenni School. Mr. Jallow (Headteacher of Farafenni School is sixth from the left). Alan - G4DJX third from the right.

The school hall project in process - with walls and roof completed. This will be the largest school hall of any secondary school in the Gambia when completed - 35m long and 15m wide.

One of our sixth form students, Mariam, with some children from a village who came to play when we stopped for a break whilst travelling.

8640759 Last modified: 2018-02-11 01:24:57, 12062 bytes

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