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Friday, January 15, 2010

5X7JD: Tuna-Tin To... Uganda

SolderSmoke listeners might recall that Jack Dunigan e-mailed me prior to his move to Uganda. Jack had been listening to our stories about QRSS and WSPR and was thinking about setting up an East African beacon. Jack in now in Uganda and on the air as 5X7JD. He has a beautiful and very interesting blog. Check it out:

http://hamradiosafari.com/

(Jack: Maybe run WSPR using your computer and the Icom at low power, and then use the Tuna-Tin-Two for a separate QRSS beacon. You need an SSB rig for WSPR, but a simple K1EL keyer hooked up to the Tuna-Tin is all you would need for visual QRSS. The TT may need some modification to put it on 30 meters. Let us know if you need help, parts, crystals, etc. It would be a real hoot to have a Tuna Tin beacon from Uganda!)

Jack's blog is filled not only with tales of ham radio in Africa and Jack's personal radio roots (in his Dad's TV repair shop), but there is also information about the work that took Jack and his wife to Africa. Here is his description of it:

Aidchild, the organization for whom I work here in Uganda, cares for orphans living with Aids. There are two homes filled with kids for whom we care completely. This means we provide complete care because they are in every respect our own children. We also provide clinical and laboratory services for about 3000 more children. All of this costs money, lots of it. You can check us out at www.aidchild.org

We raise money through donations, but we also have started businesses here in Uganda to provide funds. We have an art gallery and shop at the Sheraton Hotel in Kampala, a gallery and cafe on the Equator, and a restaurant here in Masaka called Ten Tables (any guess as to how many tables there are?). But caring for Aids children is not inexpensive. So we can always use more funds.

From Jack's postings you also get a sense of the personal sacrifices and hardships that come with his kind of work: scroll down to his posting about malaria and you will see what I mean. As we all watch the suffering in Haiti, it is a good time to think about the many good people like Jack and his wife who are working hard to help our fellow human beings in difficult third-world areas.

Speaking of Haiti, of course the situation is unspeakably bad. We feel real connections to it: My wife is from the same island (from the Dominican Republic). When I was stationed in Santo Domingo, I traveled to Port-au-Prince, and went to many of the places that you now see (crumbled) on TV. Here in Rome, the principal at our kids' school is Haitian. And I have friends in our embassy there. As a kid, one of my first DX contacts was with HH2JT -- Jules Tomar (I still remember getting his QSL). I see that the good fellows at G-QRP have made a contribution to the relief efforts. We should all follow their lead. Graham, G3MFJ, reports that the club made their donation to :
http://www.dec.org.uk/donate_now/

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely. We have sent contributions to two NGOs, the wife and I. In addition, Mexico has sent two Hercules transports with search and rescue teams, earth moving equipment. And here in Guadalajara much food and water and medicine is being collected to be sent later. Brasil, Argentina, Chile, Cuba and of course the DR have also helped.

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