3B9SP, Rodrigues DX Operation 2012, AF 0017


3B9SP, Rodrigues DX Operation 2012, AF 0017

Between the 16 and 23 October 2012, the Radio 7 Team, HB9FR, will activate the Island of Rodrigues, a part of the Republic of Mauritius.
Our call sign is granted and will be 3B9SP.
After having run many amateur radio contests and activities form our club station, we now would like to know how it is being on the other side of the world and of the pile up, and talking to our friends at home from a rare country.
For many years we were talking about doing a so called “DX Operation”. As we are all getting older we decided that time has now come to do it! Last year we began to think about possible destinations and it came out that Rodrigues Island could be a possibility. There wasn’t a lot of Amateur Radio activity from Rodrigues these last years. Rodrigues is easily reachable by plane, and as cost is one of our key factors this was important. At the beginning of our plans we decided that the cost of this adventure should be reasonable. So transport should be possible by plane, knowing that we sure will have weight problems as we do have to bring over the complete equipment. Our goal is to set up three amateur radio stations that can be run together on different Amateur Radio bands. Mostly one in CW, morse telegraphy, one in phone and the third running special modes like RTTY and modern phase shift keying modes (PSK31). To produce a good signal we would like to use small 400 Watt solid state amplifiers for the CW and phone stations. Two rotary beam antennas for the frequencies above 14 MHz are also planned to be set up for these two stations. For the digital mode station we are planning to use wire antennas. Vertical antennas will be setup for the low frequency bands. The hopefully good October propagation conditions will allow us to give everybody around the world a chance to have a QSO during the eight operating days (October 16 to October 23). We don’t want to break any record in number of QSO’s, we just would like to do an good job with an Amateur Radio equipment that can be easily transported without need of containers and shipping.

3B9SP Equipment:

Transceivers: 2 Elecraft K3, 1 IC-706
Power Amplifiers: 2 Elecraft KPA 500
Interface: MicroHam Micro Keyer II
Filters: Dunestar Multiband Switched Bandpass Filters
– 2 Spiderbeam 3el for 14, 18, 21, 24 and 28 MHz on Spider pole
– Verticals for 7, 10 and 14 MHz
– 1 Butternut HF2V for 7, 3.5 and 1.8 MHz
– Slim Jim 50 MHz

3B9SP QSL Info:3B9SP Logo

QSL Manager HB9ACA

Manfred Oberhofer
P.O. Box 38
1553 Chatonnaye
QSLing order:
  • OQRS direct requests within Club Log
  • mail direct requests
  • OQRS buro requests within Club Log
  • normal buro requests (please note that both buro paths take certainly long time as always)
If possible, please use the OQRS system, which will be available after the expedition. It saves time and and cost.
QSL requests received direct by the manager will result in a direct response, subject to certain provisions.
In order to receive a direct card:
  • Ensure that the QSO information on your card is clear and correct. Be sure that time and date of your QSO’s are in UTC.
  • Enclose a good quality self addressed and stamped envelope (SASE) of sufficient size and strength for the number of return cards expected. No Air Mail envelopes and no labels only please! If the postage is ok, the QSL Manager will stamp the envelope with a A-Priortity stamp. Up to eight QSO’s can be confirmed on a single card.
  • Enclose US dollars or sufficient International Reply Coupons (IRC’s) to meet postage costs. Loose Swiss stamps are also welcome. We can not use stamps or currency form other countries. The IRC’s must be propely stamped. Only the new IRC’s valid until december 2013 will be accepted. To read more about IRC’s follow the link to the Universal Post Union, click on more and download th PDF document.

Within Europe

Outside Europe

1 – 4 cards
1 IRC stamped in Europe
$3 for Priority, $2 for Economy
1 IRC stamped outside Europe
5 cards or more
2 IRC stamped in Europe
2 IRC stamped outside Europe
  • Please do not send other currencies or cheques. Applications received direct but without a self addressed envelope, an envelope wich is too small, or without sufficient postage will receive confirmations via the burerau.
The logs will be uploaded for log search, to the Club Log database. Of course, it highly depends on the internet connection possibility. If there is no internet service available, we will upload the logs, as soon as possible. If you could not find your QSO, but you are sure that it was a good contact, send an email after the expedition with the QSO details or just work us again. Manfred, HB9ACA, will then check the log for any possible error make the correction, if necessary. In this case, please do not send direct QSL request until you got the answer about the QSO in question.
The logs will be uploaded to LotW within 6 months after the DX Operation.

About Rodrigues

Continent :   Africa
CQ Zone :     39
ITU Zone :     53
IOTA :           AF-017
Time Zone : UTC + 4 hours
Rodrigues (French: île Rodrigues) named after Dom Diogo Rodrigues is a semi-autonomous island part of the Republic of Mauritius located in the Indian Ocean, about 650 kilometres (400 mi) east of Mauritius. It is the is part of the Mascarene Islands which include Mauritius, Cargados Carajos shoals and the French island Réunion, other nearby island countries and territories include Tromelin, Agalega, Comoros, Mayotte and the Seychelles to the far north-west. The area of Rodrigues is 108 km2. It is of volcanic origin surrounded by coral reef, and just off its coast lie some tiny uninhabited islands and islets. The island used the be the tenth district of Mauritius before it gained autonomous status in 2001 and is governed by the Rodrigues Regional Assembly. The capital of the island is Port Mathurin.
As of 2011, the island’s population was about 37,922. Its inhabitants are Mauritian citizens. English is the official language of the island, though people also speak French, Indian languages and some oriental languages are also spoken, the lingua franca is Rodriguan Creole. Most of the inhabitants are of mixed African and Frenchdescent. Its economy is based mainly on fishing, farming, handicraft and a developing tourism sector.


From the 10th century, Arabs have been known to visit the Mascarene Islands. A 12th century map  supposedly contains them, and the Cantino planisphere of c.1500 and some other contemporary maps clearly show the three islands of the Mascarenes asDina Arobi (or Harobi), Dina Margabin and Dina Moraze. These are apparently corrupted transliterations or transcriptions of the Arabic Diva Harab (“Desert Island”),Diva Maghrebin (“Western Island”) and Diva Mashriq (“Eastern Island”). While the second clearly refers to Réunion, sources disagree about which of the other is MAuritius and which one Rodrigues, which are both to the east of Réunion and arranged in a somewhat stylize way on these maps. However, even in its original state, Rodrigues had some karst, while Mauritius even after suffering 500 years of deforestation can by no means be called “desert” even in a colloquial sense.
The island was located again in February 1507. Part of the fleet of Afonso de Albuquerque and Tristão da Cunha, Diogo Fernandes Pereira’s Cirne spotted Réunion on February 9 after a cyclone diverted their course. The other two islands were subsequently rediscovered. The initial name was Diogo FernandesDomingo Froizwas given as a name some years later, and by 1528 it had been again renamed after the Portuguese navigator Dom Diogo Rodrigues and has remained so since. The orthography has been less stable at first, with the name being transcribed Diego Rodriguez,Diego RoizDiego Ruys (or even “Diego Ruy’s Island”), Dygarroys orBygarroys. Some early French sources called it Île Marianne.
Due to the island lying far off the beaten track of seafarers at that time, it received few visits. From 1601, the Dutch began visiting the island somewhat more regularly for fresh supplies of food. In 1691 the Huguenot, François Leguat and 7 companions landed on the island, intending to set up a farming colony of Protestant refugees. Farming was not successful, but there was an abundance of tortoises, turtels, birds, fish and other seafood.
During the 18th century several attempts were made by the French to develop the island. African slaves (ancestors of the present population) were brought to Rodrigues to develop stockbreeding and farming.
In 1809, after a brief battle with the French, British troops took possession of Rodrigues. And with British occupation, slavery was abolished.
In 1883, the eruption of the Indonesian volcano Krakatoa was heard at Rodrigues Island and it remains the furthest point at almost 4800 km, at which the explosion was heard. The sound was described as “the roar of heavy guns”. Naval ships were ordered to investigate as it was feared the sound was due to a ship in distress firing its guns. Having been heard from about 5000 km (3000 mi) away on the other side of the Indian Ocean, the noise remains the loudest sound in recorded history.
In 1968, Rodrigues was joined with Mauritius when it attained independence; today it is an autonomous region of Mauritius.


The isolation and location of the island give a micro climate specific to Rodrigues, with two seasons. Rodrigues enjoys a mild tropical maritime climate with persistent trade winds blowing throughout the year. Mean summer temperature is 25.9 degrees Celsius and mean winter temperature is around 22.3 degrees Celsius. The temperature difference between summer and winter is 3.6 degrees Celsius. January to March are the hottest months and August is the coolest month. The wettest month is February; September and October are the driest months. The climate is hotter and dryer than in Mauritius. Cyclones may arise from November to April, and Rodrigues is more often hit than Mauritius


Rodrigues Island was characterised by endemic plant and animal species in abundance, but from the seventeenth century much of its biodiversity has been eradicated. The island was home to a now extinct species of bird, the Rodrigues Solitaire. An endemic species of bat, the Rodrigues Flying Fox is currently threatened.
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