My visit to IDXC 2018…

Posted: April 26, 2018 in Uncategorized


I’ve just returned from Visalia after attending the 2018 International DX Convention. This years convention was organized by the great folks of the Southern California DX Club. This years convention was well organized and was a high quality event worth attending

DXpedition Announcements:

There were no official announcements made, however there are several groups working on various top ten most wanted entities and will be forming teams soon. In discussions with leading DXpeditioners, given recent events and one group’s propensity to put the hurt on other groups, there is a discreet amount of caution being employed in order to prevent further problems. DXpeditioners who spend a lot of time and effort to activate rare entities don’t want to see their efforts derailed by a group that does not respect others. These are strange times that we are in.

New Products:

I only spotted three new products at this years event. Icom had a working IC-7610 on display and it is rather impressive. Steppir had their new OptimizIR controller on display and Tom N6BT has a new 40/75/80 meter vertical antenna with a tornado tuner at the center of the vertical. Most of the radio manufacturers were displaying their gear. The exception was Kenwood who was not at the event.


On Friday night, there are various dinners such as the Top Band Dinner, Contest Dinner and the IOTA Dinner. I like to attend the Top Band dinner hosted by Steve-WB6RSE.

I really enjoyed the presentation by Lee-KY7M and Ned-AA7A about the NA7TB Eight Circle Array in the Arizona desert. Imagine eight 160 verticals that are guyed by nothing but truck tires filled with concrete! This was quite a story!

On Saturday morning, Wayne-N7NG led a discussion of DXCC topics mostly concerning the ARRL’s recent rule change which enabled Kosovo to become a DXCC entity. By a show of hands there was an overwhelming majority in favor of this rule change.

Next, I attended the ARRL Forum by Dick Norton-N6AA. I did not know Dick, however I was greatly impressed with his candor and tact as he explained some of the challenges currently facing the ARRL and his Public Censure by the board. He seems a man of high integrity. If I was an ARRL volunteer for many years and was publically censured for some BS&*$(! reason, I would really have a lot to say about that. Dick is rather cool and calm. A better man than I am.

Don Miller-W9WNV gave a presentation on DXpeditioning “old school style” vs the mega DXpeditions of today. Clearly, some things are better now and some things were better then.

I was very impressed with the presentation by Ken-K4ZW on the ET3AA Story. Ken described how Sid May ET3SID established the Club Station at the Addis Ababa Technical University and mentored numerous students there for years as a volunteer. In 2011, David-K3LP brought a team of VE examiners there including myself and we conducted several VE sessions. A number of these very bright students were able to earn their US Amateur Radio calls. Sadly this did not serve its intended purpose of helping these kids obtain their own Ethiopian amateur licenses. Sid and David would be touched by Ken’s presentation. He very accurately captured their contributions as well as his own.


Tony-EA5RM “See you in Pyongyang”

At the end of the day on Saturday, I gave a presentation on Amateur Radio Diplomacy. I described various methods and technics to obtain permission in some of the most difficult of places.


Adrian-KO8SCA and Ken-LA7GIA of the 6O6O team. 

The Saturday night Keynote Speakers were Martti Laine-OH2BH, Vjollca Caka Z61VB and Jim Fenstermaker K9JF. Martti began by describing the ten long years of waiting for the DXCC Program to include Kosovo and he told the ARRL’s Norm Fusaro that he hoped he would be easier to deal with than his predecessors. Vjollca is the President of the Kosovo Amateur Radio Society and she gave us some history of Kosovo. Jim K9JF operated during the first week of the operation and described the massive pileups for this suddenly most wanted DXCC entity. I think all of us are grateful for Martti’s efforts to bring this new DXCC entity onto the world stage for all of us to enjoy as a new entity.

David-WD5COV, Vice President of the Intrepid-DX Group made the following awards presentations. First the Intrepid Spirit Award to Yuris-YL2GM and Kaspars-YL1ZF for their 3C0L and 3C1L activations this past year. In addition, the newly created Intrepid Humanitarian Award was presented to Antonio Gonzalez-EA5RM for his many years of humanitarian work in the Bolivian Jungles.

On Sunday morning, Robert Fanfant-N7QT gave a great presentation on his recently VK9MA Mellish Reef DXpedition.


Ned-AA7A and Martti OH2BH enjoy a moment.

IDXC 2018 was a nice event. There was overall disappointment that 3Y0Z had to be aborted however everyone was delighted that Z60A suddenly joined the DXCC program after many years of uncertainty and speculation.

What do you think?




  1. Mike KJ4Z says:

    Glad to hear there are more top 10s being planned. Given the “radio silence” I was starting to wonder if the unfortunate cancelation of 3Y0Z might have caused a disturbance in the DXpedition funding scene. I guess the recent band conditions haven’t helped either. Well, here’s hoping for some good news soon.

    • N6PSE's Blog says:

      Hi Mike, yes there are leaders always working on the top 25 or so. No stone is left unturned, twice, thrice as many times as it takes. Funding isn’t a big problem if it is truly rare and even with poor or no sunspots there is always the low bands so there will always be DXpeditions.

  2. Mike W2LO says:

    Thanks, Paul, for a well-written and informative report. It’s encouraging to hear that there are groups working behind the scenes on the rarer entities and expeditions to entities that are not on the low bands that often are also very welcome.

    I’ll get to Visalia one of these years! TU!

  3. Thanks Paul, I always find your column (blog) quite interesting and informative. However, I can not fathom why Kenwood would not be there. This event is right in their back yard. Any scuttle why they did not show?

    • N6PSE's Blog says:

      Hi Karen, yes it seems odd, but that has been Kenwood recently. They seemed dormant a few years ago and then came out with the TS-990 so they can be somewhat surprising. Just now, I am looking at QST and see a full page ad for Kenwood so they haven’t left us yet!

      Best 73,

      Paul N6PSE

  4. kendw says:

    Thanks Paul for the great report on the 2018 IDXC. As first time program chairman I discovered it was no chore at all to find presenters!!! When Bouvet unfortunately fell through there were two major presentations that would fill the banquet spot. Then Kosovo came on the air!! Wow! I emailed Martti and game on! What an exciting time. Many of the Saturday afternoon presentations were banquet quality.

    Those presentations are testimony to the hard work and resources that hams, like yourself, put forth. The job the DX Convention Committee did, though significant, pales with respect to the time and labor of the DXpeditions and, of course, that effort is accomplished by a collection of brave and genuine, stout and hardy, individuals like yourself.

    Thank you for being part of the 2018 IDXC. Your efforts are very much appreciated

    Next year in Visalia!

    Program Chair 2018 IDXC at Visalia

  5. Roger says:

    I wonder if Turkmenistan is being looked by some group as a possible DXpedition location? As far as I know Turkmenistan has not been on the air for at least 10 years.

    Roger K5RKS

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