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Author Topic: Have you ever been on a DX-pedition?  (Read 1791 times)
KY6R
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« on: July 13, 2012, 04:44:10 AM »

I have thought that I would always just stay at home and work DX-peditions, but now that I am only 3 away from my only really serious goal (DXCC Honor Roll), I have been thinking a lot more about being the DX some day.

The first thing that I have done to get my toe wet is volunteer for a couple really exciting DX-peds - Clipperton 2013 and Heard 2014. I am doing support work for both, and I am starting to see just how exciting it is to plan these events. I find myself dreaming of going on the trips - a lot more than I ever thought I would.

I did do serious preliminary research on activating Kingman Reef, but have completely dropped that idea. I now totally understand why it hasn't been activated since 2000. If someone ever does activate it - I would volunteer to help, and that is the one I might sign up to go on. I've actually been training - getting back into good physical condition and would train using pileup simulation software. It must be an amazing thing - to BE the DX.

I'm actually almost afraid to go on one - because it seems like it would end up being addicting (and expensive!).
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K3STX
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2012, 06:42:24 AM »

No, but I would LOVE to do it someday (I still have time left!). I kick myself for dropping Ham radio when I was in college, it would have been the perfect time to do simple DXpeditions (like to Carribean). Something like that would be a start. I have operated from Corisica QRP and managed some decent pileups, that was fun. I will be in Jamaica this summer and might bring the QRP rig; it's not Peter I but gotta start somewhere.

paul
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W6DXO
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2012, 06:50:36 AM »

Gene,

I've never been on any of the "big" DXpeditions but I have had a lot of fun
with my DIYD's (Do It Yourself DXpeditions).

I've been licensed and operated from: South Africa, Botswana,
Zimbabwe, Bahamas, USVI, Mexico, and Hawaii.

Usually just my 706IIG and a portable antenna.

It's a lot of fun to "be the DX" and really opened my eyes to the challenges of
working pile-ups from the other side of the QSO.

73 de harry, W6DXO
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K3SF
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2012, 07:19:54 AM »

Being a DX wanted station is great...

back in 1968 thru 1970 i was KR6VW on Okinawa and KR6IE on island of Ie Shima.

Station on Okinawa was a set of Inverted-Vees onthe roof of the barracks hanging on bamboo poles
using Heathkit SB101 100 watts. This was my pipsqueek signal that a lot people manage hear.

However, on Ie Shima i ran the Airforce MARS station part time doing a lot of fone pacthes back home for the guys. There i had access to Collins S-line along with stacked 30 element LPA at 100ft and 150ft.
needless to say...this was a killer station and being DX i was in control ;-)

i would run a bunch for  little while but at times i would like just to chat...i dont know how many people where just waiting for my chatting to end but i swear i could hands clenching mikes as i would turn it over to the other stations.

Meet a lot of new zealand and australian chaps..

My thoughts is you have to do it at least once in your hamming life time.

no matter what size station..you will be heard ;-))
and it will be fun..
just remember as the DX station you are in control


my 2 cents. now worth 0.875 cents due to banking crisis


paul K3SF






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N2RJ
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2012, 07:45:43 AM »

I have operated overseas, holiday style but not from a rare entity (9Y). In fact I am from there.

During 2 weeks holiday style operating I made only around 500 QSOs (in 2006) but I came home to two whole tubs full of mail. It was fun going to the post office and paying for postage with a bunch of single dollars and IRCs.
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W2IRT
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2012, 09:48:15 AM »

Nothing fancy here either; just two operations from C6 in 2006 and 2007 with an IC-7000 and a dipole. Over the course of the two 2-week trips I put about 1500 in the log and had QSL requests from about 500, total. It was a lot of fun and I'd love to do more trips like this, and perhaps be part of a top-25-World DXpedition at some point.
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Night gathers and now my watch begins. It shall not end until I reach Top of the Honor Roll.
KB2FCV
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2012, 11:10:43 AM »

I have not, but I'd like to some day.

I wouldn't even know where to begin or how to get involved in a group that is going anywhere. As of right now it's just me, my 100w and a dipole working as many as I can and I usually chip in a few extra dollars towards expenses when sending for that QSL.

It's definitely been one of those big things on the radio/life "bucket list". I've accomplished many of the other things I've wanted to do in ham radio, most recently moonbounce. I did get a slight taste of being "wanted" as I was "fresh meat" and I had a good solid 2 hour run of working one right after another on 144mhz JT-65B

I imagine a DXpedition takes a fair amount of money as a personal financial expense (in addition to donations), especially some of the rarer remote ones where people have their station out in the middle of nowhere out on a rock in the middle of an ocean. I'd love to do one of those someday but that's just not in the cards right now as a relatively new homeowner with most of the disposable income these days making the local hardware store / home depot /etc more profitable. I imagine a fair amount of stamina also comes into play. You have to be able to plant your rear in the chair for hours and hours and days upon days in sometimes less-than-favorable conditions working one right after another and keep a good QSO rate up in the process. On some of these cases you are often getting to some of these places on a small boat.. you have to lug all your stuff, antennas, materials, generators.. plus all the travel.. sometimes spending a few days at sea getting to that place you're headed. It's quite a big adventure! I imagine when you can catch sleep you make the most of it!

I think the closest thing I could do right now would be to put a rare grid square on the air, or perhaps the next time we vacation out of the country.. put that on the air for a bit.. or put an island on the air (but then again.. most likely it's a vacation and my wife would prefer I not play radio). Heck, even take a couple hour ride up to W1AW. I've operated from there and they generate quite a few calling.. nothing like 7O6T of course Wink

I'm kinda curious on what it takes to get involved in a big dx-pedition. It probably starts with finding / getting involved in an organization that does them.

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HS0ZIB
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2012, 04:46:27 PM »

I found out what fun being the DX was earlier this year, when I operated just a few Km from my home QTH in HS land, and went over the border to do volunteer work in southern XZ land to operate as XZ1K. 

The few opportunities that I had to operate out of XZ land and the massive pile-ups convinced me to 're-arrange' my life and job so that I could operate as DX on a permanent basis.  So as from 17th July, I am relocating to Yangon to start a new job, and to hopefully operate my DX station on a permanent basis.  See you in the pile-ups Smiley

Simon
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K6UJ
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2012, 07:53:19 PM »

I found out what fun being the DX was earlier this year, when I operated just a few Km from my home QTH in HS land, and went over the border to do volunteer work in southern XZ land to operate as XZ1K. 

The few opportunities that I had to operate out of XZ land and the massive pile-ups convinced me to 're-arrange' my life and job so that I could operate as DX on a permanent basis.  So as from 17th July, I am relocating to Yangon to start a new job, and to hopefully operate my DX station on a permanent basis.  See you in the pile-ups Smiley

Simon





Simon,
Wow, if I have it figured right you will be a rare DX station from Myanmar.   Please listen for us left coast DXers,
(especially me, hihi) 

73,
Bob
K6UJ
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VU2CDP
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2012, 11:13:53 PM »

Nothing beats the rush of a pileup and the band exploding! I was fortunate to be accepted as part of the VU4PB group. Taking a wet behind the ears op who had done very little operating from field locations was a big chance the organisers took. The advance party had very few ops with operating experience so it was a gamble. Some of the more experienced ops either dropped out due to personal exigencies or had to delay their arrival. This meant setting up and running for the first few days all by ourselves. Things came to such a point that i was told the evening we were supposed to go QRV that i was to open proceedings on 20m CW. If ever a rookie needed to be baptised by the pileup fire, this was the perfect opportunity. I will never forget the first QSO and the 'wall of sound' that built up in just a matter of seconds. Took me a few nervous heartbeats to get my bearings right and remind myself of all that i had read and heard before "split..keep an eye on the rate meter...move the VFO...dont waste bandwidth 3-5 Khz max spread..etc etc" To actually put all that into practice took a few sittings in front of the radio but after a few days, i became a junkie  Grin 

Hopefully should be able to do more, and do better in the future! If you get an opportunity to be on the "other side", especially from a rare one, don't miss it for anything.

73 es GL!
Deepak VU2CDP

(AT1HQ today on 15m CW)
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KY6R
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« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2012, 04:17:25 AM »

Nothing beats the rush of a pileup and the band exploding! I was fortunate to be accepted as part of the VU4PB group. Taking a wet behind the ears op who had done very little operating from field locations was a big chance the organisers took. The advance party had very few ops with operating experience so it was a gamble. Some of the more experienced ops either dropped out due to personal exigencies or had to delay their arrival. This meant setting up and running for the first few days all by ourselves. Things came to such a point that i was told the evening we were supposed to go QRV that i was to open proceedings on 20m CW. If ever a rookie needed to be baptised by the pileup fire, this was the perfect opportunity. I will never forget the first QSO and the 'wall of sound' that built up in just a matter of seconds. Took me a few nervous heartbeats to get my bearings right and remind myself of all that i had read and heard before "split..keep an eye on the rate meter...move the VFO...dont waste bandwidth 3-5 Khz max spread..etc etc" To actually put all that into practice took a few sittings in front of the radio but after a few days, i became a junkie  Grin 

Hopefully should be able to do more, and do better in the future! If you get an opportunity to be on the "other side", especially from a rare one, don't miss it for anything.

73 es GL!
Deepak VU2CDP

(AT1HQ today on 15m CW)

I remember it well - and you did an excellent job. The QSL card is also excellent.
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W6OP
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« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2012, 02:28:45 PM »

Since you are working with Bob on the Clipperton and Heard Island ask him if you can borrow a copy of his book DX-AKU. It's a great story of an Easter Island dxpedition he did in back in 1995. It will really give you a feel for all that goes into a dxpedition, planning, implementation and personalities, etc.

Pete W6OP
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KY6R
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« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2012, 03:12:39 PM »

Since you are working with Bob on the Clipperton and Heard Island ask him if you can borrow a copy of his book DX-AKU. It's a great story of an Easter Island dxpedition he did in back in 1995. It will really give you a feel for all that goes into a dxpedition, planning, implementation and personalities, etc.

Pete W6OP

Hello Pete. I'll have to check that out. I am half way through the VK0IR book, which is really excellent - well written and very interesting.
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