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TZ4AM Mali flag Mali

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QSL: QSL via W0SA

Ham Member Lookups: 106148

 

NEW:  

QRV and QRO on 160 meters now with 1 KW with an Alpha 76A donated by Chip (W1YW). Still working on RX antennas though.

QRV CW on 6 meters for EU using a 6 element yagi made out of bamboo (pls see pix).  

QRV on 80 and 160 meters and looking for contacts in the Southern Hemisphere to take advantage of the southern winter season and good propagation south.  

Donations and donated equipment. We are looking for donated equipment or donations for C.R.A.M. (Club des Radioamateurs et Affiliees du Mali) for new members starting their operations here and cash for transportation and for buying antenna wire and the accessories that can be bought locally. We also need: junkbox items and connectors and gender benders (working condx) for the Elecaft system and which might be helpful for 6M and for starting 2M operations, one spare 8874 tube because the one we bought was stolen in Mali), an RF field strenght meter, a wattmeter up to 3KW. If you have any of these items or would like to make a donation, please get in touch. We have people traveling from the US and from Europe who can bring donated items.

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 a 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 Migliorini) installed in October 2016 and which TZ8TM (F8DAK, Denis Casters) has maintained and improved upon. (His backup system is an ICOM 718 and TW500A amplifier; an Alpha 76A amplifier (1000 watts) donated by Chip W1YW arrived and will soon be available for lower bands.) Jeff has dipoles for 80, 40 and 30 meters at a height of ten meters above the roof of a 2-story building (total height about 18 meters); they are supported by bamboo poles, each up to 12 meters long, obtained with help from Sadio Coulibaly of Mali's Water and Forestry Service who went straight to the forest, had them cut and shepherded them through town, which was not easy, since transporting 12 meter poles is said to infringe local traffic rules. There are no obstructions in any direction at present. His handyman Boubacar Coulibaly has spent months putting up the dipoles and inverted-L antennas and adjusting until they are at the lower ends of the bands.The Coment antenna analyser from W1YW and recently a RigExper AA230 have helped. The signal reports Jeff receives are generally good (even when he was running 100 watts), even from Asia and even discounting the pro forma 599s. Jeff operates CW on all bands; SSB occasionally on 20 meters (usually 14,200) and higher bands. He put up an inverted-L for 160 meters in October 2016 and is often found around 1826.5 with a good signal in Europe and North America. He is still workingon receiving antennas: BOGs for EU and NA and looking for space to install an SAL20 loop on some nearby building. 

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. 

Jeff has put up a 14 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 (TZ8TM/F8DAK) and Yaya Diakite (who took time out from installing solar panels to climb the tower and nudge the beam into place). The hexbeam covers all bands between 20 and 6 meters. For 6 meters, a 5-element yagi based on a design provided by Gunter DL6WU and a 6-element yagi based on the design of YU7EF have been built out of bamboo, plastic electrical conduit and #12 wire; the antennas seem to be working but the 6 meter band has been dead here since they were finished. Putting in proper grounds has been a chore since the soil is pure sand and static and lightning BOTH 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 K3s-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). Array solutions has also provided some automatic antenna switches (also coming by sea to landlocked Mali).

QSLs by mail: W0SA (Peter Cross) is his new QSL manager since Hugh Morgan W4VAB died in August 2016. Peter also puts TZ4AM's logs up 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. Even when operating simplex, calling slightly off frequency helps.

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.

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 new TZ stations now operating:  TZ6XR, TZ8TM, and TZ4PR, so you will work Mali eventually, if you're patient and polite.

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 getting 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. He tries not to listen to call signs being transmitted during an on-going QSO and if he does happen to catch the call, makes a point of not answering it. 

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. Aslo, if he has the prefix right but the last letters of your call sign wrong, pls try sending the prefix and then the last letters repeated a few times. If your call sign were XY1ZZ and Jeff had the XY1 right, you might come back XY1ZZ  ZZ  ZZ  ZZ  ZZ to help him get it right.

If he calls for ASIA or JA and you're from Maine or New York (or even California), please be patient and let him work the weaker DX 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 really is a tomorrow.

Time of day:  There is not a 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 Oceania, Asia and the Americas, such as working ZLs and VKs on 160, 80 and 40 meters at 0430-0700z. (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 (0.5 to 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 General Class operators can operate.

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 amateur radio 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.

We are planning to operate a DXpedition from Timbuktu at some point, so that you'll be able to say that you really have worked the end of the earth. But security conditions make that impossible for the present and are not getting any better.

Jeff is a member of CRAM (Club of Radioamateurs and Affiliates of Mali). If you have spare equipment or cash to cover its transport costs and to buy antenna materials, towers and other things which we can buy locally, please get in touch via W0SA. We are trying to provide equipment to new operators as soon as they get their license. Without help, many can't afford stations of their own so that they can get on the air from their own QTHs.

73,

Jeff - TZ4AM

8335080 Last modified: 2017-09-17 08:28:59, 10494 bytes

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