The DXpedition is over – and what an expedition that was. Visiting was an eye-opener and an unforgettable experience. The incredible nature and the beauty of the region hit us as soon as we left the airport.
We spend three days putting up antennas and setting up the station. During this time we had many spectators as well as helping hands. Children from the nearby village would come by everyday to help us with the antenna works, demonstrating a shockingly accurate intuitive understanding of the process of erecting a 26 metre SpiderPole.
As soon as we made it on the air our primary emphasis was put on the WARC bands in order to satisfy some of the demand for 9G on these in particular. While the main objective of the trip was the CQ WW CW Contest, we made an additional 10 000 QSOs outside the contest mostly using SSB. Unfortunately we were forced to give up the digital modes in favour of getting the station up and running for the contest.
We had many wonderful experiences with the pile-ups on 17 metres especially, which turned out to be the best performing band along with 20 metres. For our low-band activities we had to combat the naturally occurring QRN, but the K9AY was a great help there. Propagation was generally poor on the higher bands of 15, 12 and 10 metres. Only a few hundred QSOs were possible on these bands outside the contest.
In the contest we worked as M/S LP, using the clever and well working setup by our most competent engineers; Drago/S59A and Uroš/S57SU — who spent a lot of time putting together and testing the sophisticated but compact setup that made it possible for two operators to share the pileup on the run station and one operator to work on multipliers. It is incredibly difficult to work multipliers as a low-power station at times, but the tireless efforts of the team brought the end result to some 5400 QSOs in the contest.
Rest assured we had a lot of fun during the whole trip. We made many new friends and gained some insight into the lives of people in southern Ghana.
We would like to thank the DX community for the many and generous donations we received for this DXpedition. These were used to procure a petrol generator as backup in case of power outages. The generator was used at a few occasions during the DXpedition and eventually donated to the local community upon our return to Europe.
We the team; Renato/S57UN, Rado/S59ZZ, Borut/S57GM, Peter/S54W, Drago/S59A, Uroš/S57SU and Alex/OZ7AM would like to thank everyone for calling us in the contest and in the pile-ups before and after. We all had a great time under the Ghanian sun and hopefully we provided a new country to some of the 5000 unique calls that made it in to our log.
73 until the next time! — The 9G5W team