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Remembering Roddy Prayag 3B8DL SK

The 3B9 activation set-up is September 1997 at the Ebony Mourouk Hotel

VQ9SM also 3B8CF

Jacky 3B8CF a photo in his younger days operating radio station VQ9SM on Diego Garcia island. This was published by Defimedia.Info in their Hebdo column of 22/08/2021.

Le jeune Seewoosankar Mandary à son poste sur l’île de Diego Garcia

The 2001 3B6RF International DXpedition

It will be 20 years since Jacky 3B8CF was part of the team to Agalega Is. The international team was made up of: Expedition Leader, HB9BXE, HB9JAI, HB9BQI, HB9BQW, HB9AAQ,HB9CRV, HB9JBI, HB9HFN, HB9DOT, 3B8CF, 4X1DX, 4X4NL, 4Z5FL, CT1AGF, CT1EPV, DL3KUD, DL6UAA, F6HMJ, G3KHZ, SP9RTI

The core group started out on 28 April 2001 from Zuerich Switzerland. The full story of the preparations, logistics as well as the serious setbacks and finally the dxpedition setup and operating results can be viewed on this link.

There are many more photos to view by clicking on this link to the HB9BXE website.

A trio at Jimmy’s Beau Bassin circa 1968
Jimmy 3B8CJ – Jag Soobarah 3B8CI – Sam Boyjonauth 3B8CN

MARS Receives Transceiver from ARRL, delivered by the U.S. Ambassador
From left to right: Jade 3B8CI, Jimmy 3B8CJ, Steven 3B8CC, Mico Palmyre, U.S. Ambassador, Paul 3B8AD, Alain 3B8AH, Sam 3B8CM

1979 QSL and Logbook page

From the archives of Patrice 3B8FA we have the confirmation QSL card for a QSO with Anand 3B6CD. Also, the 3B8FA logbook page with his very first QSOs on 6 April 1979. All his paper logs have since been transferred to Click on pics below to enlarge.

Group photo 1990

From left to right 3B8DL (SK), 3B8FV and 3B9FR – Robert Felicité. A time when permission was granted to operate 3B9 in 1990 after a long outstanding battle.

Click on the photo to enlarge.

Amateur radio in Mauritius 1945 to 1989

Another extract (French) from newspaper Le Mauricien dated 29 November 1989 by author Mr Brejan Burrun.

Link to original photos: photo 1 + photo 2

Link to newspaper page 1 + Link to newspaper page 2

1989 Newspaper interviews of two OMs

Interview (French) of Leny Mazery VQ8AB on Le Mauricien dated Saturday 11 November 1989 and an article on Gaston Koenig VQ8AC same paper same date at the QTH of 3B8FV. Note: poor quality due to faded newspaper, scanned in two pages: Link to page 1Link to page 2

Paul Caboche 3B8AD – from newspaper Le Mauricien dated 17 August 1991 in French

The regional role of Amateur Radio operators during World War 2, click this link to view.

QST Magazine 1994 (click on photo to view the article).

A rare one spotted on from 1979

Anand 3B8CD is an old friend of Jacky 3B8CF both these OMs received their Amateur Radio licence on the same day in April 1967. An anecdote, 3B8CE was never issued because Jacky refused that callsign due to the last letter being an E which could easily be lost in CW transmissions.

1993 The first domestic satellite dish

This was a time, in Mauritius, when it was still prohibited to have a broadcast RX antenna. Jacques and his friends built a TV GEO RX station long before any local licensed Ham did so. Jacques explains that the satellite dish antenna was made of honeycomb panels, chicken wire as reflector with the centre part in inox and aluminium for the outer frames. It seems that the project attracted much press and public attention as well as legal difficulties with the authorities. Quite an amazing story.

View details and press cuttings on his website, click on this link.

2016 Slow Scan TV Award

The First Shack

Jean Marc 3B8DU, seen here at 17 or 18 years old, in his first shack which was situated in the basement of the parents house in Vacoas. The shack was shared with Patrice (3B8FA). In those days they saved money on printing costs, by also sharing the QSL card, see below photo shown of an original 1979 QSL card for Andre (ZS2BK). (Click on photos).

The rig shown is a 20M CW only Heathkit SB100 rig donated by Roddy Prayag (3B8DL), now SK, which was used to make their QSOs.

Jean Marc says that the barometer on the wall has recently been calibrated and still works after some 75 years. An example of something built to last back in those days.

The OMs started satellite CW contacts back in 1978 or 1979 with 2M Tx (2 valves) which was given by Gerard (3B8DX). The commercial frequency Quartz crystal was grid using VIM scouring powder to bring it to the right frequency, quite a job taking many days/hours. When they were transmitting with this Tx all the analogue TV sets around in approx. 1Km radius where interfered with to the extent that Alex (3B8DA), living at around 750M from the QTH, was able to clearly decode the morse code transmission on his TV.

What a journey since those days, all made with the birds up to todays QO-100 enabling 24/7 communications and experimenting many modes such as ATV.

1991 Activity

Photos by kind permission of Rachid 3B8FP. The below photos from his archives taken in 1991 was a time when the Mauritius Amateur Radio Society (MARS) was actually a unregistered body.

On 17 July 1991, the London College organised an unprecedented Exhibition Conference “Science World 2000” at the Beau Bassin/Rose Hill Municipal Complex on the theme “Science and Technology” to mark its 25th Anniversary.  During this exhibition, the main attraction was the “Moon Rock” especially brought from U.S. by courtesy of H. E. Penny Korth, U.S. Ambassador.  Rachid 3B8FP acted as a facilitator for the group of Radio Amateurs. The stand was in a very strategic location, hence the visit of the late Governor-General of Mauritius Sir Veerasamy Ringadoo.

Thousands of people visited the exhibition. MARS as we know it today was actually “conceived” after this event. It was only in 1994 that a new MARS Constitution was drafted and accepted by the Registrar. As an anecdote, Rachid 3B8FP, wrote the initial draft of the Constitution based on a text provided by the Registrar of Association. There was also an issue with the use of the word “Mauritius” but fortunately an agreement was eventually found.

Photos show the late Governor-General of Mauritius, Sir Veerasamy Ringadoo, Taher 3B8DB, Rashid Cadersa and Rachid 3B8FP. The display included an old PC connected to a packet Radio Modem linked to an HF Radio. They were supposed to make QSOs but unfortunately it caused QRM on the sound system. (Click on photos to enlarge)