Back in March 2014, The Algerian and Tunisian Member Societies have signed a cooperation agreement to reinforce relations through joint activities. Part of the agreement was to exchange visits and conduct DXPeditions.
The idea of arranging a DXPedition in Algeria in 2019 was appreciated by both societies. Preparations started end of October 2019. The idea was to activate Algeria on low bands and benefit from the low solar cycle conditions.
We wanted to make this DXPedition a good opportunity to boost youngsters interest in the hobby so we involved 4 youngsters in the event; Sarra 7X2QV (23 years, YL), Lotfi 7X2QC (24 years), Marwa 3V8CB (24 years, YL) and Ahmed 3V1B/KG5OUE (22 years). Three of these youngsters were in YOTA events held by IARU.
The involvement of the youngsters was from the preparation work to the stations dismantle. In addition to being on the air, everyone had something to work on.
The rest of the team included Afif 7X2RO (co-Leader), Ash 3V8SF/KF5EYY (co-Leader), Mohamed 7X3TL (27 years), Redha 7X5QB and Abdelghani, 7X2TT/M0NPT. The responsibility of these OMs was to drive the event and prioritize knowledge transfer over being on-the-air.
The Tunisian team flew from Tunis to Algiers. They arrived late on December 28th to Bejaia city joining the Algerian Team. We immediately started putting up antennas.
Abdelghani 7X2TT kicked off operation through Eshail and continuously making demonstrations and providing information to the youngsters on satellite operation and set up.
The rest of the team built a 26m high inv‑L for 160, a full Quarterwave vertical for 80, a 2 element Fritzel yagi for high bands, a 7 elements yagi for VHF, a K9AY receiving loop, a GP for 30m then adding a coil for it to operated on 40 as well.
We did our best to operate 2 stations at a time. We had a quite few technical issues but we overcome them.
Part of the DXPedition objectives was to socialize and build a strong team capable of making bigger plans in the future. Although we ended up with 5800 QSOs in 4 days, the operating schedule was intentionally not made tight.
On December 31st, we had a nice BBQ dinner together insitue that we really enjoyed!
The log inluded QSOs split as follows: 38% CW, 55% SSB, 7% FT8. It was nice to see youngsters favoring SSB operation over FT8.
We had 1121 QSOs on 160m and 798 QSOs on 80m. 356 US stations and 30 JAs worked on 160.
The DXPedition team highly value the support we got from NCDXF, LSDXA and MDXC along with some other individual hams. This support is a solid investment into the future of ham radio hobby. We urge all DXPeditioners to involve youngesters in their future trips and do their best to make it easy and least costly for them.
Written by Ashraf Chaabane, 3V8SF/KF5EYY