|News and Views
Tromelin Final Update
FINAL UPDATE - We made it! After so many years of planning, sleepless nights, daily issues to solve, it’s hard for us to realize that FT4TA is now history. We all worked, think, dream “Tromelin” for months!
I’m now writing you theses words from Mayotte. Yesterday, the small plane came back to Tromelin to pick us back, after 10 days spent on this isolated island.. The departure from the island was full of emotions.
We don’t had time yet to look around on the blogs, websites etc … it’s hundreds of emails to be classified later, but for now, priority is given to families and friends.
Radio operations were executed “as planned”, all communications and amateur radio promotions activities were also a success. We will come back on this part and make a full debriefing later. Previous experience on this type of project shows that any problem in the complex organisation, from transportation, to logistics, energy, etc can occur at any time and make everything fail…nothing of this happened to us, thanks to the precise organisation, and that is the most important thing.
On the island our motivation was there from the first minute until the last. Our hard work from the time we step on the island of Tromelin allows us, from the first night, to start achieving our objectives. For low bands lovers, we knew that we had to take any chance from day 1 and erecting the 160m antenna appears to be a very good idea. We are sure low banders have much appreciated that; conditions have never been better than the first two nights. At the same time we also started up 4 others stations on the higher bands. What a huge work done in only a few hours before darkness, last tunings on the antennas were made with “head lights”. 2000 QSOs were in the log at sunrise! We then stopped all transmission during the minimum amount of time, to finish all antenna work installation, despite high temperature and strong winds.
We are still amazed by the huge pileups. Despite all team members having already experience from other most wanted entities, none of us had ever had to face such an incredible demand. Up 5, 5 to 10, to 20…whatever our instructions, bands were filled in seconds. Pileups were so big, that even catching a call, or just letters was a challenging task, and no matter the band, mode or the time of the day! We had to be fully dedicated and concentrated to keep managing pileups and good rate without making errors in logging. Since we didn’t had to reach a specific QSO number, we just kept focused on our initial goals, and following the propagation forecast allows us to get contacted by all part of the world. It seems to had been productive and we had given chance fairly to any part of the world. Despite this, it was sometime very difficult to get respect from the pileup, and more discipline would had allow us better rates and more contacts.
We took advantage of the excellent propagation conditions on the higher bands. At our sunrise, focusing on Japan and also West coast US by long path, then Europe all day long, following at our sunset and during the first part of the night by Americas. Of course, we always try to listen to other less populated areas and we believe we also give a faire chance to them. Sometimes getting more than one continent at the same time on the same band was really challenging.
The daily communication with our pilots allowed us to adapt our traffic pattern. Nevertheless, some “advise” was not really realistic. For instance, putting a 20m station 24/7 would have made us loose 12h of radio per day, since this band was totally closed few hours after sunrise and until sunset. We were also being asked to limit our split, and we focus on reducing to the minimum each time it was possible while still being able to keep decoding callsigns. Others were asking more low bands, less low bands, more RTTY, less RTTY, etc..
We will soon read emails and comments related to our activity. Obviously many people will provide us advice, some more relevant than others.
With more than 1000 QSO per day and per operator, while keeping focus on the respective openings, was challenging. In addition, we had to balance our time between the radio sessions, the help in the daily life on the island (cooking, cleaning, etc …), the continuous improvement on our antenna system, the daily satellite communication with our pilot, and finally some hours of sleeping.
Our objectives were clearly announced and supported by the community and we believe we had achieve most of them. In addition, we were happy to surprise most of you by providing immediate LoTW confirmation during our activity.
A detailed summary will come in due date. It will also be the opportunity to share with you this exciting adventure with all details. We will also come back with statistics, sharing our thoughts on what did work well and what is still to be improved. We will also explain in more detail the part of the activity that was much less known by the amateur radio community, but which was probably the most important, since our DXpedition was a wonderful promotional event for amateur radio towards the TAAF, the officials, schools, journalists etc …
But for now, please get in contact with Yann F1NGP our QSL Manager for all related QSL and log topic. Cedric F5UKW, our webmaster, will try to design and print the QSL card as soon as possible. Just to remember, all direct QSL will be stamped by the dedicated TAAF stamp issued specialy for our dxpedition, and will be send out from Tromelin
We have thousands of photos and hundreds hours of video and we are impatient to share some of them to show you the magical of Tromelin.
We are extremelty grateful to the TAAF to had allowed us to realised this expedition: THANK YOU
What an incredible adventure, 73?s de F5UFX for the FT4TA TEAM , QRT.
Navassa Island - KP1
Dear members of the DX University,
Recently, the KP1-5 Project announced plans to activate the #1 most-need DXCC entity - Navassa Island (KP1). This is the same group that conducted the highly successful DXpedition to Desecheo Island (K5D) in 2009. This operation is scheduled for 14 days and will occur in late January, 2015. The DXpedition leaders, Bob Allphin, K4UEE and Dr. Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, have assembled a terrific team of great operators with many years of DXpedition experience. They are: Lou – N2TU; Ralph – K0IR; Jeff – NM1Y; Gregg – W6IZT; Mike – N6MZ; George – N4GRN; Tim – K5AC; Tomi – KT4TTT (HA7RY); Jerry – WB9Z; Bob – N2OO; Mike – NA5U; Craig – K9CT; George – AA7JV. Included are four members of the CQ DX Hall of Fame: W0GJ, K0IR, N2OOand K4UEE.
The last major operation from Navassa Island was 1993…a generation ago! Since then, Navassa Island has climbed steadily back to the very top of the most wanted list. Our goal is to give everyone who needs a contact for an all-time new one (ATNO) at least one QSO. Secondarily, we will provide band/mode contacts for those chasing the DXCC Challenge and other awards.
The team will be QRV 24/7 on 160m-6m CW, SSB, and RTTY modes. The operation will be based around the lighthouse area on the island. We plan eight stations….all using Elecraft K3's, a full complement of antennas, and 500 watt amplifiers.
As with all DXpeditions to "Top Ten" DXCC entities, this is a costly venture. The expenses total just over $300,000 - due to the necessity of using helicopters. Each operator must contribute a minimum of $7,500 plus personal expenses by paying their own way to/from the helicopter departure point. They will be away from work, home and family for three weeks and are all prepared for the financial and physical risks inherent in a major DXpedition of this magnitude.
The DXpedition team has committed to pay 50% of the total costs. The KP1-5 Project needs the support of the worldwide DX Community to pay the other half of the costs. We believe this is a fair arrangement for the team and DXers alike.
INDEXA has made an extremely generous contribution to the project and was first to offer support. Now, other DX Clubs have offered support as well but we need broad participation on the part of DX Clubs worldwide. We also need the help of individual DXers, not only from North America, but also from Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and Oceania.
Since the DXpeditions is planned for January 2015, time is quite short to raise the necessary funds.
So, please consider a generous contribution to this project. To have your club or organization’s logo included with the QSL card please contribute $500 or more; or $250 to have your club’s name included with the QSL card. Individual contributions of $100 or more will be listed with the QSL card. Everyone who supports the DXpedition will be listed and properly recognized on our website.
We encourage you to visit the Navassa Island website (www.navassadx.com) and donate via the PayPal link. It’s free and easy. Or you can contribute with a major credit card, even without a PayPal account. If that is not convenient, you may make a check or money order payable to The KP1-5 Project and mail to Mike Thomas NA5U at to the address shown below. Remember to put your clubs name on the “for" line.
Please mail all contributions to:
The KP1-5 Project
C/o Mike Thomas, NA5U
5717 Puerto Vallarta Dr.
North Richland Hills, TX 76180
Back in 1980 after WA6AUD shut down his highly popular West Coast DX Bulletin, my brother, W5DV, and I compiled and published a book, entitled "DX IS! The Best of the West Coast DX Bulletin". We thought that we had fulfilled all of the requests for it within just a few months, but we still get occasional inquiries about its availability, more than 30 years later.
During a recent move, I found a supply of unsold copies, still in new condition. We have arranged to make these available through Amazon at
While we do not expect a major demand for it after 30 years, we want interested parties to be aware of its availability. If you feel that it is appropriate to mention this in the DXer, there are probably some DXers who would like to know about it. We have a very limited supply and when these are gone, that's it.
73 de W6OGC Jim Allen
About the DXAC
Ever wonder what the ARRL's DXAC is all about? See the DX University Blog for a short history of the DX Advisory Committee, what's it's been doing and where it's headed right now.
DXpeditioning Basics - Revised
A new version of DXpeditioning Basics is now availabe. The original version was published in 1994. To see the new version, go to the DX University Website > DXpeditioning Tools > Publications > DXpeditioning Basics - 2013.
Tuition Grants for DXU Students
FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION
22 April 2013
NCDXF DX University and Contest University Scholarships
NCDXF is committed to bringing younger DXers and Contesters into our hobby. NCDXF will provide full tuition scholarships for hams 25 years of age and younger at all DX University and Contest University sessions held in North America for the next year. This includes those held at the Dayton Hamvention next month.
Funding for this project comes from NCDXF’s Scholarship Endowment Fund, which is separate from its General Fund used to support DXpeditions.
Credit for the success of NCDXF is made possible by our contributors, individuals and clubs.
Joining or renewing membership has never been easier. Please visit our website at http://www.ncdxf.org
Glenn Johnson, WØGJ
Vice President, NCDXF
DXU Best Practices
With ever increasing activity, pileup behavior on the DX bands seems to be becoming worse and worse. The DX Code of Conduct is a widely circulated list of operating rules that have been adopted by many DXpeditions. The original Code is directed at DXers, and it instructs them how to operate in a way that could bring order and make pileups more civil.
Less widely known is that "The DX Code of Conduct" Web pages also contain a set of guidelines for DXpeditioners or DXpeditioner's Code. The DX-Code organization has asked DXpedition leaders to "support" the DX Code of Conduct. Which code they support is not always clear, however.
To clarify this situation, the DX University offers clearly delineated guidelines for both DXpeditioners and DXers. They are referred to separately as "Best Practices for DXpedition Operating" and "Best Practices for Courteous and Efficient DXing." Links to these pages are found elsewhere on this page. Best Practices" for DXers is similar to those of the DX Code of Conduct, although presented as suggestions.
The "Best Practices for DXpedition Operating" is the result of a considerable effort by a group of experienced DXers and DXpeditioners who hold strongly to the principle that DXpeditioners themselves are in the best position to control and manage their pileups.
We hope that DXpedition leaders and operators will review and adhere closely to the Best Practices for DXpeditioning Operating in order to help assure well-run operations. While the DX University takes no position on how these guidelines can or should be used, we hope that the organizations might would recommend these "Best Practices," These guidelines are simply offered as our recommendations for good operating practices.
Upcoming Scheduled Sessions
The DX University Blog
DXpeditioning Basics - 2013
Special Information for DXpeditions!
Incorporate these into you DXpedition Web sites...
Best Practices for DXpedition Operating
How We Will Operate
How To Work Us - What we expect of you.
The DX University has released two sets of "Best Practices," one for DXers and one for DXpeditioners. These tools can be found in the DX University menu under DXing Tools and DXpeditioning Tools, Best Practices.
* Best Practices for Courteous and Efficient DXing *
* Best Practices for DXpedition Operating *
If you have comments or thoughts about the material or opinions expressed on these pages, drop us a note on the "Contact Us" page. We read everything! We'll post your comments as appropriate
About DX University
Established in 2011, The DX University™ is a multi-media program offering information, instruction and varied learning opportunities for DXers and DXpeditioners alike. The DX University has presented in-person sessions in Salt Lake City, in Visalia at the International DX Convention, and at the ARRL RM Division Convention in Bryce, Utah. A similar event has been held at the W9DXCC Convention in Chicago.
The DX University Website is part of the DXU program. This site will presents ideas for DXers and DXpeditioners aimed at improving operating skills and lessening the growing chaos on the DX bands. The media will eventually include audio and video files as well as articles and programs from previous in-person presentations. Your input is welcome.
Check here or in The DailyDX(tm) from time to time to see what's new!