[NEWS UPDATE by Hal, W8HC] – For the past 3 days, in addition to our 9G4X operations, we have been joined by 18 Ghanaians, all seeing a DXpedition and perhaps amateur radio itself for the very first time.

Seventeen of our visitors are from Ghana’s National Communication Authority (NCA), their government’s equivalent of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the U.S. They are here to learn about amateur radio in hopes there will be opportunities to promote the hobby in a country with less than a handful of active licensed amateur operators amongst a population of about 33 million.

Six of the visitors are NCA staff members who work at the government office in Accra while the other eleven are part of this country’s one-year national service program requiring young Ghanaians to participate in internships after graduating from school. Most of these young people have electrical and computer engineering backgrounds and potentially great candidates for entering amateur radio.

We also have had with us Dr. Walter Allen, retired professor from the U.S. who emigrated to Ghana about a year and a half ago and is looking to fulfill his longtime goal of becoming an amateur radio operator.

Throughout the past 3 days we have tried to show them the many things the hobby offers. Local operator Haim Lewy, 9G5AF is working closely with the NCA to develop a training and licensing program that will expand amateur radio here in Ghana.

The 9G4X team has been happy to be part of the outreach efforts here during our DXpedition and we look forward to great results and success with the program as it unfolds.

[MARCH 27] – The 9G4X M/2 contest operation concluded last night with a raw score of nearly 12M points. Contest QSOs and pre-contest contacts from our initial 30 hours have all been uploaded to CluLog with over 6,500 QSOs entered.

The extreme solar disturbances on Friday/Saturday and accompanying high A Index from this location at the equator, caused us to abandon any possible low band attempts during the contest. We had set up beverages and pennant RX antennas prior to the contest but only experienced favorable response with the pennant. However we were able to take advantage of some great openings on 10m and 15m Saturday night while our 3rd, non-contest station was utilized on CW for several hours on WARC bands during some of this time.

We are optimistic with post-contest condx as we see more favorable solar numbers for the remaining 4 days of the 9G4X operation and this morning we are making some antenna revisions that we hope will improve our situation on 80m and 160m. We hope to be on these bands tonight and will only be operating FT8 on these bands IF we are QRV.

Unfortunately we experienced a local power failure yesterday evening (2000Z), which as of now (1200Z Monday), has not been resolved. All of the facilities here, including our stations, are being powered by the on-site backup generator. The bad news is we are experiencing significant fluctuations with this backup generator causing our amplifiers to trip.

Electricians are currently working to make necessary repairs to restore commercial power. Meanwhile 9G4X will only be running 100w until this is resolved. Likewise we will not attempt low band operation until we are once again able to utilize our PAs without the sudden shutdowns.

Please know that 9G4X has returned to the DXpedition phase of the project… watch Club Log’s LiveStream for our current QRG.

Finally, we are monitoring 50.313MHz using MSHV and with the 5-element EAntenna LFA donated by DXE. We are QRX for any traces to appear in the waterfall.

[MARCH 25] – Pictures courtesy of Hal W8HC who says:

By now you should know 9G4X has been QRV for about 24hours and with almost 15 hours into the WPX Contest. I haven’t had an opportunity to give an update but will try after the contest. Meanwhile, I want to share some images of our QTH and some of the team..

MORE PICTURES CAN BE VIEWED HERE

[PREVIOUSLY] – Our 9-member 9G4X team is now assembled at the spacious Sankofa Beach House on the Atlantic coast south of Accra.

Unfortunately the 7 US team members’ flight from JFK to Accra was delayed almost 2.5hours due to a maintenance issue with the plane (Delta). Frantic search for a missing bag at Accra, resulted in another lost hour as we had hoped to have at least two stations QRV on early Thursday a.m. (GMT). Waiting on us outside of security at the airport the team was met by our gracious host Haim, 9G5AF and Zeev, 4X5ZS who arrived in Ghana 2 days ago. We left the airport at 5pm, probably the worst time of day to navigate a mini-bus through Accra, taking 2.5 hours to get to our QTH and almost an hour after sunset. This gave us a half hour to get to our rooms and freshen up before dinner at 8pm.

(March 23) we build our stations and hope to be QRV with 3 stations by late Thursday. This is a great location and we are hopeful 9G4X will have a great signal from here!

Meanwhile, team members meeting for the first time had a great opportunity to get to know each other and share stories and experiences from the past…. This is truly what makes our hobby so great!

Masao, the owner of the Sankofa Beach House is very supportive of our DXpedition and our contest effort and we are most grateful for his kindness and hospitality… this is a great DXpedition and contest QTH!