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It’s All in the Cards! QSL Cards from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of the Congo

Democratic Republic of the Congo QRV in August/September

The 9Q2WX DXpedition by Vlad, OK2WX from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is scheduled to run from August 20 to September 9. You can try to make contact on the HF bands in CW, SSB, and Digital modes. The DRC ranked as the 113th most-wanted DXCC entity per Clublog’s list as of July 2023. A six-operator Italian DXpedition also activated the DRC in July.

Among other equipment, OK2WX will be using a DX Commander antenna—soon to be available in North America through DX Engineering. DX Engineering was named the exclusive North American distributor of popular DX Commander antennas and accessories from the England-based amateur radio provider. You can read more about the arrangement between DX Commander and DX Engineering here.

About the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo

Formerly known as Zaire, the central African Democratic Republic of the Congo—also known as Congo-Kinshasa—is the 11th largest nation in the world and the second largest in Africa in terms of square miles (905,355). It is the fourth largest African country based on population (102.2 million) and the most populous French-speaking country in the world.

Bordering the DRC to the northwest is the Republic of the Congo, which is significantly smaller (132,000 square miles), less populated (5.6 million), and often confused with its neighbor—and vice versa. To distinguish the two, the Republic of the Congo is also known as Congo-Brazzaville. Brazzaville is its capital and largest city, with a population of around 1.8 million. Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC, is one of the largest capitals in the world, boasting a population of more than 17 million. The countries, separated by the Great Congo River, both gained independence in 1960—the DRC from Belgium and Congo-Brazzaville from France.

Incidentally, the Republic of the Congo ranked slightly ahead (#104) of the DRC on Clublog’s list as of July 2023.

QSL Cards

The active hams at DX Engineering have had great success contacting the Democratic Republic of the Congo (prefix 9Q) and the Republic of the Congo (prefix TN) over the years—a good reason to contact them for help with your gear if you’d like to do the same. Here are a few of the QSL cards from their collections.

Tom, KB8UUZ, DX Engineering technical writer, received a QSL card from the March 2018 TN5R DXpedition. The highly experienced Cuadrilla de Tifariti Gang recorded more than 62,250 SSB, CW, and RTTY QSOs during their time in the Republic of the Congo. Past ventures from this group include 5U5R Republic of Niger, 2017; Morocco, 2014; and ST0R South Sudan, 2011.

Dave, K8DV, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, worked 9Q5NW on 20M SSB back in March 1988 when his call was NW4P.

George, K3GP, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, made a 20M SSB contact with TN3B/TN3W in May 2002.

Scotty, KG9Z, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, contacted 9Q5VT back in July 1981. Vince Thompson, K5VT, beloved ham who became a silent key in April 2010 at the age of 67, was a noted DXpeditioner, highly skilled CW operator, and former member of the ARRL DX Advisory Committee who held radio licenses from more than 60 countries. He often worked the airwaves in Africa handing out rare QSOs while operating in a more important arena—performing medical procedures in his host countries as a surgeon with the World Health Organization. You can read heartfelt tributes to Vince in this article from the ARRL.

Want to upgrade your DXing capabilities? Find everything you need at DX Engineering, including transceivers, amplifiers, antennas, headsets, and more.

Editor’s Note: Every month, DX Engineering features QSL cards from our team members’ personal collections. To highlight upcoming DXpeditions, we’ll be displaying a few of our favorite cards along with details about what it took to make these contacts. We’re excited to share some of the special cards pulled from the thousands we’ve received over the years. We look forward to seeing your cards as well!

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