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 9N7DX About
   
Dov Gavish 4Z4DX is licenced since 1968 and is the second generation of Hams in the family. His father was was 4X4VB,an active SSTV operator in his days and son Matan is 4Z5DX!!

In 1999, I met Bill 9N7ZK in the IARU convention in Tel Aviv. I had always wanted to operate from Nepal in memory of Father Moran, 9N1MM, an old friend. I also wanted to be the first to make a QSO in 6 mtr from Nepal and operate RTTY and SSTV. Plus of course, have a vacation with the entire family. So I started working on the plan.

In February 2003 I applied for the call sign 9N7DX to the Ministry of Commerce in Nepal and received the basic confirmation from Satish, 9N1AA. I then contacted my friend IZ8CCW from the MDXC Club in Italy of which I am a member and asked him to help me design a Website which would represent my activities and frequencies and 1 daily sched for everyone on 14.195 at 1500 GMT.

I finally left Tel Aviv for Kathmandu via Mumbai on the 21st of April 2003. I met my good friend Sarla, VU2SWS in Mumbai and spent the day with her, sightseeing and visiting her shack and family. On the 21st evening I was finally in Kathmandu! Hugo,9N7YJ and my son Mat,4Z5DX received me at the airport and we headed for the Hotel in Thamel where we put up a tower with 4 different dipole antennas and we were all set for the action.

But the beginning was not that easy. The procurement of the licence was long and tedious. I had to go from one official to another, from the bank to the ministry and it took a good 4 days for it all to end. During this period I traveled around the Kathmandu area.

Finally on the 26th of April 2003, I was on air!!! The pileup was tremendous from all over the world. So much so, that I had to call by the numbers in the call signs, to cope. I operated split and worked SSB on 28.495, 21.295 and 14.195. Every one hour I worked RTTY after giving sufficient notice and operated split, 2-10 up. Late in the evening when conditions deteriorated, we operated CW at 40 wpm.We faced the problem of electricity failures. Also, conditions in Nepal were limited between 9.30z to 21.00z.

My first weekend, I spent with Bill, 9N7ZK and his wife in their palatial house in Kathmandu where I was given 5 star hospitality and I had the opportunity to operate from his shack with a beam antenna. As soon as I put up the 6 mtr antenna which I had bought with me, I had a contact with VK8MS, VR2XMT and lots of Japanese!!! In fact my first QSO on SSTV was with JA0SC. After I clocked about 3000 QSOs, I took a break .

My son Matan and I headed for the mountains. We trekked for 5 days through the mountains after flying to a point 3000 ft up. I flew in a small aircraft with 9N as its number!! The terrain was breathtaking and we stopped for ?chai? every hour and walked for a minimum of 8 hrs every day. On the last day we had a good soak in the hot springs. We then went river rafting in Pokhara before finally returning to Kathmandu and working the radio.

After working for another 4000 QSOs , we decided to call it a day and prepared to head for home.

Looking back, there are a few pointers for my ham friends who may want to work dx from Nepal.

1) The price of a licence in Nepal is very high. Its around 50$ per band.
2) The licencing process is very slow and valuable time is lost.
3) Kathmandu is not a good location to operate on lower bands.

It is better to go closer to the Tibetian border in northern Nepal. But the conditions are open for only short periods of time. And linears have to be used.

On the positive side, I was so happy to meet many of my Ham friends since the last 30 yrs on the air from this rare location and I was pleased that I gave them a new RTTY country. I had a fantastic time with Bill and Jennifer who were most cooperative and perfect hosts. They are moving out of Kathmandu soon as Bill?s tenure there is over. The Nepalese people are helpful and polite and are happy in their own little world in the mountains, where their basic needs are taken care of. It was great to work the radio with my son who is a great CW operator. Even though conditions towards N.America were not good, I managed to work some old friends like W3UR, K0BX and worked many new countries on RTTY. As I worked with the system of numbers, I was able to get through to QRP stations and also stations without big antennas or linears. I know that many of them were working 9N7 after ages.

My total tally:
RTTY 1650 QSOs
6mtr SSB & CW 253 QSOs
SSB all bands 3200 QSOs
CW all bands 3500 QSOs