Thursday, December 14, 2006

QSL manager: me

This week has passed very quickly. It is hard to believe it will be Friday in a few hours! As mentioned earlier in the week, I ordered the ICE filters from Radioware including the six band model 419B filter. ICE 419b
Craig at Radioware called yesterday to tell me that the order is confirmed and I should expect that filter box, and the three WARC band filters, sometime in mid-January. So, that worry is behind me. {whew}
Other aspects of the trip planning are also coming together, though not as I had expected. We thought we had somebody signed-up to be our QSL manager for the trip. Alas, our candidate decided that he would not volunteer after all. It is very late to begin the search for a new QSL manager candidate so I have stepped up to be the QSL manager. This is not bad news. I volunteered for this role early in the planning cycle but was talked out of it. Well, I’m back in it now! That’s OK. I enjoy the work and it means I will get the first glimpse at any cards folks send to us. It should be fun.
I had promised the group that I would get the QSLing information and rules written before our next conference call. They are now up on the DXpedition web site. Just click on the QSL information box to see it. This page outlines what we expect to do and how we will handle QSLing during and after the DXpedition. There should be no surprises here: send us a card, make sure the data you send us is correct, we’ll send you a card with correct data, make sure you don’t stick us with the postage. Simple! {grin} Well, maybe you should give it a read to see if I’m more helpful than that.
Late last night, after I had posted my blog entry, I dropped a note to the group telling them that I had second thoughts about all the non-radio activities that I had planned. The result of my note telling the guys I was backing out of the scuba diving trip was a flurry of messages about making sure we keep the “fun” balanced with the expectations we’ve set. Bob put it best. Here’s an except from his lengthy but very thoughtful message:

So, what's that mean to the rest of you? I see two thrusts: One, the make as many contacts on as many bands effort at the Villa. To me, that could mean putting in as many hours as possible without breaking the fun factor. Being there when the major bands are open, but not going nuts trying to work 5 bands with 5 ops. from the same location... We need to make this fun -- but at the same time -- we will need some discipline :-)
The second thrust, is of course operating portable/bike mobile. This, in my mind, is what really demonstrates the "power of the buddipole". I think the videos, photos, write-ups of successful contacts with quickly setup stations is the essence of the uniqueness of our trip -- along with the 100lb carry limit.

I goofed up something on this trip and didn’t realize it fully until today. One of the things I push in my 100 Pound DXpedition presentation that I give to radio clubs is every DXpedition should have specific goals. I made very specific goals for my other trips but had not worked with the guys to work out those goals and common vision for this trip. Luckily, the general goals that everybody understood have been good enough, at least for now, but that was largely because we drew team members from a very specific group: Buddipole users. My mistake, not being pointed about making sure we all agree what we’re trying to accomplish here, didn’t matter much because all these fine fellows quickly fell into line with the general philosophy. (And, I suspect Budd selected them because they were in-tune with the general idea of the trip.) Still, I should be more deliberate about this next time. It is better to be explicit about the goals you have, and the expectations you have, than to leave such things to chance.
Finally, the January 2007 QST arrived in today’s mail. Page 86, in the “How’s DX?” section, has our press release announcing the DXpedition! We were given nearly a whole third of a page including the list of operators (not Bob and Tom, though, as they were added later) and a pointer to our DXpedition web site. Fantastic!
Also, on the same page, was an announcement with the heading Rare IOTA - NA-219. A group of Germans will be activating Elbow Cay, part of Cay Sal Bank, early next year. I thought that might be my next stop. {sigh} Well, let’s get this one done and I’ll reconsider my options. Maybe it will be time to get out the old world map again!


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