Wednesday, November 16, 2011



Imagine a city of two million four hundred thousand inhabitants in which reside twenty individuals on the DXCC “Honor Roll.” One for every one hundred twenty thousand inhabitants. Having done two calculations respective of the numbers characterizing our hobby, these figures are certainly high. Don’t think of this as some kind of “dream world,” because this place really exists. The place is Fortaleza in Brazil, in the state of Ceará, which is assigned the prefix PT7.

Not surprisingly, this is the place where the “Fortaleza DX Group” was born, with a nucleus of operators who, since the seventies have been on the hunt for DX in interpreting the hobby their way. Their work has always been sustained unambiguously: ask DXpedition enthusiasts of rare entities or islands from the 70s and 80s and they’ll tell you of calls in industrial quantities with the prefix “Papa Tango Seven.”

However, many of the OMs who so intensely surrendered themselves to the burning passion of ham radio in that part of Latin America are silent keys today, or have long since hung up their headphones. Still, the hunt for DXCC or for IOTA references can account for more than enough such people. With regard to the “award” which recognizes contacts with the islands, it’s impossible not to mention the role of Luke, PT7WA, one of the legendary members of the “DX group” and IOTA “check point” for South America.

Back in 2003, members of the Fortaleza DX Group decided to dedicate themselves, with the same vigor which had always set them apart, to contesting. A club station was thus born which first had the callsign ZY7C. Seven years later, with their stats on-hand, this callsign was changed to PW7T to avoid confusion on the air. The setup is impressive: eight towers with stacked yagis on 40 through 10 meters, as well as antennas dedicated to the low bands, equally impressive in size.

The station is active as a Multi-op Two-TX operation. In every contest, OMs from all of Brazil head to Fortaleza to live the experience of operating at a facility of this caliber. However, in checking out PW7T or ZY7T in the stats of the major international contests, you’ll easily take note of the volume of contacts and the results of which we speak.

If today we find ourselves talking about this DX group, it’s because of a project of theirs which merits mentioning. It’s called the ForDX Foundation and is rooted in the idea, common to this group of operators, that South America (and Brazil) should be represented in a major way on the DXpedition scene. One of the ways to incentive this type of operation is by offering financial support to those operators who set off for remote locations, leaving house and home to afford all of us a juicy “new one.”

The strong belief of its promoters is that this initiative is unique to South America and that it would be able to ultimately increase the level of DX activity on the continent. In the end, members of the Fortaleza DX Group (but any other DXer could do the same) are obligated to pay a monthly amount to the fund. The funds raised will be used to finance DXpeditions deemed worthy by the group. The main criterion would be that of supporting funding of large expeditions to especially rare DXCC entities or IOTA islands.

How do you make yourself available for support from the ForDX Group? It’s easy enough: drop an e-mail to the address, providing detailed information on your DXpedition, including setup and budget, and of course, event duration and destination. This project was just recently launched and further information will be published soon on the PW7T website. These webpages already address the possibility for those wanting to make a donation and have published the list of DXpeditions supported ny the Foundation of the Fortaleza DX Group.

No comments: