Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

More Humanitarian Hams…

Posted: February 24, 2018 in Uncategorized

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I’ve written in the past about Humanitarian Hams such as Zorro-JH1AJT and Tony-EA5RM. I have been following the recent travels and activities of Ken Opskar-LA7GIA. Ken has been incorporating a humanitarian aspect into each of his recent DXpeditions, including his most recent operation from Puntland, Somalia as 6O6O. He and Adrian-KO8SCA made nearly 17,000 contacts during a period of very poor propagation.

What is most impressive is that they have raised nearly $11,000 and will be donating it to Doctors without Borders working in Somalia. This is a very noble cause and I am really impressed with what they are doing.

What do you think?

 

Paul N6PSE

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My thoughts on 3Y0Z…

Posted: February 6, 2018 in Uncategorized

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My heart goes out to the 3Y0Z team as they make their voyage to Cape Town. I know what it feels like to abort a long planned Dxpedition just on the eve of success. I know the heart ache and the financial pitfalls all too well.

In 2011, we cancelled our Dxpedition to Kabul, Afghanistan just hours after Osama Bin Laden was captured and killed. It took a year to get much of our equipment back from Afghanistan. The entire team lost our travel costs. We also lost a team member, Jim-WA2EWE who was killed in Kabul just a week before our arrival.

In 2016 we cancelled the P5DX Dxpedition to North Korea after buying and shipping our equipment to Beijing. That was a tough pill to swallow as we had made nine trips to the DPRK and had obtained valid permission and an invitation letter from the North Korean officials. The entire team again lost all of their travel costs. While painful, our losses were just a fraction of what the 3Y0Z team is to experience.

So, I have a pretty good grasp of the pain and disappointment that the 3Y0Z team is feeling. Now that they are returning to Cape Town instead of Chile, they will be at the mercy of cargo shippers and airlines as they try to book their return flights home. They will experience a logistical nightmare if they try to unload their gear in Cape Town and ship it back from there. Their return flights from Chile will most certainly be wasted adding further to their already mounting expenses.

I hope that the DX Community will continue to support their mission if they decide to mount another effort to activate Bouvet. And if they decide to recover financially and emotionally before starting another mission, I can fully understand that as well. I have the highest level of respect for these men. 3Y0Z had the potential to be the best DXpedition ever!

Best wishes and good luck to the 3Y0Z Team!

Paul N6PSE

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With last week’s DXCC rule change, the Republic of Kosovo has briefly become the “most wanted” DXCC entity. Rarer than North Korea because until now “it didn’t count” for a DXCC entity. While I welcome the DXCC rule change which enabled Kosovo to join the DXCC program as a new entity, I am a bit surprised at the QSL/LoTW announcement of today.

Today, the Project Goodwill Kosovo team has announced “As many have requested confirmations during the ongoing activation, it has been decided to do an immediate LoTW and fast direct QSL service for those who contribute USD 20.00 or more. This option would not delay any of the traditional QSL options, but just put a priority on those who are willing to help Kosovo Amateur Radio finally move beyond the past ten difficult years”.

So, in essence what they are offering is for $20, you can get a QSL card and LoTW upload sooner rather than later. There is probably some appeal to that for #1 Honor Roll guys that will “fall off” the top of the list if they don’t keep all of the available entities confirmed. I get that.

I also strongly feel that DXpeditions to rare and remote places must somehow cover their costs as best as they can. Most DXpeditions including those organized by myself, have offered a QSL/LoTW via OQRS in the range of $5 to $7. That has become the norm and while there has always some grumbling about that, most DXers are comfortable with it and seem to prefer it. Those $5 to $7 QSO/LoTW fees are for the convenience of using OQRS rather than taking the time to send a card and self addressed stamped envelope to the QSL Manager.

Those DXpeditions where there is a $5 to $7 OQRS fee often entailed huge shipping/transportation costs where QSL income was essential to ease the financial burden.

The vast majority of us do not mind a nominal fee for the convenience of a quick turn around of a LoTW upload. A LoTW upload costs the Dxpedition nothing! Not one cent.

In fact, the 2016 VP8STI/VP8SGI team was so elated with the financial support that we received after the culmination of those DXpeditions that within one week of our last contact, we had uploaded all of our contacts to LoTW. The entire log, for each and every contact made with us. We uploaded for everyone, donors and non-donors. The thought of asking $20 for a confirmation from the #3 and #8 most wanted entities, with a $300,000 ship charter would have never occurred to us.

So, I am a bit taken aback when the Project Goodwill Kosovo is offering a quick/simple OQRS for $20. While some DXers will have no issue with this amount, I am concerned that other low cost DXpeditions may follow with potentially unreasonable charges for the convenience of a OQRS request. Their logic may be that if Project Goodwill Kosovo could do it then we can do it too.

With Project Goodwill Kosovo being a fly in Dxpedition without the massive costs to charter a ship, buy generators and fuel, buy coax, antennas and other gear, I see no reason to ask for $20 for a QSL card. There are many generous donors in the DX realm who will add something extra from the goodness of their heart.

I hope this does not become a new trend.

Update from the Project Kosovo Goodwill Team as posted today on DX-World.net:

CLARIFICATION OF THE Z60A LOTW UPLOAD TIMING

The complete Z60A log will be uploaded approximately four weeks after the current activation. The current activation will end immediately following Kosovo’s 10th independence anniversary celebrations on Sunday, February, 18 2018. The additional four-week window will allow for corrections and checking for potentially busted calls.

What do you think?

 

Paul N6PSE

New DXCC entity-Kosovo!

Posted: January 24, 2018 in Uncategorized

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I’m glad that the ARRL DXCC staff has changed the DXCC rules which enables Kosovo to count for DXCC effective January 21, 2018. This is a very welcome change!

I visited Kosovo in 2012 and it is an interesting and unique place. Pristina is the Capitol of Kosovo. I’m glad that this new entity has citizens, land and active radio amateurs. As one of my friends said “enough of the SV/A and 4U1 type of entities!”

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This sign greets you when you drive into Kosovo. 

Today, as I write my Blog, there are several stations QRV from Kosovo including Z60A the SHRAK station.

Here is a link to today’s announcement from the ARRL: http://www.arrl.org/news/amendment-to-arrl-dxcc-rules-will-expand-dxcc-list

I’ve previously blogged about my views on Kosovo. You can see it here: https://n6pse.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/kosovo-rethinking-my-position-on-proposed-dxcc-changes/

 

What do you think?

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The Intrepid-DX Group wishes to memorialize our friend, Co-Founder and President, David R. Collingham-K3LP.

In recognition of David’s humanitarian work as well as service to mankind, we are creating an annual David R. Collingham – K3LP Humanitarian and Service Award.

The purpose of this award is to recognize an individual or group for their humanitarian or service for the previous year. The award presentation will take place at the International DX Convention held in April at Visalia, CA.

To make a nomination for the David R. Collingham – K3LP Humanitarian and Service Award, please send an email message to intrepiddxgroup@gmail.com

We will close the nomination period on January 31st, 2018.

 

Thank you,

Paul S. Ewing-N6PSE
Vice President
The Intrepid-DX Group

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David operates from South Sandwich Island as VP8STI in 2016.

I first met David at the Dayton Hamvention in 2006. He was talking about the virtues of ICOM radios in the ICOM booth. I introduced myself to him and I knew that he was a famous DXpeditioner. We started a long conversation and a friendship at that moment. That conversation and friendship endured until his death on January 5th.

I asked David how one becomes a DXpeditioner. I told David about my desire to activate Iraq. David said “Let’s do it!” He became my Dxpedition teacher and mentor. He is the reason that I have become successful in planning, organizing and leading DXpeditions. I always had David at my back. David always did what he could to ensure success and great results. Our partnership was strong and our skills complemented each other.

In the following years, David became my closest friend. He was like a brother to me. We shared all of our hopes, dreams and thoughts. We rarely disagreed but when we did those disagreements were filled with passion. David was not a wimp, far from it. He was bold, courageous and generous of his time, friendship and anything else. He was the kind of man that would give you the shirt off his back or his last dime.

Things or objects didn’t matter to David. People and their feelings mattered. He made everyone feel important. He kept in touch and reached out to everyone. David’s other passions included his family, his successful business, and his mentoring and Youth Development work. He loved volunteering at the Dorothy Grant Elementary School in Fontana, CA.

David loved the kids at Dorothy Grant Elementary School-K6DGE.com

As I said, things didn’t matter to David. I was with him when he won an ICOM radio as a raffle prize. He immediately handed it to a friend who needed a radio and gave it away to him.

David was a take charge kind of guy. He readily got involved in projects that were important to him. If he had been in the military, he would have been a General. If he had been in the Police or Fire service he would have been a Chief.

In 2009, David and I planned to conduct an amateur radio Dxpedition together. I told him about my plans for Iraq in 2010 and he agreed to join me in planning this adventure. David loved adventures and this was the start of many adventures together which would later include, South Sudan, Rotuma, Fiji, Ethiopia, Yemen, Serbia, Kosovo, Mt. Athos, Macedonia, Greece, Albania, Montenegro and Antarctica. We had big plans for the future!

David mentoring the kids in Rotuma and Ethiopia.

David loved planning the Dxpedition antennas and their layout along with all of the other various Dxpedition components. He loved getting on 40 meters SSB and saying hello to all of his friends back home. He was a “good CW man” and made thousands of amateurs happy with the various contacts that he made. It was an honor for me to nominate him into the CQ DX Hall of Fame in 2014. David was very touched by this honor. It meant a lot to him. It was also an honor to share the 2016 Dxpedition of the Year Award with him for our VP8STI/VP8SGI DXpeditions.

David loved to joke around and play pranks. He was always joking and light hearted. On our voyage aboard the Braveheart, David enjoyed the singing and merriment.

David was the “life of the party” during our Braveheart voyage in the Southern Ocean.

David shared my vision for the Intrepid-DX Group and he most recently served as our President. He felt strongly that we should recognize the contributions of others and he enjoyed this activity very much. He was always “giving back” in one way or another.

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David holds the 2016 “DXpedition of the Year” Award for our VP8STI/VP8SGI DXpeditions. He was very proud of that accomplishment.

David spoke often of Mr. Louis Malory who had been very influential in David’s life as a teacher. He also shared the story of how a complete stranger gave him the money to continue with his college tuition when he couldn’t make his payment. This gesture forever moved David to give back to others.

David was always helping his blind friend Hughie-WB6CBU. David accompanied him whether at the DX Convention in Visalia or at the Dayton Hamvention. David always made sure that Hughie was included in the activities.

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David is inducted into the CQ DX Hall of Fame in May 2014. 

David loved his wife Rebecca. And he was so proud of his children. He spoke of them often and he enjoyed watching their own successes. He enjoyed seeing Ryan’s success on the football field and the basketball court. He adored his daughter Amanda and proudly shared her piano recital videos for all to enjoy. He loved visiting their beloved Deep Creek Lake or their vacation home in Orlando.

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David and his beloved dog. David died trying to rescue Cooper from a frozen pond.

Today as I write this, we are all sad and in shock. David’s passing leaves a tremendous void in our hearts and minds.

I loved this man like my brother. We shared so many special times together. He was so much fun! So full of life! Always pranks being played.

I am really going to miss him. He was always calling me and checking to see how I was doing. He really cared about others. He always ended our frequent phone conversations with “I love you brother”.

David Collingham lived his life bold, courageous and heroically and he died trying to save his beloved dog Cooper. He will always be a hero in our hearts.

He was really special. I don’t know anyone else like him.

This YouTube video really captures David’s essence of who he was:

Rest in Peace dear friend,

Paul N6PSE

 

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The Intrepid-DX Group is seeking nominations for the individual or group that most displayed their “Intrepid Spirit” this past year. The Intrepid Spirit for purposes of this award is defined as:
 
An Intrepid Spirit is bold, courageous, dedicated, innovative, fearless, generous, resolute and visionary in their approach to Amateur Radio. We want to recognize those individuals or groups that activated the rare, difficult and dangerous places. 
 
We are seeking to make this award to the group or individual that most displayed their intrepid spirit in 2017, by expressing an unshakable commitment to the Amateur Radio DX Community.
 
This award is made in memory of our friend, James McLaughlin WA2EWE/T6AF. SK, Kabul Afghanistan, April 27th, 2011.
 
Nominations may be submitted via email to: intrepiddxgroup@gmail.com
All nominations must be received by January 15th, 2018. The Board of Directors of the Intrepid-DX Group will evaluate the nominations and the award will be presented at the International DX Convention in Visalia, California on April 21st, 2018.
 
The Intrepid-DX Group was formed in 2010 following our successful Dxpedition to Iraq.
 
You can view our website at http://www.intrepid-dx.com/awards.php
 
Thank you,
Paul Ewing-N6PSE
Vice President and Founder
The Intrepid DX Group