Friday, June 30, 2006

Flooding damage in New York

This post is long and not about DXpeditioning. Skip it if you like.

My business trip to New York state was anything but quick or routine. Flood waters coursed across my route and the damage it imposed was almost unimaginable. After hitting Albany I had angled south but was detoured. Rumors were the interstate had washed away taking the lives of two truck drivers in the process. Bypassing this mess only led me to a virtual dead-end near Oneonta.
By this time, Tom (a fellow from our partner company that was to join us in this larger meeting) called me on my cell phone and I began getting the full picture. The Binghamton area, where tomorrow's meeting was to occur, was hard-hit by the rising water. There was no way to get there tonight. Further, the hotel we had booked had closed and was partially engulfed in the flood-waters, too. Could I meet them elsewhere?
Elsewhere, in this case, meant traveling north to Utica then west to Syracuse and then south again. I agreed to try.
It was now 5:30 PM, my estimated arrival time when the trip had begun. I was hungry and a little weary from the drive. "Now is a good time to reassess", I thought to myself. I canceled the route on my StreetPilot and pulled into a strip mall parking lot. A meal and a look at the map would be a good next step, except everything was closed. I wandered up the road to an Arby's which was also closed. The locals had obviously done the right thing by packing up and moving to higher ground. I should do the same.
I turned around and headed towards Cooperstown, north of Oneonta, in hopes of eventually making it to Utica and interstate 90 to again head west. As I began my trek the full damage was apparent. The isolation of the interstates I had traveled on thus far had hidden the worst of the storm's wrath. Now, as I wind my way north, I see streams and rivers pouring over their banks, mercilessly washing out anything in its newly adopted path: parking lots, cars, and houses. Water, only inches deep, thankfully, laps over the road in places.
Past Cooperstown lakes have risen so high whole houses are consumed. Families wander along the road surveying the damage to their homes and their lives. After seeing this my complaints about being a little hungry and a little sore from driving seem small and petty.
My cell phone rings again. My colleagues have located a new hotel and urge me to move my reservations quickly, before it fills. At least cell phones still work.
Route 20, which is part of the path I need to follow to reach that more northerly route, is packed. Some are those rerouted from other roads now flooded. Others are most certainly refugees abandoning their homes and traveling, perhaps, to impose on relatives. I get into the long line.
Men standing with flares burning and wands waving direct traffic first this way then that. I creep along at the same pace one could walk until finally directed north again. The line of cars both in front of me and behind becomes apparent as I crest a hill. People who live along this sleepy road sit on their porches staring at the endless parade of cars. One young man holds a video camera, points it towards me and my car, and smiles. I smile back and even wave. I'm sure this spectacle is a marvel to him as he's not seen its cause.
I turned on the radio and scanned through 2m to see if I could find an active repeater. I found several with SkyWarn activity on it. I listen. What I hear is disturbing: reports of pea or quarter-sized hail are first predicted and then reported. More rain is on the way. When there is a lull, I call out and ask for some advice. The ham on the other end is near my ultimate destination for tonight and tells me where the storms are and best routes to take and avoid. He ends with, "be careful. 73."
It seems that every intersection has men with reflective vests and flares telling people, "no, you can't go that way." I realize that I've probably not seen the worst of the damage as I'm not even allows to get close to it!
Hour-by-hour we creep along. Finally, I get close to Utica and interstate 90. It is dusk and I can see the lightning on the horizon. The temperature drops slightly. The wind picks up. Then it begins to rain. Not some wimpy soft Protestant shower but a good, old-fashioned Baptist downpour. My wipers cycle furiously and barely keep up. Then comes the thunder and the light show. Cloud-to-cloud first, then cloud-to-ground, clearly visible in the distance.
Finally I make it to the interstate and though top speed for us few on the road at this point is 45 miles-per-hour (with flashers blinking) we are, at last, making progress. I arrive at the hotel only 6 hours later than my original ETA, crawl into my bed, and crash.
Morning brings news that the meeting has been canceled. The facilities we were to use are being accosted by the rising water. After breakfast and a few formalities, I climb back in the car to head east and home.
Now, from interstate 90, which runs long the rise between valleys, I can see some of the devastation even more clearly than yesterday. Whole downtown areas submerged. What was a lumber yard now has water nearly to the high roofs of the material sheds. Just a half mile away, the former contents of those sheds, plywood and shingles, lay strewn where the receding water had left them. For some reason, this saddened me even more than the other horrors for it seemed to me that this was especially cruel: while people's homes and businesses had been destroyed, Mother Nature now felt that was not enough, that the seeds of hope for new construction in these planks and 2x4s and plywood sheets should also be destroyed, taking both the past and the future from these people with its torrent of water.
A 100 yard phalanx of debris in the form of trees, branches, brush, and anything that can float now presses against an old iron bridge just north of the interstate. That bridge had been there for, what, 50 years? 70 years? 100 years? Will it survive the night?
As I approached the Massachusetts border the damage from the flooding diminished until it was only a memory. I made it home, safe, dry, and happy in the late afternoon.
I took no pictures of what I saw, but neither was it necessary. The images are so vivid in my mind it is hard to believe that I would ever forget them.

Again, this was not about DXpeditioning. Sorry for the distraction. I will return to the topic in tomorrow's post. 73 de NE1RD.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Reading material for my trip

I'm off for a quick business trip to up-state New York. Traveling there would be a 5 hour flight. Driving there would also take 5 hours. I'll drive, thanks.
The meeting isn't until tomorrow so I'll have a nice quiet evening to myself. I thought this might be a good time to go over some of the DXpedition books and papers I've not examined in a while. It will help me with my planning for my upcoming adventures.
The first is an easy one to find: DXpeditioning Basics by Wayne Mills N7NG which you can find on the ARRL DXCC web page. The price is right, too (free).
The other book I threw in the bag to review is DXpeditioning: Behind the Scenes - A Manual for DXPeditioners and DXers by Neville Cheadle G3NUG and Steve Telenius-Lowe G4JVG. You can get this from the ARRL store here.
There is lots of great stuff in both the white paper and the book but the book really gives you some idea of the level of planning that goes into a successful DXpedition. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Team Vertical web site

I attended a talk by Ann Santos (WA1S) at a New England DX Century Club meeting earlier this year where she gave a presentation on the Kure Atol DXpedition (K7C). Great stuff! One of the things Ann discussed was the effectiveness of vertical antennas on one of these islands. There have been lots of things written about this in the National Contest Journal, but I was hungry for more.
There are a number of articles from the "Team Vertical" web site that makes comparisons between yagis and verticals that is worth a look. I made a pass through some of the material yesterday and noted that they drew all the same conclusions Ann had made in her talk.
In short, verticals on the beach are very effective for low angle signals. This is great news for us 100 pound DXpeditioners because (a) these antennas are lighter, and (b) they are easier to assemble and configure. Take a few moments and check out some of these articles, especially DXpedition Antennas for Salt Water Locations.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Field Day retrospective

Field Day is over and after some restorative sleep, I’m ready to return to life-as-usual. The change in venue from the soccer field to the new fire department meeting room that was indoor, air conditioned, nicely carpeted, with an easily accessible restroom, nicely appointed with furnature, and a TV showing the weather channel was an enormous improvement in the operating environment. I was dry and comfortable for the whole event.
Because of the last minute change of venue, though, there was no planning for how antennas would be deployed until Saturday morning. I brought all the things I had mentioned in my last post: buddipoles, military mast material, etc., but in the end I only used the Cobra UltraLite antenna for my SSB station, one run of 100-foot RG8 coax, and the contents of my 50-pound 100-watt Pelican case with its FT-897D. (I did exercise the new power supply. It performed beautifully.)
This might seem obvious but I’ll say it here: the site survey and corresponding antenna plan is key to a successful operation. Sandy and I spent a long time puzzling over what our options were in St. John before deploying the antennas used there. I had also spent time with topographical maps, Google Earth, and looked at photographs from both the villa’s web site and from shots taken by a friend (non-ham) who had been to that villa last year. I had lots of rough-cut plans even before I had stepped foot on the island--and it paid off.
I’m forced to compare that to last weekend’s effort. We were very short on time (the venue was changed Friday afternoon) but I can’t help but think we should have spent more time on Friday night looking over the site and considering our options.
The point of all this is simple: the next time you go on vacation, do a site survey and figure out where you would put antennas (even if you didn’t bring your radio). Measure off how much feed line you would have needed. Ask yourself how two or more transmitters could be accomodated. What would you have to do to make this site be a successful DXpeditioning site? Like any activity, the more you do it the better you’ll get. I believe I learned something even from last weekend’s exercise.
One last point, just to drive the message home, because we didn’t have a good plan for what we needed I had to fill the car with stuff that never got used (or even got a look). Hundreds of pounds of stuff got hauled out to the car, driven to the site, only to hauled back to the car, driven home, and subsequently unloaded again. What a waste! Planning more means less weight. This was an extreme case of that lesson, but it was reinforced again on me this weekend.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Field Day Eve

On the eve of Field Day I’m going through my stuff to see what I’d like to use for the event. Field Day is an excellent opportunity to try that new power supply or run of feed line to be sure it is in good working order before it gets packed for your next DXpedition. I’ve got a new Alinco DM-330MVT power supply that needs to be checked out, for example.
This year I’ll be doing Field Day with the PART group of Westford, Massachusetts. The weather forecast for the area is heavy rain and thunderstorms for the entire weekend so their usual venue (a soccer field) would have been a muddy and possibly dangerous mess. Luckily, we were able to obtain permission to operate from a large training room in one of the town’s fire stations.
In many ways, this makes the exercise like a typical relaxed DXpedition in that we’ll be in a nice climate controlled building with power, coffee makers, bathrooms, and tables from which to operate. We’ll also have no obvious way to hang dipoles for our operation (which makes it very much like a typical island DXpedition!).
I’ll be bringing my two Buddipole systems, my 33-foot military mast I got from The Mast Company to hold up a tribander somebody is supposed to bring, and some dipoles including a Cobra UltraLite, and two G5RVs. Like I said, it isn’t obvious how to hang it but I’ll see what I can do.
Finally, things will be interesting because there will be three stations all operating within a small area: a CW station, the SSB station (that I’m running), and the GOTA station. (There will be a VHF station, too, but I don’t expect any QRM from that one.) As we all crowd into the lower bands now that the bottom of the solar cycle is upon us, we’ll see if one station desenses the others when it transmits.
Again, Field Day is an provides an excellent chance to try out all this great stuff you might use on a DXpedition while still close to home. I hope all of you get out there and give it a try!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Weight. The Final Frontier.

This might be a good time to start the discussion about weight. The 100 pound figure was originally conjured by me because of the recent airline restrictions on checked baggage: two bags each no more than 50 pounds. That gives you 100 pounds total. This might sound like a lot until you start checking out these statistics:

  • Pelican 1610 case -- largest checked bag size is 22 pounds empty

  • FT-897D + LDG bolt-on tuner + internal PS is 12 pounds

This brings me up to 34 pounds. Now watch what happens...

  • "Big" Buddipole system, 16' mast, etc. is 12 pounds

  • "Little" Buddipole system, 8' mast, etc. is 8 pounds

  • MFJ 259B analyzer is 2 pounds

A couple of antennas and the analyzer is 22 more pounds (56 total)

Now we need coax:

  • Each 100 foot RG8 coax run is about 9 pounds

  • Each 100 foot RG8X coax run is about 3 pounds

  • Each 50 foot run of RG8 is about 4 pounds

  • Each 50 root run of RG8X is about 2 pounds

I brought about 300 feet with me to St. John and it was barely enough. I had four antennas and had to switch the coax between two of them. Assume 10-15 pounds of very lightweight coax, more if you go for the RG8 instead of the RG8X. Coax 10 pounds (too little, but let's just see) brings us to 66 pounds.

Then there are tools. In my first effort I had omitted tools from the bag and ended up buying them in San Francisco. Now I pack 'em. This is a must have. Soldering iron, pliers, wicked Leatherman knife, screwdrivers, etc. Figure 5 or 7 pounds of tools, tape, and handy stuff. Our total is now 71 pounds

Now try to inventory all the stuff you haven't brought such as dacron rope, masonry line, manual tuner, baluns or center insulators for wire antennas, Heil headset, power strips, extension cords, paddles or key. Let's throw another, say, 5 pounds for that. Our total is now 71 pounds (and likely more).

What if you get there and your radio is broken? If you don't bring some kind of backup, you'll be totally hosed. I brought an FT-817 to St. John. Yeah, QRP would have been harsh--but it beats nothing. A full backup radio would be another 12 pounds PLUS the case to put it in.

The second case for me was a hard-sided golf bag. Empty, the bag weighs 20 pounds. I had also brought fishing poles and collapsible masts for verticals so I needed the big case. But, even if you bring something smaller, it has to protect the backup radio. Assume a 12 pound case and another 12 pounds of radio -- and you have 71 + 24 = 95 pounds.

By the way, are we packing tooth brushes, clothes, etc. That has to be counted towards our weight, too. It is pretty easy to get to that 100 pound limit. The key is having enough resiliency in your equipment that you can overcome some failures, but not have so much that you completely blow your budget (weight or money!). It is managing these trade-offs that make this kind of DXpeditioning a challenge.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The logo

You may have noticed the logo on this blog and on my home page. I designed this "100 pound DXpedition" logo because I thought it would be fun to dress up some of the documentation I'd been pulling together and maybe even make a T-shirt or two. Here's the logo in case you are wondering what I'm talking about.

In case you've missed the point and at risk of repeating myself, all of this is for fun. Having a logo, mascot, team name, and so on, are ways of taking an activity and giving it a little personality. After all, if a bowling league can have a name, why can't a DXpedition team?
There are several famous DXpedition teams such as the "VooDoo Contest Group" and "Microlite Penguin DXpedition Team". If you are organizing a trip, go ahead and give your team a name! Of course, I'd love to hear about it, too, so drop me an email or even leave feedback here if you decide to take the plunge.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

DXpeditioning Basics

There isn’t as much written on DXpeditioning as I would like so I thought I’d drop a quick nugget of something worth reading. The booklet DXpeditioning Basics by Wayne Mills (N7NG) is available from the ARRL off their DXCC page. Enjoy.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Yesterday’s trip to Georges Island (NA-148) was great fun. We did lots right--much that had nothing to do radio--including bringing good shelters to keep both me and Sandy out of the sun, bringing enough plenty of water, and not trying to stay too long, especially since this was our first trip of the season.
This brings us to one of the things that has gone into my planning for previous trips and, certainly, for upcoming trips: safety first. The day-to-day safety concerns probably boil down to some simple things like

  • Health - take anything adversely affecting your health seriously while away from home including cuts and the danger of infection, food poisoning and resulting dehydration (much more common than you might believe), and keeping your “shots” up-to-date for tetanus and other hazards.

  • Weather - Lightning, wind, sun, or sudden temperature changes can turn a trip into disaster. With Field Day coming up in just a few days, please take this caution to heart.

  • Situational awareness - where are you, what is around you, and what could happen? This runs the gamut from climbing safety to knowing to avoid bad areas in a foreign country.

On St. John I was just up-the-road from a hospital. Same deal in Hawaii. Even on Georges Island I was only minutes (by helicopter) from some of the best medical facilities in the world. That won’t be the case if I actually make it to some of these places I’ve been considering. Planning, specifically safety planning, will be crucial for these more exotic DXpeditions but all these principles should be applicable to even the most routine operation. Again, with Field Day right around the corner I hope all of you will keep this in mind.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Georges Island NA-148 QRV

I have just returned from Georges Island. The trip was pretty simple: drive down to Long Warf in Boston by the aquarium, hop a passenger ferry, and in 20 or 30 minutes walk onto the island. This is still early in the season so ferries only run once and hour but beginning June 23rd they will be running about twice an hour.
This was a “trial run” to the island to see if there would be good places to operate and to see if the solar panel I’d recently purchased from The Alternative Energy Store could successfully keep my Elecraft K2’s internal battery charged. I had purchased the panel in May but not long after it had arrived it seemed like we had 40 days and 40 nights of rain, so this was the first serious workout it received. I’m happy to report that the panel did a pretty good job of keeping the battery topped off while I sat and called CQ.
Here’s how I looked walking out of the house today: on my back was a backpack with the solar panel, charge controller, Heil Traveler headset, and plenty of water. My “small” Buddipole was slung over one shoulder, and an 8x8 pop-up enclosure folded into its 3-foot diameter carry bag was in my hand and my K2 with accessories in a Pelican 1510 case (“carry on” baggage size) with wheels was pulled behind me. It was a little cumbersome but easily managable for the short walk between the car and ferry, and then from the ferry to the picnic area on Georges Island.
Even with this very modest set-up, I was able to pop-up the enclosure over a picnic table, set up the Buddipole, and have a very capable and comfortable station that could stay on the air for many hours. That’s one of the things I’m trying to drive home with this 100 pound DXpedition idea: you don’t need complicated or heavy equipment to successfully operate away from home!
Propagation was a bit soft today but I still managed to have QSOs with Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Bermuda among others on 20m, and a few more on 17m. One of these contacts was with Bill operating from the Handihams organization. That was a very nice happenstance! If you don’t know about this organization, please follow the link and check them out.
I goofed up a couple of things and learned from the mistakes: I should have brought forgot the Triple Ratio Switch Balun for the Buddipole. I should buy a second one to pack with this antenna (the one I own is packed with the bigger antenna system). Also, I need to practice folding up that pop-up enclosure so I can get it back into that tiny carry case without looking so puzzled and clumsy!
What’s next? Field Day is next weekend. Just another chance to try some lightweight gear for the next trip. I’ll write more on Field Day later this week.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Planning the big one

For a little giggle at my expense, I confess that my midwestern upbringing, while satisfactory in many ways, is sadly lacking in any background or training in anything a seafarer might need. The proper pronunciation of “Cay” (which is like “key”, by the way) was something I learned only recently. I’m still working out the difference between leeward and windward.
So, while I’m still working on my sea legs I’m busily planning a substantial adventure which would dwarf all previous efforts: a trip to Cay Sal Bank and Double Headed Shot Cay. This little spot is about 60 nm south of the Florida coast, closer to Cuba than the US, and is part of the Bahamas. This is not an easy place to get to, nor is it going to be an easy trip to plan. The fact that I would be spending a great deal of time and effort working out the details of this trip was one of the impetuses for this blog!
The IOTA web site lists NA-219 credited to only 7% of the IOTA awards chasers. It isn’t quite in the top 10 list of “most wanted” but it is in the top 20 for North America.
I’ll be going on more modest trips that I’ll be discussing while I work on the details for this adventure. It might be that such an endeavor is beyond what I can reasonably accomplish (or afford!). Even so, I’m guessing the lessons I learn, wrong-turns and all, will be helpful to those reading this blog trying to plan their own trips.
The details will be posted on and off over the next year or so. Yes, it will take at least that long to pull this together. Some thinking has already been done on this. I’ll fill you in on those details in blog entries soon.
In the mean time, I’m off to a testing session sponsored by MMRA to hopefully mint some new hams and give some others well-deserved upgrades. And, of course, I’m looking forward to my trip to Georges Island on Sunday.

Georges Island NA-148

The rain has finally abated here in New England and it is a beautiful Spring day. With luck, the weather will hold out for the rest of the weekend and I can make a quick trip to Georges Island, one of the Boston Harbor islands, for a little radio adventure.
Georges Island is located at N42 19’ 09.96” W70 55’ 37.14” and can easily be viewed from Google Earth. The island is approximately 30 acres with Fort Warren, a Civil War era bulwark against the sea, dominating the center of the island. Around the periphery of this imposing granite structure are walking paths, picnic tables, and parade areas that I hope to use for my portable operation.
The island is just over 7 miles from Long Wharf in Boston and is accessible by a ferry service that runs hourly. Given the cost of flights these days, accessing any IOTA island with only a $12 ticket looks like a bargain!
The Massachusetts State North Group (NA-148) includes Georges Island and many of its neighbors including Bakers Island, Great, Little, Middle, and Outer Brewster Islands, Calf Island, Gallop Island, Long Island, Lovell Island, Milk Island, Rainsford Island, Spectacle Island, and Thacher Island. While not exactly rare, the RSGB IOTA site claims that only 23.3% of its members have worked stations on one of these islands. I hope to change that, of course!
I have a commitment to assist with a radio exam session on Saturday morning but plan on getting up early Sunday and making the trek to Boston to catch the ferry and operate QRP from Georges Island. I’ll bring my Elecraft K2, Buddipole, and a solar panel to help keep my battery charged. See you on the bands!

Thursday, June 15, 2006


The Yankee Clipper Contest Club puts out a fine newsletter six times a year called Scuttlebutt. I recently joined the YCCC and submitted an article entitled The 100 Pound DXpedition describing my trip to St. John in March of 2006. The article appears in the June 2006 (#184) issue, available off the Scuttlebutt home page. Scuttlebutt is a PDF file so you'll need either the Adobe Acrobat Reader or something similar to read it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

What is IOTA?

I've mentioned the Islands on the Air (IOTA) program before but I thought it might be nice to say a little more about it since it has helped shape some of my 100 Pound DXpedition thinking. The IOTA program is sponsored by the Radio Society of Great Britain. The program’s idea is simple: there are lots of islands and island chains around the world. Wouldn’t it be fun to talk to people on all of them?!

In order for an island to qualify for this program it needs to meet certain criteria. It must be at least a certain size, all or portions of it must be above sea level at all times, and it needs to be in “open water” of an ocean or sea and not enclosed by land. This prevents river islands in the Mississippi or islands in lake Michigan from being considered, for example.

Islands in the program are numbered and categorized by the continent they are near. The continent provides the “prefix” so North American islands are prefaced with “NA-“ and European islands are prefaced with “EU-“. Each island is then assigned a three digit number. The full list of islands for North American may be found here. Links to the lists for the other continents may be found at the top of that page.

Going to an island and operating from it is called “activating the island”. At this point, I have activated three islands:

  • Hawaii (OC-019)

  • St. John USVI (NA-106)

  • Deer Isle, Maine (NA-055)

None of these islands are particularly exotic, though I had a really great time going there and playing radio. There are some islands that are exotic like the Peter I DXpedition that traveled to the Antarctic (IOTA NA-004) early in 2006. At the time of the trip, more people had flown in space than had stepped on that little piece of the Earth.

My Trips are a great deal more modest than that! Still, when I activate an island I give other ham radio operators a chance to talk with this island, add it to their list of islands they have worked (which can subsequently be applied toward awards the RSGB offers in this program), and give them a chance to get a pretty cool QSL card that I design myself for each island activation.

I would like to encourage anybody who thinks this sounds interesting to check out the RSGB IOTA web site. Being familiar with the program will also help you get the most out of this blog since many of my planned personal DXpeditions are going to be to islands associated with this program.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A quick glance back

Before I begin dumping a lot of details for the upcoming trips, perhaps it would be good to just mention some of the past work (since that is feeding into the planning process for these next efforts). Earlier this year Sandy (my XYL) and I went to St. John USVI for our vacation. It happened to coincide (by design) with the ARRL's DX SSB contest. There were a couple of reasons to take this trip when we did and pick the place we picked:

  1. We wanted a great place to visit. This was our vacation and we wanted to go someplace nice where both of us could enjoy a little peace and quiet and relax. We rented a little house on St. John atop a nice hill overlooking the edges of the island. What a view that was!

  2. We picked that time because I love to do radio contesting and this is a fun contest. It isn't quite so "cut-throat" as some of the other contests yet it is a 48 hour affair so you've got plenty of time to operate. I've been in this contest before, but this time I'd get to be a (hopefully wanted) DX station.

  3. The place was remote and isolated, but there were still hardware stores around and even a Radio Shack (on St. Thomas) if I had a real problem. This isn't like a trip to a desert isle where if something was broken you'd be totally hosed.

  4. The island of St. John is a numbered IOTA island and I'm very interested in that program. I'll write much more about IOTA later.

  5. We went in March, just about the time everybody was going stir-crazy from the long Boston winter. We needed a break!

As you can see, many of the reasons for going were associated with family and fun. This isn't some work assignment; this is play-time! I've worked hard in the planning and execution of the trips I'll describe here but at no time did I lose track of the fact that I was doing it for fun. I had made a trip to Hawaii in 2005 which was really, really fun but had brought only the bare minimum of equipment to operate (just a K2, a Buddipole, and some other pieces) that just helped me get started in this. The St. John trip was the first trip where I'd gotten serious about putting QSOs in the log.

This was also the first trip that I had really buckled down to see how close I could get to that 100 pound limit imposed by the airlines for checked bags. In the end, this part of the exercise was much more important than I had originally imagined.

My work on this concept of a "100 pound DXpedition" have been going on for some time. If it isn't too confusing, I'll likely bounce back-and-forth in time trying to fill in the history as I document the work in progress for the future trips.

Monday, June 12, 2006


I've just begun planning several DXpeditions and thought it might be fun to keep track of the kinds of research, thinking, and planning that goes into a successful personal DXpedition. I plan on posting what I learn, when I learn it. You'll see it all: insights, wrong turns, goof ups, and epiphanies. If it helps you plan your next DXpedition, I'll be very pleased indeed.

-- Scott (NE1RD)