TZ4AM is the call sign authorized by Mali's regulatory agency (AMRPT) for Jeff Dorsey based on his US license and the CEPT agreement. Jeff started in amateur radio in 1957 as K1MMB and operated mostly on the low end of 40m CW until the mid-1960s. He got back into radio after 50 year hiatus acquiring his Tech, General and then Extra Class licenses over the course of 2015. He also was fortunate in being able to get back his old call sign. His old friends Fred Hopengarten (K1VR) and Marshall Goldberg (K1LUV) provided much needed encouragement and support. The Everglades Amateur Radio Club in Homestead FL and its members helped him through the testing process and loaned him equipment to get started.
He currently operates from a station in Bamako Mali with an Elecraft K3s-KPA500-KAT500 system (maximum power 500 watts), which TZ5XR (F5IXR, Laurent Miglioni) installed in October 2016. Jeff has a forest of antennas up 10 meters above the roof of a 2-story building; thy are supported by bamboo poles, each upto 12 meters long, thanks to Sadio Coulibaly of Mali's Water and Forestry Service who went to the forest, had them cut and shepherded them through town, which was not easy, since 12 meter poles carried on anything are said to infringe local traffic rules. There are no obstructions in any direction. He currently uses dipoles for 80, 40 , 30, 17, 15, 12 and 10 meters. His handyman Boubacar Coulibaly has spent months putting them up and taking them down, snipping a few centimeters here, adding a few centimeters there until they are all resonant where they are supposed to be and cover most of the spectrum available to amateurs in Mali. The antenna analyser from W1YW has helped a lot. Jeff's signal reports are generally good even when he was running 100 watts, even into Japan. He operates CW on all bands and SSB on 20 meters (usually 14,200) and higher bands. He put up an inverted-L for 160 meters in October 2016 and gets a good signal in Europe and North America but is still working on a better receiving antenna.
His QSL Manager Hugh Morgan (W4VAB, now SK) talked him into going to Dayton in June 2016 and gave him lessons on how to use the Elecraft system in June 2016. Chip Cohen (W1YW) has been providing technical support on improving his operations and was kind enough to give Jeff a 1KW amp for use on 160 and 80m (still in Miami awaiting transport to Mali).
Jeff has put up a 15 meter tower on the roof and imported a SPID rotator and a Hexbeam from Ant MW0JZE. The hexbeam went up in December 2016 with help from Denis Casters (F8DAK) and Yaya Diakite (who took time out from installing solar panels to climb the tower and nudge the beam into position). The hexbeam covers all bands between 20 and 6 meters. Putting in proper grounds has been a chore since the soil is pure sand and static and lightning are prevalent. Jeff powers his station with solar power most of the time and has expanded the system to make sure that it could handle the Elecraft K3-KPA500 and eventually a larger amplifier. He is also working on getting a receiving antenna, front-end protector and preamp for the lower bands (the SAL-20 by Array Solutions).
He QSLs by mail. W0SA (Peter Cross) is his new QSL manager since Hugh Morgan W4VAB died in August 2016. He is also on LoTW and updates at frequent intervals.
Tips on working TZ4AM:
Jeff normally works SPLIT, usually listening UP. When working split, he does not answer any stations calling on his frequency. If you have low power or are trying to be heard over Europeans who come in like locals, move up a few kHz to the top of the the pileup; he listens up and answers weak stations as well as the KWs with big antennas. Please call UP (or DowN) but NOT ON FREQUENCY.
If you are QRP, please don't make "QRP" part of your call sign. Copying your real call sign is hard enough as is without trying to figure out if QRP is part of the call. Also QRS makes reading weak signals easier to copy.
If Jeff has your call sign right, please don't send it again (and again): if you do, he'll think he got it wrong the first time and may change it to something that it isn't. (If it ain't broke, don't fix it.)
NO DUPES PLEASE: Except if you've worked him, in a contest or unless there is no pileup at all, please don't call again if you've worked TZ4AM on the same band same, same mode. There are lots of people who haven't. Some of them have signals that just barely make it to Mali, Please give them a chance. Also, there are two new TZ stations operating: TZ6XR and a new station (no call assigned yet),
NO TAILENDING please: Jeff tries to pick out call signs and real RSTs from weak stations. Other stations calling on top of the station currently being worked are a problem. Tailenders also interfere with confirming call signs and getting them right and RSTs right. KN means KN (no calls at all until the QSO is over). Please wait for a QSO to be really over (TU is the signal) and a request for new calls is made such as "TZ4AM UP" and then call, UP one or two kHz. This speeds up contacts so more operators can be reached in the same amount of time.
If Jeff calls a partial call sign and none of the letters or numbers in your callsign are included, chances are he's responding to someone else. Please wait and call again after the next QSO or after the request for calls.
If he calls for ASIA or JAs and you're from Maine or New York (even CA), please be patient and let him work the weaker stations first. Then he'll go back to working all stations noted by QRZ ALL. Europeans and most North and South American stations come in like locals even on the lower bands. Please remember: TZ4AM is established in Mali permanently; this is not a DXpedition, there is always tomorrow.
Time of day: There is not set time of day but most often between 1830 and 2300 GMT. Also he sometimes does grey line operations taking account of local sunrises and sunsets in Asia and the Americas, such as working VKs on 40 meters at 0700-0730z. (Mali is on GMT year-round, which makes keeping track of time in the log easy.)
Frequencies: he usually operates at the bottom of each band (1 KHz above the bottom of the band where possible) and listens UP one or two kilohertz. However, on advice from Jack Sanders (K1IFJ), he is careful to remember the frequencies allocated to General Class license holders in the US and operations often operates on 3526 and 7026 and above on bands where there are restrictions of frequencies for General Class operators.
Modes: Mostly CW currently. That may change now that he has more power and will change now that he has a beam for the higher bands. The 40 meter band in Mali is only from 7000 to 7100, so if Jeff gets on phone on 40, he'll be calling around 7095 and listneing up from 7100 and above.
DXpeditions: FP8BR, St. Pierre (and Miquelon) June 1961 on recommendation of Giles Paget VE2ABE (FP8BP, SK), DXpeditions are fun, especially when you're 17 and outside of North America for the first time on your own.
Jeff - TZ4AM
7817632 Last modified: 2017-01-08 16:49:48, 7326 bytes
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