PRESS RELEASE #3 — SEPTEMBER 13, 2017.
The wet season is in full force in Liberia this year. This makes any road travel tricky and potentially dangerous which in-turn has so far prevented Richmond EL2BG and Dickson EL2DT from making a 2nd recce trip to Baiyah island. The images shown depict current road conditions on the only road south to the small village opposite Baiyah island.
Since we believe roads conditions may never fully recover between now and the end of October, we have recently managed to (thankfully) reserve seats on a MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship International) flight which will take most of the team directly to Greenville Sinoe airstrip. From there we will meet Richmond EL2BG who will have made the treacherous road journey south in his 4×4 vehicle. We cross fingers he makes the trip!
We are in constant contact with the local villagers and elders who still remember our project and are eagerly awaiting our arrival. We look forward very much to meeting them, too.
With the new and additional cost of flights to/from Sinoe region from Monrovia we do still seek generous donations from the IOTA and DX community. We are truly indebted to those generous donors and organisations who have supported 5L3BI thus far – it’s much appreciated. Considering a donation? Please visit here: https://af111new.com/support/
In less than 2 months the activation of this brand new IOTA will have taken place. The excitement is rising!
It’s likely a final news will be issued prior to departure.
Vy 73 from 5L3BI team.
PS: EI5GM, EI9FBB and MM0NDX have been issued with the Liberian callsigns EL2GM, EL2BB and EL2EL. It’s their plan to use these calls after the 5L3BI activity from the LRAA (Liberia Radio Amateur Association) in Monrovia, probably on November 3rd. However, if due to bad weather / sea conditions we cannot land on the island, then we will revert to using these calls during late October / early November from mainland Liberia.
PRESS RELEASE #2 — JULY 11, 2017
Whilst currently working in Germany, team member Dickson EL2DT, will be taking time out to attend ‘HAM RADIO’ in Friedrichshafen this coming weekend. In fact, he’s giving a short presentation on the much awaited 1st IOTA activation to Baiyah Isl, AF-111NEW. To catch up with the latest planning and preparations so far, be sure to visit the IOTA Forum this Saturday July 15th between 10:00 and 11:45 hours in Halle A2 Raum 1.
Since our first Press Release (https://af111new.com/news/) we have incurred additional costs which have been fully met by the team. We feel these recce trips are essential to identify the variables on this otherwise unknown piece of rock! To get there, we have decided to hire a 4×4 and to drive the 400 kilometer dirt track to where we will meet the boat that will take us to the island.
A further recce trip will be made by both Richmond EL2BG and Dickson EL2DT likely at the end of August – this time to land on the island and to find suitable position(s) to set up our stations and antennas. It’s very important to maintain our relationship with the local elders and villagers who are giving us the necessary access to land on Baiyah.
Jeremy EI5GM, Dave EI9FBB and Col MM0NDX have now booked their flights to Monrovia. All going well and following our intended itinerary, we hope to be QRV from October 31st (slightly earlier than initially announced). We aim to have 3 stations active simultaneously from the island – no mean feat considering the island is not very inviting and landing areas are few. Our operation will be short (3 days) but very intense! Please respect our wishes as we will try to give out this new IOTA reference to as many uniques as possible.
The ever efficient Charles M0OXO will be our QSL manager. Expect the usual high standard from him. https://af111new.com/logs/
A further news update will be issued once the final recce trip has been completed. In the meantime, we sincerely thank those clubs, organisations and individual donors who have donated to the 5L3BI project so far.
Please see https://af111new.com/support/ for full listings and on how you too can donate.
Vy 73 de 5L3BI team.
PRESS RELEASE #1 — MAY 29, 2017.
5L3BI — IOTA DXPEDITION TO BAIYAH ISLAND, AF-111P – LIBERIA
In collaboration with the Liberian Radio Amateur Association, a team consisting of Richmond EL2BG, Dickson EL2DT, Jeremy EI5GM, Dave EI9FBB and Col MM0NDX are delighted to announce a much anticipated IOTA DXpedition to Baiyah Island AF-111P. This IOTA has never before been activated.
Planning and organising this expedition has taken well over a year and is still ongoing. One reconnaissance trip has already taken place to ascertain where the island actually is, and to meet with local elders & community leaders who control Baiyah Island.
The island itself is a cultural sacrifices location for people in the Tarsue Chiefdom. Baiyah island is known as the place where people in nearby villages carry out their traditional worship. As a result, no one normally goes there without proper arrangement and approval.
Our website is now up and running, and in a few weeks time, a second survey trip is upcoming once our finances allow. We need to pinpoint the best landing stage on the island and to reacquaint with local villagers and elders. This entire operation is only possible with their blessing!
Time on the island will be limited and definitely weather dependent. We are under no illusion this activity could be tricky. One only has to look at the Media Gallery on our website to see the island is not very inviting. Nonetheless, we carefully chose early November (dry season) to attempt an activation of AF-111.
We have requested the special callsign 5L3BI and are hopeful the Liberian Telecoms Authority will approve and issue this to us soon.
Tentatively, dates of activity will be around November 1-4, 2017. This may change slightly but we will update in due course regarding that.
Even at this early stage, demand to work AF-111 will be huge and we kindly ask you work us only once to give all IOTA chasers a fair chance of getting in the log.
Costs are ever growing and we do seek support and sponsorship to help offset some of our high expenses. Visit our website to support us. https://af111new.com/
Next news release early August.