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quadgreen.gif (54 octets) Home QTH
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quadgreen.gif (54 octets) 9Q 1926-97
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quadgreen.gif (54 octets) Ouest
quadgreen.gif (54 octets) Douberman
quadgreen.gif (54 octets) Twist again
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5N0GC - 5N0T - 5N0YL f6blq titre rouge.gif (6702 octets)
1994 - 1998 NIGERIA





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We settled in Lagos by May 1994 for a new professional assignment. General view >

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QTH was a 3.500 sqm plot within Apapa residential area, opposite Tin Can Island, at 3 ft a.s.l. next to (far from blue) Badagry lagoon: quite a good location for ham radio.
After the "usual" domestic improvements (50 kva gen., fuel and water tanks, security, etc ...), this place would prove to be a busy radio spot for the following 4 years. Towers in the background >

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We had been lucky enough to be introduced to NARS Secretary General Oyekunle Ajayi interfacing with Ministry of Communications Abuja. By mid 1994, 5N0ETK signed his first QSO using FT847 + HL2K + DX88: I mean here that 5N licencing is neat and fast, as long as one first registers with the national Society. 5n0oba.gif (162062 octets)

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<NARS logo We soon got invited by NARS to enter the national Society's Managing Committee, in charge of Packet Radio and Contesting, also station manager for 5N0EF, 5N0HQ and 5N4IOTA.

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<Sailing on Lagos lagoon. It is no licence reciprocity to/fro Nigeria. So check IARU Societies website for NARS details and contact adresses in advance. 

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As to drop with a 1x3 letter callsign, Kunle 5N0OBA suggested us by late 1994 to organize ourselves as a club station: this is how TU5NC and myself ended up as the 2 "foundating" members of 5N0GC! Now you know the trick.

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5N0HQ showed up only once, when entering 1997 IARU HF Championship as NARS Headquarter station. What a contest ! A car breakdown made a multi/multi to boil down to a merely single op operation, but still a pleasure to put 5N Society on the air.

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< Bonny Isl. map 5N4IOTA had been issued with intention to activate the new AF-76 BONNY Island in the southeast part of the country: lack of security on the island at that time did not make this operation possible.    
A first 50 ft tower went up with 20/15/10 6 el. and a 17/12 4 el. beams, and vertical delta loop on 40. We were operating at this time FT990 + HL2K as main and FT847 + TL922 as backup.
Packet and DX cluster soon became a time consuming affair, with 2 dedicated HF rigs + 1 VHF into a 2 PC LAN under BPQ, FBB and DxNet, maintaining 24/24 links with AF* and EU* on 7, 10 and 21 Mhz: true experience that powercuts, RFI with the main station, etc ... quickly turned into a real nightmare. NEVER AGAIN!    
On the othe hand, 5N0EF 7.065 khz "AFRICOM" continental daily Net was a real fun, with super controllers like Alfred TU2DP and Francois TJ1AG in particular: lot of friendly DXing on 40.
75m. 1/4 wave vertical at front A full size 1/4 wave self supported vertical  was in use on 75 meter, made of a converted sailboat aluminium mast atop a telephone pole: nice industrial QRM collector but very poor performer! 
Configuration changed for FT1000mp + AL1500 as main, and FT990 + HL2K as backup, with reasonable results on 40 and above. Create beams were taking care of 20 to 10, and KLM on 40 (why this stuff still on market ?).
We had trained a nigerian team that was great doing antenna works, although not really concerned by basic safety procedures: no safety belt, and rubber slippers iso safety boots ...
This peculiar gang rigged a second tower, also redeploying the 20/15/10 6el. tribander + 2 el. 40 m on the 50 ft tower, and the 17/12 4 el. beam on a new 40 ft tower.
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North view 1996


Also  a 75 m. vertically polarized delta loop had come up as a replacement to the junky 1/4 wave vertical, being a good and quiet performer. It is is also about this time that 2 beverages running outside the compound got stolen during a contest night. 
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Main position Shack BBS position
5nantencore.jpg (37105 octets) Inside and outside view of our concrete bunker shack, also 1996 5N0EF BBS main station before last upgrade. 5npetittower.jpg (31030 octets)
By 1997 something serious was to be done for low band operations, and the project for 75 meter came out from a phonecall with John ON4UN:

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< Logistics on site, and Badagry lagoon right behind the fence. A 4 square went up a new 80 ft tower (see pics at left), being 4 x 1/4 wave wire slopers fed through 1/4 wave 75 Ohm coax lines into a Comtek hybrid coupler/switching box, and 12 x 1/4 wave elevated radials (see John's book "Low Band DXing".

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< Starting assembling the 4x20 ft sections. This aerial dramatically improved performances on 75 m., bringing effective gain and impressive F/B (assumed being not less than 20 to 25 Db). Unless a yagi on 75 meter, a 4 square is definitely a very interesting and affordable antenna system on this band. It just requires room around a 80ft mini high tower, and preferably use of non conductive guywires to keep a clean field pattern.

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<Top sections going up in one go. Now 5N0YL, Nicole had assembled a Long John 205 CA that found a place atop tower #2 at 50ft, shooting right over the lagoon to the west. We were then able to instantly switch between 3 different beams on 20, and 2 beams on 15 and 10 thru an homemade relaybox. No phasing, just a great time saving and rotators relief. 

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< Re-rigging the 40m yagi by our chief helper. 160 meter antenna system was still poor, and we had almost given up with it after a water tanker had hooked up our top band dipole one day, driving away with 240 ft of copper wire. One should remember that low band aerials must always be HIGH ! A last attempt with an inverted L aside tower #2 proved again unlucky: due likely to excessive coupling with the tower, it just helped smoking a remote control box. Top band was not made for us those days!
When closing 5N0T operations by spring 1998 after more than 60.000 QSO's (too much work to do more ...), also several contest top ten positions and a great fun, the last station configuration was:

Tower #1 @ 80 ft

(5N* production all fiber guywired)

KLM 2 el. 40 m. @ 82 ft (a true headache)
75 m. four square @ 80 ft (homemade beauty)
Cushcraft A3, 3 el. 20/15/10 @ 30 ft (standard)

Tower #2 @ 50 ft

(TU* production, good investment)

HyGain Long John 5 el. mono 20 m. @ 50 ft (a killer)
160 m. inverted L (unlucky affair) 
30 m. dipole + VHF

Tower #3 @ 40 ft 

(5N* reconditioned, a funny one)

Create 318C, 6 el. 20/15/10 @ 40 ft (an asset)

Tower #4 @ 40 ft

(5N* reconditioned, short but heavy)

Create 248, 4 el. warc @ 40 ft (light and superb)


station #1 YAESU FT 1000 MP + Ameritron AL 1500
station #2 YAESU FT 990 + Tokyo High Power HL2K
packet #1 YAESU FT 747 into W3HH folded dipole
packet #2 KENWOOD TS 50 into 30 m dipole