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Author Topic: Will DXpeditions Change in the Next 10 - 20 Years?  (Read 2461 times)

« on: September 11, 2012, 05:30:06 PM »

I have had several eye openers as far as how much the DXpeditions cost, and I was wondering on my bike ride today, "How might dxpeditions change in the next 10 or even 20 years"?

Here are some ideas:

1) Most DXpeditions will return to the way many were run more than 10 years ago - with smaller teams of say 2 - 4 people, and maybe less equipment, simpler logistics.

2) DXpeditions will figure out ways of cost sharing - so the "onus" is not just on the ham community. Transportation will be one of the biggest issues and costs.

3) The ham community will recruit more scientists and military personnel who are allowed access to the tough places

I also wonder about the age of most DXpeditioners who do the planning and go and activate these places. Is this a concern? Are there enough young(er) people to take the baton as some of the "venerable" DXpeditioners retire from these trips? Will we have enough people to plan?

Don't get me wrong - this is no dooms day post, in fact, I have recently witnessed some of the most creative thinking in this area - proving that hams - and especially DX-ers - seem to have a can do and "Whatever it takes" spirit.


Posts: 1757

« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2012, 10:08:05 PM »

I also wonder about the age of most DXpeditioners who do the planning and go and activate these places. Is this a concern? Are there enough young(er) people to take the baton as some of the "venerable" DXpeditioners retire from these trips? Will we have enough people to plan?

I suspect that none of the current great DXpeditioners were born with their knowledge. It is a learned skill and nature abhors a vacuum. Fear not.

73 de N4CR, Phil

Never believe an atom. They make up everything.

Posts: 144


« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2012, 12:32:57 AM »

3) The ham community will recruit more scientists and military personnel who are allowed access to the tough places.
There are quite a few hams in these professions, but not all of them are experienced enough to handle pile-ups. Also their free time is limited and does not always align with radio propagation.

I know that I could efficiently handle a pile-up only in RTTY.

So we have to recruit DXers, not just radio amateurs.

« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 12:35:26 AM by SV1XV » Logged


Posts: 2645

« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2012, 05:56:56 AM »

I see expeditions as a popular activity for those who can't muster the cost of a home station.

It would be good if there were some sort of training program for these operators so they can hit the ground running when they arrive at a rare location.  Perhaps qualified folks could guest operate in contests that give special multipliers to stations that qualify as "DX" stations.

As it is, "normal" hams ending up in rare locals often have to go through a difficult training period before they can successfully manage pileups.

Posts: 174

« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2012, 09:06:35 AM »

Hi Rich,

I don't see the trend moving towards smaller teams and more frequent activations.  The two biggest obstacles of hard-to-activate countries are 1) getting permission/license, and 2) transportation cost.  Obstacle #1 explains why some places haven't been activated for a long time.  Once a permit is secured for these places it makes economic sense to put together the best team and equipment.  7O is a good example.  On transportation cost- the most inaccessible places are usually only accessible by boat.  In such a case you want to fit as many people/equipment on the boat as you can.  Places like the Spratley that has a runway will see smaller teams and more frequent activations.  You have a good point on cost sharing.  It makes perfect sense.  We have seen some signs of it.  Heard is a good example.  However I still think the majority of future dxpeditions will still be dominated by megawatt type teams.

In a nutshell, as much as I love the Microlite Penguins, I do see a definite trend of larger dxpeditions and a longer time between activations on the most sought after countries.  They just make more sense from an economic standpoint.

How does this impact us DX'ers?  It means it will take much longer to reach HR with fewer activations on the sought-after countries  Cry  For a new DX'er he/she will have to wait quite a while for Yemen or Malpelo.

Jonathan W6GX


Posts: 179

« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2012, 12:20:26 PM »

I think for the hard to get to places, we will see large, longer DXpeditions once every solar cycle or so.  Given that transportion costs are the expensive side of it, it makes sense to take more people (split the cost of the boat between more people) and stay for a longer time once you are there-make the transportation costs worth it.

I do think we will see more contributions coming in from the DX community now that paypal has made it so easy to donate.  Even if everyone who works them only sends in $5 or so that goes a long ways to covering the cost of the DXpedition.

7O6T shows that any red tape can eventually be overcome by the right person.  Face it, if you make a large enough campaign contribution to the right person, you could be operating from KP1 tomorrow.

I do think we will see more small, 1 and 2 person expeditions to the less rare places. 

Posts: 3661


« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2012, 03:41:55 AM »

It depends on the DXpedition types you're talking about. I'm not so sure that we'll see as many major DXpeditions along the style of 3Y0X Peter I, especially to the ultra-rare southern Indian Ocean locales. A combination of factors is at play here. First there's the icebreaker requirement for any place south of 60S. I'm sure companies know they can charge whatever they want and get it since there is no alternative. Second, the environmental BS preventing access. Third, with U.S. incomes well below what they once were, retirement accounts gutted and well-paying jobs as scarce as P5s and KP1s, far fewer Americans will be able to afford to foot the bill--leaving trips like this up to more European ops, if they're so inclined to take them.

I think we're seeing this play out now. Lots of retread DXpeditions--places that are not all that common but generally difficult to access are being activated far more frequently than they need to be. Think Swains, Conway, Annobon and St. Paul this year, and many others in the recent past. Places every serious DXer with more than 3 or 4 years on the air (and more than a G5RV and peanut-whistle power) already has at least once or twice, if not more. I see this trend continuing. Keeping the middle of the list at more or less the same level of need. Boosting a number 50 to number 10 every five years kinda deal. But I suspect the top-10 or 20 will only see one or two activations every two or three years now, and even fewer as cycle 24 wanes to nothing.

For me the key is "what hasn't been activated in 10 to 12 years." That's where the money and effort needs to be focused in this one ham's opinion. I spend roughly $100 a year on donations to various and sundry DXpeditions. I'd rather spend that on one or two ultra-rare ones than 10 common ones. Yes, bandfills are nice to get and I do love to see my Challenge score increase, but frankly I'd rather be on the Honor Roll than 2500 in the Challenge.
Night gathers and now my watch begins. It shall not end until I reach Top of the Honor Roll.

Posts: 342

« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2012, 08:28:21 AM »

 While transportation is a difficult and expensive issue the most difficult entities to activate are the ones where permission is denied. A disproprtionate number of US-controlled entities, for example, like KH1, KP1, KH5K, KH3, KH9, etc. are pushing ever-upward on the most wanted list but ten or twenty years ago they were sporadically available either via expeditions or resident hams.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2012, 09:04:11 AM by W2LO » Logged
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