[UPDATES] 6O6O – Somalia

    JANUARY 15 @20:00z – 6O6O is QRT soon.

    JANUARY 15[1]Final day. We will operate as normal until 15UTC when we start disassembling the antennas. After noise disappears about 20 UTC we will continue for some hours on wire antennas for 40+30m during the night. Our flight is due early tomorrow morning local time.

    Despite not being able to operate in prime time between 15-20 UTC , more than 100 operating hours in total, we are close to 17,000 QSOs which already are on Club Log and LoTW.

    JANUARY 13

    1. Now last three days. Big guns have left the QSO party. Its time for the QRP and 100W & wire guys. We will work you.
    2. Our BigIr had to be taken down due to slight damage because of the high winds during the night. We repaired it this morning.
    3. We installed the K9AY loop which works great especially on 40m.
    4. Look for us on 15/20m to US this evening as well 30+40m.
    5. Also SSB soon today.

    Below a tired DXer..

    JANUARY 12 – 

    1. Everyday the Ministry visit us to chat and see how things are going. They also have started to prepare our secure departure and make sure our luggage will be in the aircraft.
    2. Adrian will do some RTTY this afternoon and we will try a SSB session everyday.
    3. We will install an inv V for 80m. We will also most likely install a K9AY loop.
    4. We will be 40m LP to west coast at 14:30 UTC. Also look for us on 20m to NA at abt 20 UTC.
    5. Today’s lunch is fried Goat…

    JANUARY 11

    1. BOG was once again removed by locals. We will put it back tonight shortly after sunset.
    2. We will do 80,40,30 tonight as well try 20m to US at abt 20 UTC. West coast look for us at 14:30 UTC on 40m LP.
    3. US look for us at 03 UTC on 40m tomorrow morning.
    4. Today we appeared at the Hamnation show #333. Our part start at 19:51 min.

    JANUARY 10 –

    1. We did the first ever FT8 qso from Somalia today (Adrian). Congratz!
    2. KPA is still dead
    3. We did some 80m transmission last night. Our BOG did not work properly on that band so we listen on the vertical with S7 noise. We will extend the BOG today. It worked fine on 40m.
    4. Tomorrow we will appear on Ham-nation Live show https://twit.tv/shows/ham-nation at 0300 UTC.

    JANUARY 9

    • 1. The KPA 500 W amp is unfortunately QRT. So one station will run barefoot.
    • 2. We have moved the RX antenna away from hotel, as well we discovered the previous RX antenna had been cut by someone, explaining the low gain… hope new one will remain intact.

    JANUARY 8 – NEWS UPDATE by LA7GIA & KO8SCA: So we have several noise sources. One is the stadium light that is switched on and off when in use, and usually off at 20-21 UTC. In addition there is a local noise source that appear around Maghrib prayer time which is due just after sunset. This week that is 14:43 UTC. So LP on 40m to US west coast is difficult. Neither is it possible for us to operate on any band at this time due to high noise level. That means we can not be on 15 or 20m to US at our evening time, nor low bands to EU or VK/n the evening. We start TX as soon as noise disappear.

    Another thing is the high level event in the country wich has imposed restrictions on our ability to move around, and hence has prevented us from doing the final installation of our RX antenna system outside the hotel. For our own safety we have been advised to remain at our hotel. However, this event is soon over and we will most likely be allowed to continue our installation either tomorrow tuesday or wednesday. Doing this installation means having armed body guards around while installing the RX system. Hopefully will a proper RX antenna system reduce the noise level such that we can operate on low bands even during the evenings. We will know this after the event is over and we have installed the RX antenna. Our current RX antenna picks up too much noise.

    A third thing is the propagation that is not in our favour. We don’t see the expected openings to neither Asia nor NA, which again leads us to working EU while we expected to work Asia or NA.

    As such there are several things that affect our operation which is out of our control, however we hope that this can be resolved the coming days such that we also can start operating on 80 and possibly 160 meter.

    JANUARY 7 – Tonight 6O6O will be on 30+40m and maybe 20m to NA. QRV depending on noise level.

    JANUARY 6[1] – Video of 6O6O on SSB found here

    JANUARY 5[2] – Kenneth and Adrian report they’ve had some issues with the hotel about installation. 80m full size vertical is installed today. Beverage is also installed. The 20-10m beam is running. They also have the BigIR installed and will try 80m later. No 160m yet. The soccer stadium switch on the lights at their SS @ 15UTC and switch them off at about 20UTC. After 20 UTC they will be on low bands.

    JANUARY 5[1] – The guys found the noise source. It’s a soccer stadium 300m from their hotel. When lights are switched off at 20z the noise drops from S5 on 20 and 30m to S0, and from S9++ to S5 on 40m. Also, they got all bags delivered by truck meaning they’ll install a proper beverage tomorrow. In addition, a beam for 20-10m will be set-up.

    JANUARY 4 – The 160m antenna, the beam and the BigIr will arrive tonight with truck, as they did not fit in the aircraft. They are still running on the backup antennas until then. They plan to install a RX antenna for EU/NA today. Yesterday they had S9+ noise on 40m. After 20 utc even 20m and 30m were noise free. They also have logs online at Club Log, so please no dupes.

    [credit DO4DXA]

    JANUARY 3[2] – Kenneth updates that not all luggage arrived. High noise levels so far. Hope to put up some receive antennas tomorrow.

    JANUARY 3[1] – Kenneth and Adrian landed safely in Somalia. They will soon start antenna installation and QRV on 40-10m later this evening.

    Kenneth, LA7GIA and Adrian, KO8SCA bring some good news for the festive period!

    “We have received an invitation from the Ministry to come and do amateur radio transmission in Somalia. We have received the license 6O6O, and we travel Jan 3rd. We hope to be QRV in the evening local time. We will stay there for 12 full days operating on all modes/bands 160-10m. However, this will mostly be a CW operation”.

    Kenneth goes on to say:

    LoTW certificate is received. Our gear consists of:

    * 2 x Elecraft K3 radios
    * 2 X PA (Elecraft KPA500 W + 1kW amplifier)
    * 2 el beam 20-10m
    * BigIr 40-10m vertical
    * 80m, full size vertical
    * 160m, inv L
    * RX antennas: 200m beverages to NA, EU, VK, Asia and SA.
    * We have some backup TX antennas and RX antennas (K9AY, BOG)

    QSL manager will be Charles M0OXO.

    In conjunction with this trip we organize a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders in Somalia. All donations received will be earmarked to DWOB in Somalia. Donations are not sought for the ham side of the DXpedition, but we hope everyone will consider a small contribution to the fundraiser. Contributions can be given either by paypal 6o6o@la7gia.com or when doing OQRS through M0OXO website. If we have good wifi – we will provide instant Club Log and LoTW

    Please see www.la7gia.com for details.

    21 COMMENTS

    1. As Shani said, please try to dedicate a reasonable amount of time to working SSB in addition to cw. It sounds like you will have an excellent station and ample time, and many of us really would love to get Somalia (6O) in the log. Thanks and good luck!

    2. SSB is fine for short hops, but CW is needed to hit long paths, especially paths over the Pole. From W6, this is 9,400 miles at Az 18 degrees (which is mostly over the pole). In my experience, a path that provides solid CW copy a few S-units above the noise still leaves SSB below the noise. And those difficult paths will typically be open for only an hour or two a day. 6O is about 6,000 miles from W1 and 3,400 miles from HA, and neither path is polar. I have a very good station, and managed only one QSO, on 17M CW, with the last group who activated 6O in 2012. Nearly 2/3 of their QSOs were with EU stations.

      If I were running an expedition to a location like this, I’d be concentrating on CW on bands/hours that offer the best propagation for ATNOs to the most difficult locations. From this QTH, that looks like KL7 and the west coast of US and Canada.

    3. My wish is that you have a very safe trip and some fun along the way. From W7 land, on 40M Somalia is almost impossible to work with the sun spot cycle where it is. Openings can be as short as 15 or 20 minutes on this 15,000KM polar path. Hopefully there will be an opportunity when the gray line crosses our locations.
      Be safe,
      Robert W7RR

    4. Thank you for your good “6O6O” DX-Pedition.
      I am looking forward to QSO’s with 6O6O.
      I hope you have a good time.
      Vy best 73 & GL~~
      de HL2WA

    5. you are doing a wonderful job, you manage the pile up with great ability, thank you for calling for asia and vk etc during the big eu piles.
      thank you for the new contacts for an atno from the Philippines.
      best of luck on your dxpedition.

    6. You guys are doing a great job under arduous conditions. Thanks for being there!
      Incidentally, I worked you on 17 metres CW on 4/1/18 at 12:41 UTC but I was logged as ZS1X and not ZS1XG. If possible, could you change the log?

      Take good care and enjoy your pile-ups

      73 Simon ZS1XG

    7. Very nice of Kenneth & Adrian to listen for VK on 15m this evening (just before 1100 UTC) – not all DXpeditions do that! Unfortunately all the non-VK ops who kept calling meant they could only copy a handful of VKs.

    8. Not heard ONCE in Scotland, on any band… Even when VOACAP gives 80-90% probability, and signals on the continent are good, there is simply nothing here. I really cannot understand this…

    9. Thanks guys for giving me 6 bands so far. I know very difficult circumstances there, regarding security and noise pollution, but you are doing very well. Keep it up.

    10. Doing a wonderful job under the present band condition.
      Thanks for the QSO.
      Wish you all the best.
      73s Shama
      VU2USA

    11. Ken/Adrian, Thanks for the QSO’s on 7 and 10 MHz. It’s great that you are promoting and supporting Doctors Without Borders…they are a great organization and hopefully your efforts will raise substantial donations for a great cause. You are both great operators! Stay safe and have a great time in Somalia.
      73,
      Mitch

    12. With 75% of the Q’s from Eu…REALLY???? Then when you try to work others the EU qrm is very bad yet others do not qrm them…go figure…and yet some cry to work only them…look at the stats on club log and see….you guys are doing the best you can from the conditions you have so my hats off to you..but should stick more to your guns on working others..

      vy 73

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here