The all-time operator list for the Voodoo Contest Group’s African jaunts is as follows:
(Click on call-sign to view profile and personal recollections of radio from Africa)
|5B4AGN / G3ZEM
5B4AGN / G3ZEM
Born in 1953 and first licensed 1969 as a "wet behind the ears" 16 year old school kid. My love of CW became rapidly entrenched due to the limitations of a homebuilt transmitter capable of no greater than 4W of AM/CW on 80/40 & 20m. Reliance upon an old Eddystone S640 receiver provided an early introduction to broad-band (barn-door) reception techniques.
I have been associated with electronics throughout the whole of my career. From early beginnings in development of industrial control systems, I moved into the computer industry in the mid-70s. I retired early in 2000 and with my wife Karen, departed for the sunnier climes of Cyprus where we have lived happily ever after.
I have always been a mostly CW operator but make occasional excursions to voice and data modes. I love DXing, contesting and rag-chewing on the key. I also enjoy DX-peditioning to interesting places; recently including KH0, KH2, T8 & V6. I homebrew, regularly using a range of home built equipment on air.
Many hams have helped me a great deal during my amateur radio career. I now gain pleasure through trying to pay this forward; helping others, where I am able, in their pursuit of our great passion.
I am a life member of the Philippine Amateur Radio Association and a member of the Cyprus Amateur Radio Society, FOC, HSC and the Giolou Contest Club.
|Bob Henderson||5V7A(1997) 5V7A(1998) P3F (2013)|
"Alpha Alpha Seven Alphas".
Licensed since 1963 and active on all bands from 160 meters through 23 cm. Principle interests are DXing, contesting, VHF weak signal, EME, antenna design and homebrewing equipment for my flexible station. In DXing, I am top of the Honor Roll Mixed and Phone.needing only P5 on CW. I have DXCC on 160 through 2 meters and 5BWAZ. Currently, I conduct most of my competitive contesting as a member of the Voodoo Contest Group where I have traveled to West Africa and have operated as TZ5A, TZ6NS, 3X5A, 9L7NS, 9L5A, 9L5VT, EL2A and EL2ES during the past seven years. My primary contribution to the contest efforts of the Voodoo Contest Group is in station design, antenna design and power distribution. I have been very active on VHF in AZ for over 35 years and have worked DXCC and Worked All States on 2 and 6 meters.I have been active on 2 meter EME since 1989. I have contacted over 1,000 stations in 135 countries on EME using a homebrew antenna system, preamp, and power amplifier. I have also operated EME while portable in West Africa using the calls TZ6NS and 3X5A. Future trips to other West African countries are planned for the next few years. I am also active on 6m and 70 cm EME using my horizon-only antennas. In addition to being a "professional" amatuer radio operator, I am an Electrical Engineer and work for General Dynamics in Scottsdale, AZ. I currently am leading a group of RF engineers in the design, deployment and testing of a nation-wide VHF/UHF communication system for the US Coast Guard.
|Ned Stearns||TZ5A(2005) TZ5A(2006) 3X5A(2007) 3X5A(2008) 9L5A(2009) 9L5VT(2010) EL2A(2011) EL2A(2012) P3F(2013) 9K2HN(2014) PZ5V(2016)|
Lee, G0MTN, was born in 1974 and licensed 1988. He is a telecommunications engineer by profession, and optimises the GSM and UMTS radio networks for a UK cellular operator. Very keen CW, SSB and data modes operator, operating in over 60 events per year on HF and VHF. He is a member of the RSGB HF and VHF Contest Committees. Joined the VooDudes in 2002 as a nervous rookie. His French language skills are just good enough to order drinks for the team.
|Lee Volante||XT2DX(2002) 5U5Z(2003) 5U5Z(2004)|
Born 1942, licensed 1961. 43 years of contesting on the key - I've won a few and enjoyed them all. You name it, I've tinkered with it, antennas, propagation, amplifiers, and all things amateur radio. Plenty of travelling to meet friends and doing all those things I should have done years ago!
|Bob Whelan||9G5AA(2000) XT2DX(2001) XT2DX(2002) 5U5Z(2004) TZ5A(2005)|
Only one trip, sadly but certainly one to be remembered. I was a very young volunteer in Sierra Leone in the 60’s so welcomed the return trip. Roger and I met in a UK pub to talk it over. I expressed my personal operating doubts but was assured as a rookie there would be quiet spells too! It didn’t work out like that of course because of the failure to get the gear from Guinea. So I found myself one of five setting off to do M2, hand-carrying all our gear. I provided both the beams – my own Spiderbeam and a Moxon for 15m which I built just before setting out. Fortunately I was never asked to open that bag!
Getting on the air was a revelation – not too difficult as it turned out thanks to Zbig and the surplus UN masts. I had stayed near the Bintumani Hotel the previous year and thought what a brilliant QTH it would make. So there I was up on the roof – with a clear view almost to the EiffelTower on a clear day! Aberdeen had changed enormously since I was there as a 19 year-old. Some remnants have survived. Amazingly the school were I taught in the 60’s is both still there and immediately recognisable. It was wonderful of course to put my old call on the air before the contest. 9L1NH had been last heard in August 1964.
The contest itself was of course frantic. Some people try to see how far they can push the rate meter – I just tried to not drop too far below the rate I inherited each time we changed! With only two stations, it was non-stop pile-up – with Roger in the UK helpfully sending us a commentary on what he thought of our progress. Great trip – great bunch of guys – sorry it was my only one. The next year (2010) I was in Kenya for CQWW on my own – how different.
Born 1946, licensed 1963. Previously lived in Iran (EP2IA) and Cyprus, now resides near London. Always 100% CW; Life Vice-President of First Class CW Operators’ Club; CQ Hall of Fame member both DX and Contest. Roger has acted as logistics co-ordinator and QSL Manager for the VooDude team for the past nineteen years. Main activities these days are DXpeditioning, CQWWCW contest, chasing DX from home and going to ham meetings. He believes that amateur radio can make the world a better place by fostering international goodwill. Married to Virginia. Son Russell living in USA.
Extract from CQ Magazine article, May 2013:
Most folks know very little about West Africa. We think of it as uncivilised, dangerous, disease-ridden and war-torn. But what our contest group has found is that these are misconceptions purveyed by sensationalist, mass media and which are entirely contrary to our on-the-ground experiences.
Firstly, we encountered almost universally warm, welcoming people who it was a delight to meet. Yes, they have had their political instability and Yes areas have been war-torn. But even soon after a war ending we have more than once visited countries only to find genuinely hospitable folks who are glad to see us. And not just for the dollars that we bring. But we did find big differences, although somewhat subtle, between the dozen or so countries which we have visited over the past two decades. If I were asked for my favourite it would be Ghana, with Liberia a close second. Of course, they are both English-speaking (loosely!) and that helps. But there is indeed a difference between English and French speaking West Africa: the French areas are more mercenary, seeking to gain an extra dollar.
In Ghana and Liberia we found happy people. How often have you walked down a street in your neighbourhood recently and seen folks, not just children, laughing? Not very often these days. So I wonder about the health of our rich society. Few people in West Africa have cars or surround-sound but they are happy. Their society still has structure: morality, honesty, respect for elders, family cohesion. Their children proudly wear their school uniforms each day – they may not have an iPod or even a calculator but they mostly don’t do drugs or shoot people.
What a fantastic two decades of travel around West Africa. It is true that Africa gets under your skin because Africans are so ALIVE! And all this happened for us because of amateur radio. A common purpose brought us together to participate in CQWW CW contest year after year. We have forged so many life-long friendships not only between ourselves but with many locals on the ground with whom we keep in contact. Thank you CQ Magazine – I doubt that you understand just how far your influence reaches.
|Roger Western||9G5AA (1994) TY5A(1995) 5V7A(1996) 5V7A(1997) 5V7A(1998) 9G5AA(1999) 9G5AA(2000) XT2DX(2001) XT2DX(2002) 5U5Z(2004) TZ5A(2005) TZ5A(2006) 3X5A(2007) 3X5A(2008) 9L5VT(2010) EL2A(2012) P3F(2013)|
I was Licensed in 1966 as a 16 year-old schoolboy, operating mostly on CW right from the start. Having spent a lifetime working in the UK Electricity Supply Industry, I am now happily retired. Was a VooDude in 1998 at 5V7A after doing the CQWW CW in Ghana the year previously with Andy G3AB. At 5V7A, I survived the rookie LF “zoo” challenge of operating 40m and 80m at peak times with only a headache and blurred vision. At home, I build radios and linear amps or fix electronic stuff when it is broken. However, contesting, DXpeditioning (XZ0A, D68C, ET3AA, etc) and chasing DX are my abiding interests. Amazingly, I’ve even managed to win the odd domestic radio contest from my modest station here in Yorkshire.
First licensed in 1968 after a brief spell as a BC and MW DXer, then as an amateur SWL. Don’s main interests have always been in the competitive side of amateur radio, especially DXing on the LF bands. He is a past editor of the RSGB's DX News Sheet and has been a columnist for various amateur radio magazines since 1983. He has served on many amateur radio committees and for 12 years was Manager of the IOTA contest. Don was a referee at WRTC 2006 in Brazil and a judge at the 2010 and 2014 events in Russia and New England. Don worked in the telecommunications industry for almost 30 years, before taking early retirement. Since October 2013 he has been the editor of the UK’s Practical Wireless magazine. He combines this with other travel and social activities, including DXpeditions and contests. Married to Janet with two children, Helena and Edward and one granddaughter, Caitlin.
|Don Field||9G5AA(1999) XT2DX(2001) 5U5Z(2003) 3X5A(2008) 9K2HN(2014)|
|G4BWP / A65BD
G4BWP / A65BD
|Fred Handscombe||5V7A(1998) 9G5AA(1999) 9G5AA(2000) XT2DX(2001) XT2DX(2002) 5U5Z(2003) 5U5Z(2004) TZ5A(2005) TZ5A(2006) 3X5A(2007) 3X5A(2008) 9L5A(2009) 9L5VT(2010) EL2A(2011) EL2A(2012)|
|G4FAM (SK)||Cris Henderson||5V7A(1998) 5V7A(1996) 5V7A(1997)|
|G4iFB / ZL2iFB
G4iFB / ZL2iFB
My first love is CW, particularly CW DXing, CW ragchewing and CW contesting (usually signing ZM4G at home or ZM4T at the club). Apart from the odd SSB contest or pileup and the occasional burst of enthusiasm for RTTY, PSK or other digital modes, you'll mostly find me chasing DX at the bottom ends of whichever bands are open. I also enjoy homebrewing and experimenting with stuff when conditions are poor. My soldering iron is always within reach.
Extract from CQ Magazine article, May 2013:
I vividly remember arriving, for my first ever visit to Africa, at Accra airport in Ghana, en route to operate XT2DX. The wave of heat hit us as soon as we left the plane from chilly old England, and it seemed the whole of West Africa was waiting for us just the other side of the stampy-stampy formalities. Their excitement at seeing a bunch of Europeans carrying big heavy suitcases was almost palpable. We wrestled our way through the hubbub, desperately fending-off the insistent offers to carry our bags and headed to our waiting minivan. Having hurtled through a hot and smoky capital city, we arrived at the relative tranquility of our hotel to be met by the extremely polite and welcoming staff. My arrival in Sierra Leone was much the same, except the taxi turned out to be a Russian helicopter that might have been built before the lunar landings, and noise abatement laws.
My abiding memories of both trips are about the entire team being absolutely focused on our common purpose for the whole time there. I’ll never forget seeing Roger G3SXW valiantly head off into the depths of Accra to find a source of carbon resistors to fix an amplifier (knowing that he would haggle for the best possible price!), or watching Fred G4BWP dangling off the side of the Ouagadougou hotel roof to find a purchase for our guy ropes. Or Zbig 9L1BTB bringing us the vital Internet gizmo to get us on DX Cluster after the hotel broadband turned out to be slower than dial-up, and only available in the lobby. Or the taxi with no windows, no door linings, no lights and no brakes that whisked us to the best French meal I’ve had outside of Toulouse. The bottomless pileups on 5 bands at once, every one of us racing to log the first 500 QSOs before the others. The huge stockpile of stuff, still all there each year, ready to be loaded onto the bus before dawn, off to negotiate another border crossing. Most of all, I remember being among committed DX friends who love contesting and CW and laughter every bit as much as me. Cheers lads: thanks for letting me be a part of it.
|Gary Hinson||XT2DX(2001) 9L5A(2009)|
Licensed in 1979 after a short period of SWL'ing, John resurrected his interest in Amateur Radio in 2001 after 20 years out. Even after that long period, he didn't forget the CW that he'd learnt at a young age and came back into the hobby seeking to re-establish himself into DX'ing and Contesting. Following a number of successful one-man DXpeditions, John was invited to join the team.
He joined the Voodoo team for in Mali at TZ5A (2006) and took over responsibility for the team's computer logging network and internet services from Andy G4PIQ who was stepping back to concentrate on his family.
John is a member of FOC (#2000), CW Ops (#268) and also the RSGB's IARU contest team, GR2HQ.
John's radio activities can be followed at his website: g4irn.com
|John Warburton||TZ5A(2005) TZ5A(2006) 3X5A(2007) 3X5A(2008) EL2A(2012) P3F(2013) 9K2HN(2014) PZ5V(2016)|
Andy, G4PIQ was licensed in 1982 at the age of 16, but had a firm interest in contesting even as an SWL. After an initial year spent on HF, he got rather badly bitten by the VHF DX bug and has spent a lot of time in the last 20 years operating a large VHF station mostly on 2m including moonbounce and meteor scatter. However, contesting at both HF & VHF has always been high on the agenda. Andy was responsible for much of the technical build behind the Europe winning G0KPW-M6T-M8T CQWW SSB Multi-Multi entries in the 1990s, but generally prefers contesting to station building. Andy now does a lot of single op contesting on HF, and was a member of the UK team at WRTC 2002. He’s close to half DXCC on countries visited, but has only operated from around half of those.
|Andy Cook||9G5AA(1999) XT2DX(2001) XT2DX(2002) 5U5Z(2003) 5U5Z(2004)|
“Robbie the Noo”
I was first licensed in 1969 and have been QRV from Scotland since 1975.My interests are chasing DX mainly on CW and I am pursuing the ARRL DXCC Challenge. I am a member of the Voodoo Contest Group and have been active in CQWW CW from many African countries. I have also participated in several DXpeditions such as VP8SDX,YK9G,S79GM,7Q7GM,T2GM etc.
I am currently Chairman of both the GMDX Group and FOC (First Class CW Operators Club)
- a visit to Elmina Castle on the Cape Coast, Ghana. These castles were the last place slaves saw before being shipped to the Americas. The small dungeons where they were held emphasised for me man’s inhumanity to his fellow man. Despite this history the people in Ghana were so friendly and welcoming.
-Ralph Quist 9G1RQ, a gentleman who always looked after us. One amazing evening he took us to the local jazz club, where he was a hero, a renowned pianist who had to give up playing due to failing eyesight. I had the great pleasure of hosting Ralph on his visit to Scotland : boy, did he make the neighbours laugh with his tales!
- visits to the markets and bazaars, always great entertainment, haggling with the vendors over not a lot of money. One occasion stands out: I had just spent my last few dollars on some souvenirs when yet another vendor approached me. I said that the only money I had was one Scottish pound note in my pocket. Now a Scottish pound note even creates suspicion in England but this guy in Ghana after examining it closely took it and I got my last souvenir! A couple of years later while sitting in Accra airport a waiter asked me where I came from. When I said Scotland he went away and reappeared a few minutes later with a Scottish pound note asking if I could change it. I am convinced it was the same note I spent in that market some time earlier. That’s what I call recycling!!
- a voodoo market in Lomé, Togo. This was not for the squeamish: displayed are different bits of dead animals, each one supposedly a cure for some ill. If you choose something to buy the voodoo guy says a little prayer over it before it is ready for sale: then it works its magic (white for good, not black for evil). I don’t think this would work in our shopping malls at home!
- in Benin Vince K5VT doing some rewiring to bypass Peter TY1PS’s electricity box in order to get more power into the shack! Another memory there is of Mike KC7V picking up a tick in his side while he and I were running out a beverage. He burnt it off with a soldering iron! One evening we visited a friend of TY1PS’s for dinner: normally your pet is a cat or a dog but this guy had crocodiles in a pond and snakes in his yard!
- guarding bikini clad sunbathers from a flailing Titanex in Conakry was one of the more memorable tasks despite being shouted at by Fred G4BWP! So many memories!
|Robert Ferguson||9G5AA (1994) TY5A(1995) 5V7A(1996) 5V7A(1997) 5V7A(1998) 9G5AA(2000) XT2DX(2002) TZ5A(2006) 3X5A(2007) 3X5A(2008)|
"It's FAR too hot here"
K4UEE has visited 120 DXCC entities and operated from 69. He has participated in 37 DXpeditions, and specializes in activating "top 10 most-wanted" and so far has 9 to his credit! They are Baker/Howland (#8), Heard Island (#4), Bhutan (#3), South Sandwich Islands (#6), South Georgia Island (#10), Peter I Island (#4), Lakshadweep (#2), Desecheo (#6) and Saba/St. Eustatius (all-time new one). Malpelo, his latest activation is ranked #12 "most wanted" and set a new World Record for QSOs of non-hotel, non-fly in DXpeditions. His next adventure is to Amsterdam Island, the number 4 ranked DXCC entity.
He has 9 "DXpedition of the Year" plaques hanging on the wall. Since retiring thirteen years ago to pursue DXpeditioning more or less full time, Bob has participated in 9 MAJOR DXpeditions that have made over 900,000 QSOs.
He is an active contester and has participated in 36 contest DXpeditions. From the mid 80's through the early 2000's, Bob set five single operator/single band World Records and was a competitor in two World Radio Team Championships (WRTC) events. The first in 1996 and then again in 2000.
Bob is a member of the CQ DX Hall of Fame, VooDoo Contest Group, FOC (First Class Operator Club), A-1 Operator Club, the Southeastern DX Club Hall of Fame, Chairman of INDEXA, former Chairman of the ARRL DX Advisory Committee (DXAC), past President of the SEDXC and President of The KP1-5 Project.
|Bob Allphin||XT2DX(2002) 3X5A(2007)|
Vince was one of the founding members of the Voodoo Contest Group having first joined the team at TY5A, Benin in 1995. He made a further nine visits to Africa with the group.
He was a medical doctor, as well as a world-class operator and thus was a high contributor to the group on both counts. Although the team only ever had minor ailments (insect bites, heat-stroke, "African belly"), he did once save the life of a young girl who nearly drowned in the pool of a Ouagadougou hotel, though Vince being so modest, he never talked about it.
Vince passed away in 2010 after a short illness and the Voodoo team honoured his memory by operating as 9L5VT from Sierra Leone that year.
The following article is by Roger G3SXW
He was one of those big, quiet types – he didn’t say a lot but when he did speak everyone listened. He had a presence just when walking into a room. And yet so humble. We miss him terribly after his rapid demise to leukaemia.
There are so many Vince stories that it’s hard to know where to begin! On a serious note, one night I kept him up talking until 4am in a Dayton hotel bedroom. I was going through a divorce and needed a friend. He listened so patiently and kindly. I never forget his generosity on that night.
There was the time in Ouagadougou when he saved the life a little girl who was fished out of the bottom of the hotel swimming pool. He was a big man but he moved so fast! It took what seemed like several minutes of resuscitation while the hotel clientele was frozen in silence.
On a lighter note, that event by chance followed an occasion that evening where I had ordered a scotch and soda at the pool-side bar but was then called away to the telephone while the drinks were brought to table. We never accept ice in drinks in West Africa but mine came with ice. He tipped the ice into a nearby bush – and tipped my scotch out with it! Of course he immediately replaced the drink but we ragged him about that for a long while!
He was very fond of tomato ketchup. In Mali one time the regular waitress in the hotel restaurant was asked every lunch and every dinner to bring a bottle of ketchup. I then explained to her that Vince liked it on everything. Later, she delivered the ice cream dessert and asked him if he would like ketchup on that! Our group laughed until it hurt – a not uncommon experience with the VooDudes.
Being a surgeon Vince was always a well controlled individual. He seldom let his hair all the way down but on just a couple of occasions he decided, intentionally, to do so. At the end of every 48-hour contest it was traditional to have a small party, swap war-stories, talk about next year and so forth. In The Gambia Vince had decided to let his hair down and he did so in style. As the contest finished he suddenly appeared with a half-gallon of gin and a crate of tonics. We proceeded to party, sitting on the veranda of our hotel room. I’ve seen Vince drunk maybe at most three times in all my 40 year friendship with him but on that night he got drunk and when Vince drank too much he became hilariously funny, I mean side-achingly, side-splittingly funny. The down-side was that as he drank he got louder and louder, with his resonant Oklahoma voice. The sequel to this story is that the next morning the main Manager of this large hotel came to inform us that other guests on both sides of our room had complained about the noise. They were thoroughly justified to do so – our party lasted until at least 3am. What did Vince do? He got a taxi, went down town, reappeared with two bottles of scotch and presented them to our room neighbours with his abject apologies. That evening both neighbours joined us on our veranda, clutching their newly acquired bottles of scotch and we all proceeded to get to know each other famously! What a guy!
He had his pet sayings. When I’m with Mike KC7V or Ned AA7A or Lee KY7M I only have to answer them with “You don’t say” or “Is that right?” and they beam with a warm smile of understanding.
Perhaps I should end at the beginning, so to speak. We met the first time at an FOC dinner in Connecticut in 1977. I was there with my new Iranian wife who, though I say it myself, was a really beautiful lady. Vince was there with his really beautiful girl-friend, Elaine. I had finally got my transmitting licence, EP2IA, but needed a QSL Manager, as the postal system in Iran was pretty poor. I had asked in the FOC News Sheet for help and he had offered to perform that role for me. So, of course I approached him to say thank you but another American member had already volunteered. The four of us hit off instantly, like peaches & cream, a magical moment. We spent the next few days together in Baltimore and a life-long friendship was begun. I miss you, Vince!
The Central Arizona DX Association website carries an obituary to Vince:
|Vince Thompson||TY5A(1995) 5V7A(1996) 5V7A(1997) 5V7A(1998) XT2DX(2002) 5U5Z(2003) 5U5Z(2004) TZ5A(2005) TZ5A(2006) 3X5A(2008)|
|K7GE (SK)||Jim Larsen||9G5AA (1994) 5V7A(1996)|
|K7PN||Paul Nyland||5V7A(1996) 5V7A(1997)|
First licensed as WN8CZP/ WA8CZP in Ohio; WB2AUT in New York; N7EOV in Arizona to AA7WP, and finally K7WP. Founding member of the ARIZONA OUTLAWS CONTEST CLUB; member of the CENTRAL ARIZONA DX ASSOCIATION, and CWOPS # 479. Was part of the XZ1N Team to Myanmar in 1995.Primary interests are contesting and DXing, and you will find me in most major contests on all modes.
Extract from CQ Magazine article, May 2013
What incredible experiences. I have always considered my trip to Mali in 2005 with the 'Dudes TZ5A team as a privilege. Just to compete with these world class ops was a terrific experience in itself. But, to actually see what it takes to put a VooDoo endeavor together was truly enlightening. Flashbacks of riding across West Africa with a bus load of stuff including tower sections hanging off the roof; days of assembling antennas on the hotel roof; Roger G3SXW's negotiations in French over multiple issues; N7NG hanging off the top floor roof to secure a guy line while G4BWP and others made sure Wayne made it back safely; the Thanksgiving dinner that we enjoyed together (with an actual turkey), the only Thanksgiving I was able to spend with the late Vince Thompson, K5VT...including the ketchup which he loved on everything. The trip to the villages and friendly smiles and honoring hospitality...the memorable music, dancing, and food under the trees.
And yes, the Flat Tire. Travelling with all that gear across the desert from Burkina Faso to Mali we heard a loud thump. The sound was all too familiar to me, being from the tire industry...a blow out. And of course, who was more familiar with changing tires than yours truly, with an appreciative audience of a large number of children from a village across the road, just out of school. Many African friends were made that day. The best memory was simply the fun of being together on a like-minded adventure ...which in itself has been the true character and goal of the VooDoo Contest Group, year after year.
Founding member of the VooDoo Contest Group. Founding member of the Arizona Outlaws Contest Club. 33 year member of the Central Arizona DX Association. Member of FOC and CWOPS.
Married to Judy. Other hobby is Amateur Baseball. Ham since 1972. Graduate of Arizona State University (B.S.) and University of Phoenix (MBA).
I was licensed in 1972, just after high school graduation. I went on to Arizona State University so I did not do much over the next four plus years. I graduated and ended up in Salt Lake City from 1976 to 1980. I became WB7SVQ then KB7JE before passing the Extra Class exam and being given KC7V in 1980. I began contesting in the fall of 1977 over at a friend's place by putting up a low dipole and working the world barefoot. I was definitely hooked.
I worked on my skills until I become a proficient CW operator. My job had me traveling to various Asian countries in the mid 1980’s, so Contest DXPeditioning got into my blood and I operated as DU1/KC7V, NH2/KC7V, KC6MF and XX9MF during my trips. In 1986 I joined K5VT and N7BG along with many W6’s for my first Multi-Multi experience from KP2N, then KP2A through 1988. We actually won the world and set a record from a two point location.
Roger, G3SXW joined up with us in 1989 from 4U0ITU and the core of the VooDoo Contest Group started with the four of us. Over the years we operated in the CQWW CW Contest as CN5N, C56N, ZC4Z, ZF2WW, 9G5AA, TY5A, 5V7A, XT2DX, 5U5Z, TZ5A, 3X5A, 9L5A and EL2A. We’ve won seven Multi-Multi #1 in the world plaques and a few contest expedition plaques. What a ride it has been and I hope it continues.
I was fortunate in 1996 to be invited to act as a referee at the WRTC in San Francisco. I acted as a referee again in 2006 at the WRTC in Brazil. It has been a tremendous experience and I love the friendships worldwide that have come from my travels.
I have visited 58 DXCC entities and have operated from 36 entities and 21 zones. My interests include Contesting, DXing, and EME. I am a member and four times past-President of the Central AZ DX Association (CADXA) and one of the highlights of my amateur radio career was to be invited to become a member of FOC in 1993.
In 2009 I joined with my close friends K8IA, K7WP, N7RQ, and AB7E to help start the Arizona Outlaws Contest Club. To see it grow so quickly and become known internationally is a testament to the fun of contesting. The group of guys who have come and gone with the Voodudes over the years have created lifetime friendships and I value every one of them. See you on the air.
|Mike Fulcher||9G5AA (1994) TY5A(1995) 5V7A(1996) 5V7A(1997) 5V7A(1998) 9G5AA(1999) XT2DX(2001) XT2DX(2002) 5U5Z(2003) 5U5Z(2004) TZ5A(2005) TZ5A(2006) 3X5A(2007) 9L5VT(2010) EL2A(2011) EL2A(2012) 9K2HN(2014)|
After living and working in Africa - and operating from several countries - in the early 1990's, I had the honor of accompanying the VooDudes for the 1999 trip to Ghana (9G5AA).
This was about my 18th country in Africa to visit, but my first contest DXpedition. To be among The Masters of this type of operating was a tremendous learning experience, and a superior adventure in every way. Fine memories of the VooDudes and the Ghanaian people remain to this day. Truly 'magic in Africa'.
ex 7Q7JH, 5X1XX, KF7E/Z2, /A2, /V51, /TF, 5W1AL, ZK2DX, A35JH, ZM7AH (Tokelaus 1974).
Opr XF4MDX (1985)
Opr 9H5AA (1999)
Opr 3B9C (2004)
I have operated with the VooDoo Contest Group seven times in CQWW CW at 5V7A (1998), XT2A (2002-03), 5U5Z (2004),TZ5A (2006), and EL2A (2011-12). In the past, I have also operated on multi-multi teams at HC8N (2008),KP2A (1988), as well as USA stations including W7RN and NK7U.
Extract from CQ Magazine article, May 2013
10 Meter Long Path:
Four of us were rookies when the Voodudes operated from 5V7A in 1998. So, I thought it was a form of rookie “hazing” when G3SXW asked me to sit down at the 10 meter station when the contest began at midnight local time. “You point the beam southwest to work JAs long path,” he said. “Yeah, sure,” I thought. I tuned the old TS-930 across 10 meters and heard a few South American stations, worked what I could hear, then settled on a frequency to call CQ. At first there was nothing then it happened – first they were just whispers of signals, but they were calling me. My first African 10 meter long path run began. The JAs were filling up the CT log window. It wasn’t a joke after all – 10 meters in its prime from Africa holds many secrets. It happened again this year from EL2A and this time it was no surprise to me, just a wonderful reminder of how good the band can be when the sunspots smile on us.
The First Cold Beer:
These trips to Africa are not for the faint of heart. From the US west coast it is an arduous 24 hour journey to get there, minimum three flights to reach West Africa and join our UK companions. There are almost always airport security hassles. The base of a Morse paddle shows up on the x-ray as a solid black mass, and radios look suspicious. But the worst security issues have been at the other end where some African airports x-ray incoming luggage. I got pulled aside that first year for questioning about the coaxial cable in my suitcase. After trying to explain it to the customs officer in a private interrogation room, G3SXW walked in and said we had to be on a bus to Togo in the morning and could not leave the cable behind. As he negotiated with the official, we repacked my bag and started walking away. He gave up as we disappeared into the Accra airport mass of humanity and threw my luggage into the waiting hotel van.
Arriving at the hotel in Accra, Ouagadougou, Niamey, Bamako, or Monrovia, the first order of business is to sit and share a cold beer. There is nothing quite like it after traveling all those miles to celebrate with your mates: “We made it here, again!”. Knowing that the next morning means a day of sunscreen and sweating in the West African sun and humidity to erect towers and antennas is a welcome thought after months of speculation about the hotel roof and the condition of the traveling pile of antennas, ageless rotors, and cables. The cold beer means first introductions for rookies, Voodude veterans renewing acquaintances, and the first bad joke. This is something I have looked forward to on every Voodude trip.
|Lee Finkel||5V7A(1998) XT2DX(2002) 5U5Z(2003) TZ5A(2005) TZ5A(2006) EL2A(2011) EL2A(2012) P3F(2013) PZ5V(2016)|
Bud, N7CW, first introduced me to ham radio when we were both in high school back in 1967. We went our separate ways to college, but I ran into Bud later in 1979 when I was going to grad school in Phoenix, AZ. It was then that I also met Ned, AA7A, and briefly joined the Central AZ DX Association before a new job took me to Dallas, TX. I had worked many of the VooDoo operations from stateside, so I jumped at the chance to join the Kuwait team when asked this year. I am an active DXer and a member of the Honor Roll for both Mixed and CW. I have 9 band DXCC and am actively working on DXCC for 6M. I have 2,500 confirmed for the DXCC Challenge. I also like CW and RTTY contesting. I have lived in Paducah, KY since 1992 and have operated from VK, V31, ZF and most recently A6 and 9K.
|Dave Perry||9K2HN(2014) PZ5V(2016)|
Dick, a seasoned CQWW contestant, joined the team at 3X5A in Guinea, 2008.
|N7BG||Tony Rogozinski||9G5AA (1994) TY5A(1995) 5V7A(1996) 5V7A(1997)|
I have been friends with and traveled with AA7A several times over the years. Several years ago, Ned joined the VooDoo Contest Group and began to travel to Africa for the CQWW CW DX contest. The Voodudes, as they are known, are some of the best contesters in the world and I always considered them out of my league. And Ned always said that there was a long list of “good” operators who were ready to go, if a vacancy occurred. But last year, I finally decided that I should add my name to the bottom of the list and if they could ever bring themselves to take a lower echelon operator like me, I would be willing to schlep coax and fetch coffee for the real operators and maybe actually learn something. So I called Ned and said “sign me up”. He kindly reminded me of the list and I told him I could wait until 2025 or whenever it got down to me. My actual response may have included some begging, whining, pleading and cajoling, which, in a moment of weakness, he allowed to affect him. After some conversations with the boss, G3SXW, and promises on my part to buy all the beer and only operate on 160M at noon, I was added to the team. Little did I know….
|Bud Semon||9L5A(2009) 9L5VT(2010) EL2A(2011) EL2A(2012) 9K2HN(2014) PZ5V(2016)|
|N7MB||Mike Bill||5V7A(1996) 5V7A(1997)|
First licensed in 1953; Began chasing DX in 1956 and contesting in 1957; DXCC in 1959, Reached the Top with ZA1A in 1991, 160M DXCC -- All from WY0.
BSEE & MSEE from University of California.
Member of the Northern California DX Club, Utah DX Assoc, Mile Hi DX Assoc; Past member of FOC, YCCC, NCCC.
Seventeen DXpeditions – All Continents including Clipperton twice, Albania, Scarborough Reef and other interesting places. Author of "DXpeditioning Basics," suggestions for DXpeditioners. Seven Contest Expeditions - All Continents; Visited 62 Countries.
Six years serving on the ARRL DX Advisory Committee, four as Chairman.
Manager of Membership Services Department at ARRL, 2000 – 2007.
Currently back to Ham Radio chasing new ones on Topband.
|Wayne Mills||5U5Z(2004) TZ5A(2005)|
Bob joined the Voodoo team in Togo, 1996 and 1997.
|Bob Vallio||5V7A(1996) 5V7A(1997) 9K2HN(2014)|