Monday, March 5, 2012

J52DXpedition 2012, March 24 to April 6, 2012.

J52DXpedition 2012,  March 24 to April 6, 2012.

The Verona Section of A.R.I. (Italian Radioamateurs Association) is organizing, by means a group of its members, called Verona DX Team, a DX Expedition, with humanitarian and ham- radio purposes, in J5 Guinea-Bissau, one of the poorest countries in the world. The Call J5 is a "most wanted", especially in RTTY, CW and digital modes, and has never been activated in EME.The expedition will be on air from March 24 to April 6, 2012. This date was chosen given the good conditions for VHF EME activity and the possibility to operate on all HF bands in all modes. The location will be in the Cumura Mission, where a Franciscan Friar, who is an OM  member of A.R.I. Verona, offers his work. Father Gianfranco Gottardi has worked for nearly 20 years in several Missions in Guinea-Bissau where his presence was requested by the Bishop of Bissau. He was active in HF from these Missions with the calls J54OFM, J52OFM, J59OFM. The OFM suffix standing for Order Friars Minor, which refers to St. Francis. Our goal is also to help Father Gianfranco with our work. We'll be active on all bands including VHF EME. Probable call J52EME - locator IK21DT All the money received with QSL cards and donations will be devolved to the mission. During our stay we'll do some work such as the creation of a LAN in the Hospital of Cumura and the connection to the Leper Hospital. We'll fix and improve the mains power system, which now works only for a few hours a day for the Hospital. We'll fix the generators so that in the periods of power outage the 24V batteries will be charged and ready for emergency services, such as incubators and medical equipment. We'll form small groups of operators that will shift so as to be present in radio and at maintenance work. We ask you to help, if possible, our expedition with a financial contribution or ham-radio equipment.  For each QSO we'll send a QSL card via the bureau, except those requested direct. We'll send articles about the expedition to ham-radio magazines (Italian and international) with a list of sponsors that have helped  our expeditio

About Guinea-Bissau
The Republic of Guinea-Bissau (Portuguese: República da Guiné-Bissau) is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Senegal to the north, and Guinea to the south and east, with the Atlantic Ocean to its west.It covers 36,125 km² (nearly 14,000 sq mi) with an estimated population of 1,600,000.Guinea-Bissau was once part of the kingdom of Gabu, as well as part of the Mali Empire. Parts of this kingdom persisted until the 18th century, while a few others were part of the Portuguese Empire since the 16th century. It then became the Portuguese colony of Portuguese Guinea in the 19th century. Upon independence, declared in 1973 and recognised in 1974, the name of its capital, Bissau, was added to the country's name to prevent confusion with the Republic of Guinea.Only 14% of the population speaks the official language, Portuguese. A plurality of the population (44%) speaks Kriol, a Portuguese-based creole language, and the remainder speak native African languages. The main religions are African traditional religions and Islam, and there is a Christian (mostly Catholic) minority.Guinea-Bissau is a member of the African Union, Economic Community of West African States, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Latin Union, Community of Portuguese Language Countries, La Francophonie and the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone.The country's per-capita gross domestic product is one of the lowest in the world

CUMURA, from "Damned Land" to Land of life  
Cumura means "damned land". And it is here, in this land covered by tropical vegetation  that the Franciscan Friars in 1955 built their most important center. A pole of activity that has given hope to the entire Guinea-Bissau. Yes, because Cumura in figures is a series of schools for a total of 1,500 students, from kindergarten to high school; and is also a leper colony where patients arrive also from neighboring countries; is a hospital full of many wards. Only the maternity registers 160 births per month. The leper colony collects an increasing number of patients suffering from AIDS, TB and leprosy, diseases far from be eradicated here. In fact, increasing. Now the Franciscan Friars would like to build a new tests laboratory because the current one is now decaying and allows only 60 blood tests per day.It all began many years ago, with the care of lepers, who were previously confined as in a lazaret. They had to self-sustain, no one would get near them.Just for medicines Cumura spends 100,000 euros per year, though being able to buy at 10% of their price thanks to the work of a Dutch company. The Cumura hospital has 100 employees. Their salaries are paid partially by the State, the balance is paid by the Friars. In fact is paid by the benefactors who hand over many offers and aids to them .Speaking about employees: schools have 40, 12 workers are engaged in building maintenance, 5 work in the various workshops (because here they try to do everything in-house), 15 labourers. All are in the Franciscan Friars's payroll (some only partially). And then there are the Sisters, also Franciscan. They are 5 in Cumura and are an active part in the management of the nursery and some hospital wards such as Pediatrics and Maternity."Providence has always helped us" Brother Memo says, the one that uses the forklift and is also the Cumura's treasurer "and every month we are able to find the about ten thousand euros needed to make everything go." A hand also lends Father Piergianni, Brother from Montecchia di Crosara (Verona), with a long white beard, who knows how to work as a master builder, an electrician,  a plumber ... and knows how to use the computer; Brother Gianfranco, from Ceggia (Venice), a factotum who in 20 years has been round all the missions in Guinea Bissau. If the founder of Cumura, Father Settimo Ferrazzetta,could see them today working like bees in the hive, would be proud of these three Venetian Friars (together with Brother Memo, Brother Piergianni and Brother Gianfranco , also operates the Father Superior Ernesto, Pastor of Cumura) and of their Portuguese Brothers. One of them, the young Father Victor is also a doctor and there is no day that he is late to the refectory for some urgency in the ward ... He smiles when asked how do you sustain these paces. A question of faith ? Professional ethics ? Maybe both. Of course Cumura is an anchor for the future of Guinea. An example among many of the hundred, thousand, ten thousand Cumura around the world, where missionaries and lay people, through their volunteer work, every day allow Africa to look at its future with a bit more of hope.translated from a writing of Renato Malaman

From Cumura we’ll try to operate 2 stations on the HF bands. One station will be active from the Father Gianfranco J52OFM radio shack, equipped with a 3 elem. for 10/15/20 meters and the other station will be field day style, with a home made spiderbeam for 20/17/12 meters (tnx IK3JBP), which will be installed nearby. Dipoles and loops will be installed to cover the remaining bands. Operations will base mainly on RTTY and CW modes, but that does’nt mean that we will be not active in SSB, we’ll be present in the CQ WW WPX SSB. Considering that we have problems with mains supply at night, we'll have to make the most of the openings offered by propagation during daylight hours. We’ll try to favour QSOs with the countries most interested in the new one, if the propagation conditions permit. On the low bands we would like to satisfy everyone, but you must take into account that at the moment we do not have a linear amplifier suitable for transport by air. Consequently, we have temporarily excluded operations in 160 meters, waiting to solve the problem of the linear amplifier.We’ll also operate on 6m, but only on sked to take advantage of the potential ES openings and do not take time away from other bands. The main purpose of our expedition is essentially humanitarian, as clearly shown in another part of this site, but the involvement of amateur radio is particularly appropriate on this occasion, not only for us that operate from Guinea-Bissau, but also for those who will be able to have a QSO with a country among the poorest on earth. Operators will be: I3LDP Lucio (SSB, RTTY), IK3IUL Silverio (CW, SSB, RTTY), IZ3BUR Livio (SSB, RTTY), I3VJW Walter (CW, SSB, RTTY), IK3RBE Libero (SSB, RTTY), Milena IK3VZJ (RTTY, SSB), Tony IK3ESB (SSB, CW, RTTY), Ilario IZ3STA (SSB, RTTY). For operations on 6 meters: I3LDP,  IK3RBE, IK3ESB and IZ3STA; only on sked. RTX: Kenwood TS-590, ICOM IC-7000   PA: Acom 1000 Further operational details will be announced as we will have updated information from Father Gianfranco J52OFM, our logistical support in J5.

QSL Informations
Check our log-online page for VHF and HF QSOs. If your QSO is not in the log, send an email to let us know.
Direct QSL Card Request•Ensure that your QSOs are in the J52EME log. Report any suspected errors to us prior to sending your cards.•Ensure that the QSO information on your card is clear and correct.•Enclose a good quality self-addressed envelope of sufficient size and strength for the number of return cards expected. No labels only please ! Up to 3 QSOs can be confirmed on a single card. •Send 2 x US$ for all Europe, the US, Japan and for the rest of the world. This will cover the cost of sending one or two cards confirming up to 6 QSOs. Additional cards pro rata. •Please no IRCs.•Italian stamps are also welcome. Unfortunately, we cannot use stamps or currency from other countries!•Additional dollars, euros or italian stamps  are very welcome and will be used to help the Cumura Mission. In this case, however, it’s preferable to make a donation via PayPal for the QSL and for the Mission.Any sponsoring is welcome!Please send your QSL card to  I3LDP Lucio Bresciani, Via Locchi 29, Verona 37124, Italy
Bureau QSL Card RequestQSL requests received via the bureau will receive a return card via the bureau.If you do send a card, please ensure that the QSO information on your card is clear and correct and mark your cards J52EME via I3LDP. We advise you to verify your QSOs are in the J52EME log using our log-online prior to sending your cards.
QSL Card by DonationIf you made a donation to the DXpedition your QSL cards will be mailed to you at the address you entered when you completed the PayPal donation form (in the “Message to Verona DX Team” box). However, please verify that all of your QSOs are correctly recorded in our log-online and advise us of any errors via email.

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