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Pulu D44AC Mindelo Cabo Verde

Let's Meet Pulu, D44AC

I have known Pulu, D44AC for fifteen years now. It was a coincidence that when I decided to visit the home country of the barefoot singer Cesaria Evora, who toured Europe at the end of the 90s, Pulu moved to a new house and needed some help to install an antenna tower and a rotary antenna on top of it. I read somewhere that two radio operators from the Canary Islands were planning a week-long visit with Pulu, intending to put his station on the air in the six-meter band. That was October 2000. I contacted the Spaniards and they did not mind my joining them, especially when I offered to bring two radio transceivers and a directional antenna for 50 MHz. I had received a permit from the Cape Verdian government to use Amateur Radio in the islands six months earlier. In the meantime I managed to convince my old friend Waldemar, SM0TQX to come along.

November 2000, Antenna raising party - from left: Nevi - Waldemar,SM0TQX -Pulu,D44AC - EA5CPU.

Pulu, D44AC has a Christian name Carlos, but nobody in Mindelo knows this. Here everybody has a nickname. He became interested in radio at an early age and was talking to passing boats on 27 MHz and the Marine band. Julio, D44BC was a well-known radio guru in Mindelo and Pulu tried, in vain, to get help from him to become an Amateur Radio operator. Pulu's next of kin helped him more than Julio. At the end of year 2000 he had a modern station and was often on the air.

November 2000, The radio room of Pulu,D44AC.

November 2000, Family picture of Pulu,D44AC. From left: son, wife, Pulu, daughter, cousin, Nevi.

November 2000, Pulu,D44AC - left, with Ondina, the widow of Julio,D44BC in the radio room of the late Juliu Veracruz.

November 2000, Pulu,D44AC receives a memorial plaque from Manolo,EA8BYG from Canary Islands.

A year later I came again to Mindelo. Mindelo used to be an important and a very busy place. When air transport became widespread, the town slowly decayed. Still, it is an attractive place, with strong European influences. Many expatriates invest in local real estate, so it is a perpetual construction site and growing, also in height. The island Sao Vicente is one of the smallest islands of the archipelago, but probably best known worldwide.

November 2001, The house of Pulu,D44AC near the harbour of Mindelo.

November 2001, Pulu,D44AC at the bottom of his antenna tower.

November 2001, Pulu cooking local lobster.

November 2001, A man of many talents, Pulu plays the guitar. The trophies on the shelf behind him are for car races.

My next personal contact with Pulu was in November 2005. I planned to meet Alexander, 4L5A at his super-station D4B on top of Monte Verde. However, when I came here, the station was dismantled. Pulu installed at home a tower and an antenna he had received from Alexander. I witnessed this difficult mission. We also set up a vertical antenna which I tested on the air on low bands. It was a wet period in the otherwise dry islands and I still remember the sticky mud on the soles of my shoes.

November 2005, Pulu,D44AC at the empty operating desk of D4B on Monte Verde.

November 2005, Pulu,D44AC on Monte Verde. In the background the island of Santo Antao.

November 2005, Installation of a large Opti-Beam next to the house of Pulu,D44AC who is caught in action, in the middle wearing a white t-shirt.

November 2005, Plu,D44AC up the tower installing a rotator near his home.

During two months in early 2014 I was seeing Pulu a few times a week. I stayed in Mindelo between February and April and had many opportunities to see Pulu in action. He is not very active on the air and does not go to Monte Verde as often as before. Still, he helps the D4C team in many ways. His call sign is often used by the operators at D4C before major contests, so not every time you hear D44AC on the air it is Pulu behind the microphone.

February 2014, The radio room of D44AC is still the same, but the equipment is better.

February 2014, Pulu,D44AC in front of his home with the antenna in the background.

February 2014, Max,IZ4DPV - left, shares his impressions from D4C with Pulu,D44AC.

February 2014, Pulu,D44AC with his wife. The children are grown up and live abroad.

March 2014, Pulu,D44AC on his way to Monte Verde.

March 2014, Days before the carnival the atmosphere in Mindelo is very ecstatic. Pulu is documenting the festivities with his video camera. Ask him about the Carnival DVD, which he produces each year.

April 2014, The surefire way of meeting Pulu while in Mindelo is to go to Cafe Lisboa in the very heart of town. He is there around noon almost every day.

All photographs and text

Henryk Kotowski, SM0JHF D44CF

2014 05 18

AT DX News