NOVEMBER 27, 2018

The full story on the ill-fated TT8KO DXpedition can be found hereΒ 

OCTOBER 26, 2018 @ 17:30z

I arrived home today. What a feeling! Thanks to the Norwegian Embassy who resolved the issue quickly, very well done. All equipment arrived as well. I also managed to work Ducie as atno earlier today, so a great day.

I have decided that full log of 2135 Qs will be uploaded to LoTW asap, you should find your confirmation soon in LoTW. M0OXO will handle the OQRS through his system, QSL will be printed soon.

If any of the upfront sponsors want a refund, let me know.

If somebody wants to help me cover the extra costs (1800-2000 USD) I had when rebooking flights twice and extending the stay, I very much appreciate a donation to my paypal kenneth@opskar.no

The authorizathion was sent to ARRL in August, so don’t worry about that.

73 Ken LA7GIA

The TT8KO shack

OCTOBER 24, 2018 @ 12:15z

I received the news that I can leave Chad immediately. I am not allowed to transmit. All antennas are to be taken down today before sunset because there is a Presidential event at the hotel tomorrow, and he will be here. Hotel is now packed with VIPs, police and military personnel. I am done with the sightseeing so my flight is booked for tomorrow.

OCTOBER 23, 2018 @ 18:30z

KEN EXPLICITLY ASKED NOT TO SHARE ANY NEWS UPDATES VIA THE TT8KO FACEBOOK PAGE. THIS IS TO PREVENT HIS FAMILY FROM WORRYING MORE.

There isn’t much progress. Yesterday’s meeting was fake news – it never happened. The Norwegian Embassy is working on the case. we are still waiting for the case to be processed by security police. All my antennas are still locked down. The beam, dipoles and beverage still up. 80m antenna fell down during a local TT party, but is now packed in the bag. I am safe and in the hotel compound doing absolutely nothing. I really appreciate all emails, I read all of them. Also thanks to everybody who spend 5 min or even hours chatting with me, it really keeps the spirit up.

OCTOBER 22, 2018 @ 07:00z

Lots of people have been asking how is Ken and what’s latest news. At this time Ken is ok and still in Chad. Had he been fully operational as TT8KO, his return home would have been yesterday; as such he is overdue. Ken stated he will give an update later.

OCTOBER 18, 2018 @ 13:30z

Last night I was informed that a police order has been issued preventing me from leaving CHAD, even w/o equipment. Status of my return flight has changed to “open”. The norwegian embassy and foreign ministry is now working on the issue. I get many emails every day from DXers around the world with kind words – it keeps the spirit up – thanks! Hotel staff also very supportive. Still waiting.

OCTOBER 17, 2018 @ 10:15z

This morning I changed my return ticket so will leave Chad on Thursday 18th – within 24h from now. However, I am still not allowed to disassemble the equipment until inspection is completed as everything must remain as is. I intend to take my Elecraft K3 radio and antennas with me, but I don’t have more info than that. Will keep you updated if any change. Thanks for all kind words.

OCTOBER 16, 2018 @ 12:30z

Kenneth has again been in touch to say he will give an update soon. He’s still waiting on security police. QRX..

OCTOBER 13, 2018 @ 19:10z

Manana manana. I have been through 2 interrogations by the security police. More about that later. My gear has been disconnected. The antennas on the roof are locked down, I cannot access them even for visual inspection or maintenance. I am not allowed to touch anything. And I mean anything. When I did it was reported. Everything has to remain in the same position, no alterations are accepted, not even to tighten a loose nut. The beam failed once during the first 24 hours which I managed to fix with a spare part. From ground level I can now see the reflector element is out of position, as yesterday we had a brief storm.

This morning I also saw my red beverage wire being hit by apparently a colour blind bird during landing – very poor landing skill ! The security police have – through their investigation – concluded that all my documents are ok – and I have done all correctly. However, what now causes the delay is the fact that ARCEP, who issued all documents, did not inform the security police. The police do not issue authorizations, but supervise the national security. The police are now after ARCEP, not me. Still, even after lots of meetings, believe me, I have tried everything, they can’t say when they will inform me.

So, while waiting for the police – there is absolutely nothing more to be done. I might get a phone call in 5 min or never. I don’t know. If there is no decision by the police very soon – I will return home. Thanks to everyone for supporting me – my safety here is no problem!

OCTOBER 13, 2018 @ 09:00z

Kenneth has been in touch to say he will give an update later today. We’ll publish that update as soon as we receive it. QRX.

OCTOBER 12, 2018 @ 12:45z

Waiting for the President of Republic of Tchad (Idriss Deby) to return to the country at 15:00 UTC today. After that the Chief of National Security Police, who is with the President, will personally check the radio himself. It’s no joke. They say I probably can continue today, but no promises. If this delay continues even more I will return home.

OCTOBER 11, 2018

The inspection of the equipment by the national security police has been postponed until tomorrow. No time given. Equipment has been disconnected. The Head of the police himself is travelling with the President, and when they return from abroad tomorrow, the Head of police will check the equipment personally with his technicians. All papers are ok and issued by Ministry. Apart from that, all is ok here.

Until then I catch up with some sleep, it was a very intense first 24h completing the installation and being on the air same time with 2135 Qs. The hotel is really great, fantastic take-off. The beverage is also working very well. Yesterday the Mosley beam failed, but I replaced one inductor this morning.
I was running on the 40m dipole on 15m last 30 min yesterday. Fantastic signals from NA on 15 and 40m! Until then the log for the first 24h has been uploaded to Club Log.

OCTOBER 10, 2018

Security police shut down the station this evening. TT8KO is temporary QRT until tomorrow 10 UTC when they will decide if I can continue. I think this is temporary until all license and equipment admission documents have been reviewed by security police together with Ministry, followed by a CW demo. So far 2150 Qs in log first 24 hours. All antennas have been installed except 160m vertical.

AUGUST 23, 2018

Republic of Chad Single-op DXpedition, 09 – 21 Oct 2018 by Kenneth LA7GIA

DXpedition booked for 12 days. Finally I obtained the VISA which took me some time. Usually getting a VISA is “easy”, but this time my professional VISA agent had to go to their European Embassy twice to obtain it!

Chad is ranked pretty high up worldwide on lower bands, even higher for NA west coast. It’s been a few years since the last single-op activation, and some more years since a group activated this entity. A couple of single op operations are not valid for DXCC.

The QTH will be a hotel in N’Djamena. There are unfortunately not many suitable and quiet locations (noise wise).

But the plan is to have the beam and dipoles high up about 25-30 meter. There are space for low band verticals and receiving antennas. I also plan to avoid the static season.

QTH: N’Djamena

I will use the following equipment.

1 x Radio Elecraft K3 (upgraded)
1 x Radio KX3 as backup
1 kW amplifier

My favourite 2 el Mosley beam: 20-17-15-12-10m up abt 25 meter
80m antenna, toploaded vertical – SPIDERBEAM POLE
Various backup TX antennas for different bands.
Various RX antennas: K9AY, BOG and beverage, some homebrew and some sponsored by Remoteqth.com

TBD – still planning

40/30m dipole or possible 2 el wire beam? up 25-30 meter.
160m antenna, toploaded vertical. Abt 28-30m vertical section.
backup, backup, backup ..

Modes: CW (+ maybe SSB). No digi mode planned.

QRX until next month for more info.

37 COMMENTS

  1. In this special case it might have been very unfortunate that the same hotel was used for a presidential meeting shortly after the planned activation. In a country at war against boko haram the situation is certainly difficult.

  2. Again,

    Please refrain from negative comments about the processes of other countries. This is not to DEFEND those actions, but rather to assert that the best way to ban ham radio in a rare country is to make that country look foolish.

    Most hams cannot accept the fact that enemies of a given state OFTEN use ham transceivers (obviously illegally), so ANY legit operations comes across as potential red flag. It would be like talking about the subject of highjacking on a US jet–you just don’t do it. Also, many countries are well aware of the role of spying and ham transceivers (and many of the spies were /are hams to boot).

    IOW, think out the impact of such negative statements…does it help?

  3. Max : somebody weeks ago suggested on Dx World to try Syria bcz it was quiet for weeks ..
    Just answered him about the real situation going on there,
    Edmundo : tnx for correction !Yes SA-083 ! sorry !Gl Col and friend for EL AF-111 ,hoping here for a new iota ..

  4. Hello Ken, I’m happy to read that “they” finally found a solution that is safe and bearable for you – so keeping our fingers crossed from all of us has brought something… πŸ™‚
    Good and safe journey home!
    …cu frm a more hospitable destination…
    73 Hel

  5. @VA2IG: The comment on August 24 was about Jan Mayen Island, suggested by reader “YK”, and not about Syria.

  6. For YK its a fairy tale ! ITU rule is clear:it is clearly forbidden to opearate a country at war! Those who think thats its calm there leave TV and watch You Tube!Syria is divided and occupy !I still think that Salias-y-Gomez (rapa-nui)OC-083 is peacefull and valuable I contribuate sometimes ..GL Ken sri for this bad situation (((

  7. I strongly suggest not making any negative comments about Chad. Although we disagree with the process, let the process happen so that Ken can return home. I also remind everyone that ALL African countries are concerned about insurgents, and that many of those use radios to communicate. Obviously this is NOT what is happening with Ken, but people will see that soon and Ken will be basking in the Northern Lights shortly.

  8. Good morning!!

    I suggest everyone email the Norwegian embassy in your country, asking for action.

    Kenneth, we’re for you …
    All the best.

  9. Kenneth, wishing you all the best and a speedy return home. Thank you for your gallant efforts. I was happy to work you but will be happier to learn you are back home with your family. DX Is! Vy 73, Dave, K1DT

  10. Very sad situation. I pray for this to be solved in your favor as soon as posible, Ken. Thank you anyway for trying to get Chad on the air. We, Colombian radioamateurs, stand for you. Hope you can return home safely.
    Take care friend.
    Luis Arango HK4L

  11. We are helping them as NATO is there and risk their lifes to fight terrorism ,and thats like they thanks us ? What a shame !

  12. I saw that coming. That’s exactly why I will never ever go to Africa again. Let’s hope the embassy can get this resolved.

  13. For this to happen, after you received permission from the telecom authority, sure doesn’t reflect well on the host country. Thank you Ken, for all the good work you did here.

    73,
    Steve

  14. Good Morning.
    We hope it’s okay, Kenneth !!
    Keep us informed.
    You are already a hero !!
    Congratulations … Ham Spirit !!
    Best 73
    PY5DK – Dirceu

  15. My gut feeling says this might turn into a dangerous situation. Let’s hope you can leave the country.
    Safe travel.
    Gust ON6KE

  16. You must be very frustrated by this situation Ken. Your safety is the most important thing, be safe. I do hope you can get back on the bands, there are a lot of us who want TT on some bands.
    Good luck to you, and thanks for your efforts.
    73’ Pete, N5KD.

  17. Thanks fer support from everyone! Much of the public services like landline phone, cellphone and internet is down frequently or vy slow. There are frequent power outages. Despite the situation, yes it is really frustrating, my safety is no issue as it is now. The hotel compound is guarded by armed security personell ( as well is my antennas hi). Taking a taxi yesterday to ARCEPs offices, yes during searching with metal detector upon returning to hotel – the driver was armed with a machete and a gun- to keep us safe. Hotel is very supportive and keeps the spirit up, it is a great location indeed. Manana manana, no one know what future brings. I have some antenna maintenance to do if I get access – as it is now absolutely NO touching. The phone call – it is like waiting for power ball lottery. I have some great stories from the interrogation later. I could not believe what they asked about!

  18. Well, if my experience living in Chad for 2 years is any indication, the next visit will require extra license fees, after which you may or may not get permission to transmit again. Thanks for putting Chad on the air and see you in the pileups!

    Harv
    K2Pi

  19. I hope the inspection by the police chief himself can be filmed and put on YouTube. That should be a riot. “Ah, I see you have a machine that goes PING!”

  20. YK, but you still need quite some paperwork before getting permissing for landing there; it is not that easy πŸ™‚

  21. I hope Ken will activate Jan Mayen next. This entity is silent for several years, and Ken needs no visa to go there. πŸ™‚

  22. Every now and then TT8FC is active on 20 m SSB, but generally TT nowadays is rare on the bands. So, many thanks, Kenneth, for this activity.

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