So You want To Go On A DXpedition?

Wise words from Paul N6PSE

The 3D2C Team

The 3D2C Team

The 2012 3D2C-Conway Reef DXpedition Team had a number of first time DXpeditioners.

I am often asked: What’s it take to get invited to join a Dxpedition? Or I am told “please keep me in mind for future trips”.

Participating in DXpeditions is one of the most enjoyable and interesting things I have ever done. The places that you see and the people that you meet are truly fascinating. You may discover as I have, that our world is truly different than our mass media and biased news reporting would have you believe.

Prior to my first Dxpedition to IRAQ, I always wondered why it was always the same guys on each team that activated these strange and interesting places. Soon, I learned that each team often builds a core part of the team. These team members are often retired or semi-retired and are able to travel with little notice. They also bring other skills to the team such as solid and reliable work ethic, a “can do” attitude, they are likely to be very strong operators and able to operate for long periods of time often under harsh conditions. They are often willing to operate in any mode, any time.

They bring a sense of excitement and adventure that adds to the excitement and passion of the team. Some guys are just hard workers. They know what needs to be done and they just get it done. These guys are the back bone of the team and their skills and knowledge are invaluable.

It is my opinion that each team should have some new talent or new people to introduce to Dxpeditioning. Dxpeditioning should not be an elitist function and the hobby benefits from finding and developing new players who can later go on and do more activations and eventually form and lead their own teams. This kind of activity can propel Dxpeditioning activity for decades to come.

When I am approached by a new comer who wants to join a Dxpedition, I gauge their interest and ability to fit in with a team. I find that sometimes future Dxpeditioners have a unrealistic expectation of what a Dxpedition is like. Those that expect comfort and convenience will bring unrealistic expectations to the table. Cost is a consideration for all of us. Today’s Dxpeditioner can expect to spend $250-$500 a day or more plus their cost to get to and from the Dxpedition meeting point.

When building the Dxpedition team, the leaders want to build a team that will be engaged and effective. They will tend to go to their core people first as these people are known for their skills and qualities. The leader knows that he must seek and maintain balance in the skills sets available.

I believe that multi-national teams are the most effective teams at meeting the huge global demand for contacts. For that reason, I prefer to build and assemble a team of US, EU, JA and South American members whenever possible.

I try to tap into the team members feeling of personal obligation to ensure that his own continent is well covered with contacts made. Never do you want to leave a continent feeling that they did not get access to the Dxpedition team.

Strong operating skills are very important to the Dxpedition team. An operator should be strong at CW and/or SSB. Willingness and ability to do multiple modes is a plus. RTTY should not be an afterthought and operators that bring skills such as rapid rate and expertise with multiple decoders are desirable.

Some operators bring extra skills to the team, such as the ability to effectively troubleshoot PC & network issues. Expertise in logging programs such as N1MM, Wintest and Writelog are quite desirable. Skills in gathering log data and performing satellite uploads are very beneficial.

We are often impressed by those that have the right attitude and the aptitude to succeed. Skills can be developed, honed and improved but they must be coupled with the right attitude along with the aptitude to succeed.

There have been countless times when I have been asked “Please keep me in mind for a future trip”. Quite often when I contact those people I find that they are dreamers and not really engaged in becoming a Dxpeditioner. They are not prepared to take the time away from their work and family or prepared for the cost of the Dxpedition. The men that say “yes” time and time again are able to live the dream and enjoy the fun.

So when you look at the various Dxpedition websites and see the makeup of the team, know that could be you going on the adventure, but only after you have aligned your expectations with those of the team and you have made your skills and abilities attractive to the team leader as he builds and assembles his team.

The future of Dxpeditioning needs new blood. If you wish to join the ranks of DXpeditioners start getting ready now so that you are prepared to say yes when that call comes.

What do you think?

From the N6PSE Website

DXpeditioner KK6EK Visits Napier

Bob Schmieder has been a renown DXer since 1962, and holds Extra Class license KK6EK. He is the founder and Expedition Leader of Cordell Expeditions, a nonprofit research group begun in 1977. The group is responsible for the creation of the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary and for numerous research expeditions to remote oceanic sites. Professionally he is a research physicist, with about 100 publications and four patents. He is the founder of NanoLogic Inc.

He is a Fellow of the Explorers Club and former Chairman of its Northern California Chapter. He is probably most famous for putting together the VK0IR Dxpedition to Heard Island back in 1997 and many other first class operations from rare places around the world. He has developed new technology for DXpeditions and Dxers and is the inventor (for XRØY/Z) of the online log server and DXA, the real-time log website (for K7C). Bob is

In over 30 years he has been listed in almost every Who’s Who in the world. He is the owner and operator of a research vessel, the Cordell Explorer and CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame member.

Bob is in New Zealand for a bit of a look around tour. It has been his ambition to see our country for a long time and Jackie, ZL3CW is his host and has been showing him the sights. Jackie and Bob caught up with Gary ZL2IFB and Lee ZL2AL at the “Duke” pub in Taradale Napier for a social get-together and a few drinks on February 6. Bob explained his latest venture in which he will return to Heard Island (VK0) next November/December with a team of approximately ops to put Heard back on the air again. At least 10 ops have signed on and ready to go but Bob is still looking for a few more to join the team. You can contact him at [email protected] for further info. It has been years since the last operation and this rare DXCC entity, currently #2 on everyones most wanted list will be available again. The cost will be horrendous but plans are well advanced and it will happen.

Left to Right: Bob KK6EK, Gary ZL2IFB, Jackie ZL3CW/F2CW and Lee ZL2AL

Left to Right: Bob KK6EK, Gary ZL2IFB, Jackie ZL3CW/F2CW and Lee ZL2AL. Thanks to Gary’s good lady Deborah for joining us and taking the photo.

Nice to see DXers hard at work! Bob leaves for Martinborough tomorrow and will visit Chris ZL2DX and other hams in further south.

Nice to meet you mate. Good luck with your planning of this most interesting Dxpedition.

73, Lee ZL2AL

K7UA DXers Handbook

Bryce, K7UA has just revised his original handbook, This is a “No Nonsense” straight forward manual on all things DXing and how to go about working DX.
Free Download here: K7UA DXers Handbook

K7UA's DX Handbook

K7UA’s DX Handbook

His methods, ideas and tips are invaluable if you want to achieve more than what you may be doing now. Bryce has been there and done that with most of the top awards and has worked 340 DXCC Entities. His wealth of experience is invaluable to both new and seasoned DXers. The Index of topics is below:



His handbook is absolutely free to download here  K7UA DXers Handbook – 2nd Edition  and is well worth reading.

73, Lee ZL2AL


DXCC – LoTW – QSL Cards 101

There has been some confusion in the minds of newcomers to the DXCC program on just how DXCC fits in with LoTW and which updates which account and how does LoTW fit in with DXCC and what role does the card checker have in the mix. This is written in response to a query from a local ZL. I tried to make it easy to understand. It worked and the explanation may be able to help others

Perhaps this explanation this may help. Some assumptions are made

1. You have an existing DXCC account at the DXCC Desk

2. You have a LoTW account

3. Your LoTW account is linked to your DXCC account by your request to the DXCC desk. The assumption is that you have done that.

4. When you send VUCC or WAS cards to me, it has nothing to do with either of your above accounts. No linking, no cross referencing  They don’t have any relevance to each other and you will receive your VUCC or WAS in due course. If you want those cards to count for DXCC totals you have to make another application and submit them via LoTW, Online Application or checked QSL cards

5. When you make an application to me, either by you completing and Online application and sending the cards to me, those cards are returned to you and the paperwork goes to the DXCC desk and the totals are added to your DXCC account and they magically show up in your linked LoTW totals.

5. When you make a LoTW application via the LoTW facilities, those credits are between LoTW and the DXCC desk and I have nothing to do with them. LoTW is updated and your linked DXCC totals are updated.

6. At any given time you can look at your LoTW account and look at your DXCC totals with relation to any award. You can also go to the ARRL DXCC Listings website and download a PDF file for the 3 main categories of DXCC. They are called the DXCC Listings.

7. As a card checker, I have absolutely no access to any LoTW account (other than my own) and cannot make an entries on behalf of an applicant.

The above should clarify how the system works. If you still have more questions (no question is EVER, EVER stupid if you don’t know the answer!) give me a phone call on  06 844 1226. Don’t hold back, get it clear in your mind and then things will become easier for you.

If its any consolation, I just switched my office computer from 30 years of various Windoze madness editions and updates to Apple iMac. The thought of Windoze 8 was reducing my will to live! I am on a big learning curve and have lots of questions on this particular subject. Fortunately there is an App for mac OS X which is called “Ask Alfred’ Bloody brilliant as it goes out to a huge database and newsgroup that will tell me. At 76, I need help. Some would say i need professional help to overcome my ham radio addiction 🙂

73, Lee ZL2AL

How Many Does It Take To Spot A DX Station?

This was written by Don Greenbaum, N1DG back in 2005. It still has relevance today!

Q: How many dx Internet mail list subscribers does it take to announce a new dx station?
A: 1,343

1    to spot the dx and and to post to the mail list that the dxpedition has been spotted;
14  to share similar experiences of working the dx and how the dx could have been worked       differently;
7   to complain about the dx operating habits, lack of low band activity, interference to nets,      lack of WARC activity, too wide splits, too narrow splits, or not enough cw;
27 to point out the spelling/grammar errors in posts about the dx;
53 to flame the spell checkers;
41   to correct spelling/grammar flames;
6   to argue over whether it’s “dx-pedition” or “dxpedition”;
another 6 to condemn those 6 as anal-retentive;
156 to write to the list administrator about the dx spot discussion and its inappropriateness        to the mail list;
109 to post that this list is not about splits, cw or low band activity and to please take this          email exchange to dx-l;
203  to demand that cross posting to grammar-l, spelling-l and dx-l about dx be stopped;
111  to defend the posting to this list saying that we all work dx and therefore the posts               *are* relevant to this mail list;
306  to debate which method of working the dx is superior, where to look for him, how              many calls it took -5 being the lowest so far and why this is the worst dx pedition EVER;
27 to post URL’s where one can see examples of better operations;
14 to post that the URL’s were posted incorrectly and then post the corrected URL’s;
to post about links they found from the URL’s that are relevant to this list which makes        the dx discussion relevant to this list;
33 to link all posts to date, then quote them including all headers and footers and then
add “Me too”;
12 to post to the list that they are unsubscribing because they cannot handle the
dx controversy;
19 to quote the “Me too’s” to say “Me three”;
4   to suggest that posters request the dx list FAQ;
43 to ask what is “FAQ”;
4   to say “didn’t we go through this already a short time ago on the List?”
141 to ask “How do I unsubscribe?”
1    to ask if anyone’s heard the dx…….
1   more to ask what country the dx is in….

Sound familiar?

73, Don, N1DG

Introduction to the World of DXing


DXing is addictive
The greatest lure in amateur radio is to contact someone else in another country. When you first start out into the world of DXing, DX may be 100km but later you will work into every corner of the planet. With some hams, it becomes an absolute obsession and they will go to any length to contact that country they haven‘t worked yet. For others, it is a pleasure to rag chew with an amateur in a foreign country and to learn more about that country and its culture. DXers often end up meeting other DXers when they travel and many lifelong friendships are made this way. DXing is a competitive sport. You will find out the moment that you hear some rare DX that a thousand other hams heard that same station and are also calling at the same instant. The problem is that many of your competitors are outstanding operators with high power, excellent antenna systems and vast experience. Most of your competitors are average operators with average stations and antennas and they are easy to compete with. You just have to be a bit more cunning with your skills but eventually you can work up to competing with the top group. That rare DXpedition will usually work the big guns first and then you can easily make the contact at the end of their stay at the rare location.

Currently there are 340 DXCC “Entities “eligible for the ARRL DXCC award program. DXCC is the premier award in ham radio and entry to the “Club” may be gained by working and confirming 100 entities. An Entity can be as large as Australia or as small as St Peter and Paul Rocks out in the South Atlantic Ocean. There are rules that govern what constitutes an “Entity“ and they may be found on the ARRL Website where you can find the rules for the various awards and download the application forms. CQ Magazine in the USA that runs the Worked All Zones awards program and sponsors major contests throughout the year has the rules on their web- site also. Usually you start off with trying to work the first one hundred countries or entities and that will be a milestone for you. It will teach you how to get involved with a pileup and how to be a bit cunning when you do. It will teach you that other DXers in other countries may not have the same sense of fair play as you do. The second 100 countries are a little more difficult to work. Achieving 300 countries is very difficult and will usually take many years for a variety of reasons including sunspot cycles, the rarity of the country and how often its government will allow amateurs to operate there. Currently (2013) there are 340 DXCC Entities and the last 40 entities are extremely difficult to work. Very few ZL amateurs have managed to do lt. But the challenge is always there and it becomes a passion to achieve lt.

Strategies for successful DXing
There are some proven strategies that work. Listen to the operator and find out where he is listening and if he is working split frequencies. Working “split is not difficult, just different. lt‘s a new skill for you to learn. Find out where the thousands of other operators are transmitting and avoid the pack. Position yourself just off the edge of the pack. Refine your timing so that you will be heard in a “gap” rather than in with the pack. Placement and timing is everything. Your signal should be slightly out of the pack so you will be noticed and your call should be slightly out of sync with the pack and just delayed a bit so that he will hear you start your call but not delayed long enough that you are calling on top of the guy the DX station has already decided to work and is answering. Successful experienced DXers are extremely skilful with their timing and consequently work the DX. You may not be heard on your first or second call or even after a few hours of calling. Be patient! Sometimes it‘s an exercise in pure frustration but persistence usually wins and it‘s an absolute joy when you snag that new country. Top level DXing is not easy but you will learn that amateur radio is more than inhabiting your local 2 metre repeater. You will also be rewarded with friendships around the world and an understanding of other cultures.

Is CW worth the effort?
lt really is true that it‘s easier to work DX on CW than on Phone because there are fewer stations clamouring for the attention of a DX station on CW. CW will still be around for the foreseeable future in spite of recent changes in amateur licence regulations around the world. Weak CW signals are more readable than weak Phone signals. Hone your CW skills. DX stations often run 20 wpm or more and while most of them are courteous and will come back to a station calling at 12 or l5wpm, it‘s very satisfying to be able to work them at the speed they‘re calling CQ. Life is much easier with an electronic keyer as it takes the work out of sending your call over and over. There is nothing worse than operating with a pair of uncomfortable, ill fitting, harsh sounding headphones. Invest in a good set of headphones to help you dig out the weak ones and avoid fatigue, A better idea is to buy a quality boom microphone headset with a good sounding microphone cartridge.

Work the contests
Contests can be intimidating, but your best chance for working new countries is often during the DX contests. Contest groups often will activate multi-multi stations in rare countries and they are easy to work. I recall working CN2R in Morocco on 80m a few years ago. Re was S9+ and begging for 80 m contacts and very easy to work. You don‘t do not have to work the entire contest, nor do you have to send in the logs for scoring. Figure out what information they‘re expecting you to exchange with them, either by listening to several contest QSOs or by reading the contest rules on then just jump in and start working stations.

What bands to operate
The seven popular amateur radio bands offer the DXer propagation to most parts of the world most of the time. When the sunspot count is between the eleven year peaks, the higher bands like 10, 12, 15, 20 M are poor and opportunities are limited. 40M and 80M come into their own and some excellent DXing abounds providing you have good antennas. DXing is more difficult on 80 and 160m because the ambient noise levels are often intolerable in urban areas. When the propagation is right and the bands are open at sunrise and sunset, 80 and 160m can be extremely rewarding with worldwide contacts. We are fortunate here in the Asia Pacific region as many rare DXpeditions take place and are easy to work on the lower bands. When the sunspots reach maximum every eleven years the higher bands are magic. The next peak will be in 2012. 10, 12 and 15m will often be open 24 hours a day and lt is relatively easy to work 100 countries during a weekend contest. Having a ZL call is a wonderful asset. ZLs are reasonably rare in other parts of the world and there are not that many ZL DXers to compete with. ZLs are often the first “real“ DX station that Europeans work. ZL DXers are respected around the world and we have some world class Kiwi DXers amongst us. It is not uncommon to call a CQ on 15 or 20M and generate a pileup of Europeans or North Americans that may go on for hours.

Operating aids
The DXer has far more tools at his disposal than he had 30 or 40 years ago. Then, you heard a rumour, read monthly DX magazines or received a phone call from a trusted friend. You listened daily, you waited and finally you would hear that weak rare station and attempt to work him with primitive valve equipment. Today‘s modern DXers have computers with the Internet based newsgroups, real time packet clusters, propagation prediction programs and information not dreamt of by old timers in the game. Today one knows where and when the rare DX will operate. With a few mouse clicks the modern well equipped station will change the radio to that frequency and mode, track the amplifier to the right band, select the correct antenna system, turn the beam to the heading and set his call up in the logging program in a few seconds. Sounds easy! The reality is that you still have to use your skills to get your call in his electronic logbook. And it doesn‘t get any easier as thousands of other hams have the same technology. Below are some web links to programs and services that will help you work DX. -The definitive reference site for ham radio— Over 6000 links. – DX Atlas—A great program for DXCC, WAZ, IOTA info plus brilliant Grayline and path headings. – The online address and QSLing data base for most hams around the world. – A great source of info on general ham radio – Keep up to date with international contests – Excellent logging program. – Excellent contest logging program. – Free but very good logging program. – Some great logging programs. – Propagation prediction (and it‘s free!). – DX Cluster program (and it‘s free!).
Subscribe to the KiwiDX List Newsgroup You will be in touch with other keen DXers around New Zealand.
—The CQ Magazine awards and contest website.
www.arrlorg/awards/dxcc/ The ARRL DXCC awards and contest website. – The K1BV Awards directory listing for 3227 awards. dxs/ – The DX Summit – Live DX cluster spots 24 hours a day. – The definitive web page on Morse code—worth going to even if you don‘t understand it or use it!

Packet cluster networks
Packet clusters have been a phenomenon of the DXing world over the past 10 or 15 years. Basically lt works like this. There may be a local Internet based Cluster or VHF packet channel Cluster in a city in Europe somewhere and a group or cluster of hams are connected to it. When someone in the group works a rare station he types into his cluster software the details in the following format: DX 14015 ZD9BV Calling CQ. The last comment is optional. The message or “spot“ immediately appears on the screens of all connected to that cluster. Most clusters are now linked to the internet and there are more than 1000 of them around the world in every populated area. As soon as that spot hits the internet it spreads to all the cluster nodes and you will see it on your screen in your shack. In fact you will see a continuous stream of DX stations, Announcements and WWV information on your screen 24 hours a ay. There are many free programs available. DX packet clusters are a wonderful tool for chasing DX

Minimum-maximum Station gear
There are some facts to consider when you are thinking about investing in equipment for your station.

(1) The Operator on the other end can‘t tell whether you have the latest all singing, all dancing multi featured transceiver costing in excess of $8K or a 30 year old valve radio you picked up at a junk sale for $300. 100W is 100W. Both are equal. The only difference is that the older radio may not have all the latest modern features.

(2) The stations with the 30m towers and stacked 5-el monobanders driven by very large amplifiers will often beat you in a pileup. These are the guys that work the rare DX first and they love doing it. After they have done lt … they go away and let the rest of us work the station. As long as you are aware of the big guns, it‘s not a problem because time will be kind to you.

(3) The stations that have the “best“ sounding audio will always win in a pileup. It is human nature that the DX station will always take the path of least resistance and work the station he can understand and clearly hear the easiest. Best means clean, punchy and standing out from the rest. Commercial broadcast announcers are picked because of their mellow authoritative voices. Be aware of your own limitations and strive for the best audio you can generate. An authoritative voice helps!

(4) With CW – You will need an electronic keyer and clean keying set a bit below the pack‘s general speed. This is better than trying to impress the DX station that your electronic keyer can do 45 wpm with ease. He can‘t! – Well, actually some DX ops can but they are rare.

(5) At the end of the day everything helps, but don‘t get hung up on particular antennas or brands of radio equipment. They are only part of the picture. A good antenna is the second best investment you will ever make. The first is taking the time to learn the techniques and skills of how a rare DX station thinks and operates. A cunning operator will outwit a big antenna every time!

Computer logging
Computer logging programs are almost essential for those who have a large number of QSOs. Over time they become one of the best tools around for keeping things in order. Don‘t start out with a cheap shareware logging program. A key factor in a logging program is to be able to display various award details in DXCC entity order as one has them worked or confirmed. The main prestige awards are DXCC, WAZ, DXCC Challenge, WAS, WAC, IOTA There are thousands of others. When you want to see how your goals are being met, you can look at your statistics right on the computer screen. Computer logging programs are a great time saver because most of them generate data and address labels that will save hours and hours of handwriting. Computer logging can keep track of QSLs sent and received with just a click of the mouse. A really good computer logging program will do all of the above and control your radio, send CW, display your local packet cluster DX spots and print the QSO information directly onto your QSL cards with no labels involved.

The process of QSLing
If a newcomer to DXing starts out by working DX stations during contests he will quickly learn that he will work key countries multiple times. I would make the bureau one of my first choices The QSL Buro Service here in New Zealand is excellent and lt will save you postage costs. If you use the NZ Buro a lot make a donation every now and then! My best advice is to save your postage dollars and greenstamps (One US Dollar) for your rare station direct QSL requests. Confirming DXCC takes time and by the time one gets close to 100 different confirmed countries, several months or years will pass. There are several systems of filing, and the one that is probably the most common is to keep QSLs in order by DXCC entity. Shoeboxes help and they are inexpensive. There are some neat boxes sold buy the big chain stores here in New Zealand to file photographs in and they are excellent for QSLs. Keeping QSLs in DXCC entity order is the first step in being able to find and sort cards for awards later down the line. Believe me, it is not an easy task to sort a couple of thousand QSLs from scratch. Be smart and start sorting at the very beginning.

Awards and rewards
The ARRL DXCC Program

ARRL DXCC Honour Roll, 5 Band DXCC, WAS, 5BWAS, the DXCC Challenge Award and the CQ WAZ awards are the most prestigious awards in ham radio. Actually, there are over 3200 awards available to wallpaper your shack. Only the above few really measure how well you compete with other DXers around the rest of the world. In fact the list of awards that can be earned for working certain collections of DX stations is almost endless. will give you a link to the universal awards page. We have some world class DXers in New Zealand but only a few ZLs have managed to achieve the ARRL DXCC Honour Roll award. We now have a authrized ARRL DXCC Card checker in New Zealand which means you do not have to send your precious cards to the USA for verification. Contact Lee ZL2AL [email protected] for further information. Your DXCC QSOs may also be verified online on the ARRLs website LoTW (Logbook of the World)

If DXing is an obsession, then DXpeditioners are the lunatic fringe of the DX world. At any given time these are hundreds of amateurs operating from rare locations around the world. You can be assured that there are thousands of others actively planning a DXpedition somewhere and hundreds of thousands of “armchair DXpeditioners“ who would love to go. Planning a major Dxpedition is almost as com- plicated as a NASA mission. Large scale modern DXpeditions can chew through $400,000 or more in no time so it isn‘t a project that can be taken on lightly. New Zealand just happens to have ten or more of some the rarest DXCC entities islands within its territory. ZL7 – Chatham Island, ZL8 – Raoul Island
and ZL9 – Campbell and Auckland Islands are usually in the top 25 most wanted entities. The demand continues unabated and opportunity abounds for ZLs to organize more trips to these desired locations.

It is the experience of a lifetime to participate as an operator on a DXpedition. The camaraderie und experience gained is incomparable. DXpeditions to ZL7 are easily organized, tremendous fun and are to be recommended for gaining experience. When you consider all these factors, it is no wonder that DXing is so popular even though we are at the bottom of the eleven year solar cycle in 2009 there are always rare DX stations around to be worked. As the propagation becomes better over the next few years HF DX will improve. When sunspot cycle number 24 peaks in a few years from now you will experience fabulous world-wide propagation. I am trying to provide tips and information in this section to help you succeed in DXing, whether you are a newcomer 10 DX or a DXing veteran. If you would like to find out more about DXing, contact me at [email protected] and I will be happy to put you in touch with DXers in your area. You should also subscribe to the Google Kiwi DX List reflector for up to the minute information.

The worst day DXing sure beats the best day working!

73, Lee Jennings ZL2AL

Why Can’t I Work DX?

Being a pilot for a major Dxpedition involves answering requests and gripes from the general ham community. I do it because it’s fun and it helps the DXpeditioners and you get to meet all sorts of interesting hams by email. The recent 3Y0X DXpedition operation was quite brilliant and we ZLs did very well. Hams in the northern hemisphere didn’t have it easy but thousands were successful. The following series of emails from “Joe”, WXXXXX (Not his real name or callsign) are real and are quite enlightening. The exchange of emails took place during the 3Y0X DXpedition some years ago. The first email as follows:

Subject: 3YØX Pilot/Team page
Lee: I have come to the Conclusion that the Dxpedition and the operators down there are snubbing the USA & Canada and there has been NO TRACE of there signal at all, forgive me But I am beginning to feel that working them or trying to is Nothing But a lost cause….. If I sound like a bear, then you would too, if you were up at 3:00 am local time in (City in NA) and Have been patiently waiting to work them and I feel that I and others are being SNUBBED!

My reply was as follows:

Subject: Re: 3YØX Pilot/Team page
Hi Joe
It must be very frustrating for you but it is the nature of the DX beast. There are a number of factors which affect DXers trying to work a rare new one:
1. 3Y0X is on the opposite side of the planet, more than of 20,000 km from you.
2. The Gods of propagation are not happy. You can’t do a lot with an SFI of 74 and
a K index of 4
3. There are NO/ZERO/ZILCH/NADA Sunspots to help you.

You must consider the following.
1. This is an American lead DXpedition with most finance from the USA and some from the world wide ham community.
2. Why on earth would the team “snub” its own core support?
3. The ops are professional ops with hundreds of years of DXpedition experience. They do not “snub” any ham faction!

You should also consider:
1. The “Darwin Theory of DXing” applies. Only the fittest survive! Only the best equipped stations will be successful during no sunspot conditions.
2. The 3Y0X team has the BEST possible gear and antennas available to do the job.
3. 3Y0X is putting astoundingly good signals everywhere that propo will allow. Thousands of stations including stations from your area have worked them over the past few days.

Consider this. We ZLs have an extremely hard time trying to work rare DX such as OH0, R1MV, TF and JW from 40 degrees South. You have the same problem working 3Y0X from 40 degrees North. God does not vary the laws of physics just because you need a contact with 3Y0X.

Solution? I don’t have any except to say that persistence pays off. I wish that I could wave a magic propo wand but I can’t. But I can assure you that 3Y0X operators do NOT snub any area, region, country or call!
73, Lee ZL2AL

Subject: Re: 3YØX Pilot/Team page (I have left the spelling mistakes as they were.)
With all due respect Lee, I have good equipement, I have a ICOM 725 and a 20 Meter Mono band Dipole Sloped and I have work the World Before and with a Home-Brew Center insultator Not a 1:1 balun or a current Balun, But Something I have built myself and have gotten pretty good results with. Take a look at the Dx.txt that I have enclosed and you’ll see for yourself. I have been up at 3:00 am twice and there has been Nothing not a single trace not even a peep of signal….

At this point I suggested that:
1) He study my original reply again.
2) He should improve his station by taking some advice from seasoned DXers in his area.
3) Well, I never did suggest the 3rd option but I sure came close to doing it! I don’t
know what it is about DXpeditions but the “night people” do crawl out from under rocks when one is on!

I hope you enjoyed this true story from years ago
73, Lee ZL2AL

LoTW Experiences – ZL3JT

Hello folks
It’s really quite a wonderful thing how Log of the World has developed over the years.
Nearly 10 years ago I joined LotW and on 30 Oct 2003 I uploaded a file of 842 QSOs initially and scored only 3 matches.

On the 24th August 2004 I made my first claim for DXCC endorsements via LotW with 64 “matches”. That claim was # 760 My most recent claim for endorsements for my DXCC was made just last week with another 41 “matches” ..This claim is # 62458

I had gained DXCC HR in Mixed by the traditional QSL card method in November 2002, but joining LotW the following year, (Oct 2003) has seen considerable savings in QSL costs for all my band fillers from my original 330 DXCC mixed.

Some 1670 have been added with LotW and existing QSL cards, more are making my De Soto challenge over 2200 would be cost prohibitive if it wasn’t for LotW.

DXCC HR in phone, CW and DXCC in RTTY have been gained because of LotW.

LotW has some critics, but they pale into insignificance when the benefits of subscribing and using LotW are examined.

73 ZL3JT

Achieving the Impossible.

They say that nothing is impossible however, achieving DXCC on the VHF or Lower HF bands is very difficult indeed. 160M DXCC is very rare in New Zealand. Jim Robertson ZL2JR (now a SK) hung his certificate up on the wall with a 131 entity total. I had the pleasure of looking through Jim’s cards a few years ago and some of them are difficult to work on 20M let alone actually working them on 160M. Jim was well known around the world for his booming signal which was due in part to his superb location on top of the Plimmerton Hill with 360 degree views and no obstructions. He was a frequent participant in the Stew Perry “Top Band” contest giving rare ZL contacts to participants on both SSB and CW. I am still amazed at Jim’s achievement.

It takes years of dedication and sore ears to finally get that elusive 100th card. Greg, ZL3IX is the only other recipient of the award on the current DXCC list with over 150 countries confirmed. It is rumoured that Roy ZL4BO had over 200 confirmed on 160M and the late Peter ZL3GQ certainly achieved the milestone. Perhaps there are others that I am not aware of.

One the other end of the scale a VHF DXCC is perhaps even more difficult especially from ZL at the bottom of the world. Bob ZL3TY achieved a VHF 2M/6M DXCC with some moonbounce thrown into the mix. Bob Sutton ZL1RS has been working moonbounce for years on the VHF bands and is probably close to the 100 mark. Chris ZL2DX has been working 2M moonbounce for a few years and is up around the 65 country level using WJST software.

Nothing in ham radio is impossible. The ambition is sometimes thwarted by technology and technology catches up and the once impossible goal is realized. That’s the nice thing about our hobby. There are always goals and challenges!

73, Lee ZL2AL