Thursday, April 12, 2007

Declare your QSL routine on the air

I received some QSL cards that were misdirected to Tom today. I'll process those along with the ones that were sent to Budd as soon as I receive those. As much as I had tried to get the word out, there was still some (just a little) confusion on the QSL route for the Montserrat trip.
In retrospect, I think we should have all been more diligent about advertising the QSL route while on the air. Perhaps every 5 or 10 minutes we should have just reminded everybody that QSL cards are welcomed and the QSL manager is NE1RD.
We did have a couple of team meetings while on the island and one of those meetings discussed what we should, and should not, say while on the air. The trip was officially organized by Buddipole Antennas, but we didn't want to break the rules of doing commercial advertising while on the air. So, we came up with these guidelines: we would tell people we were using small, portable antennas for our radiators. If people asked us specifically if we were using Buddipoles, we would answer their question honestly (which was usually "yes").
I should have put more thought into these kinds of guidelines prior to the trip. I'll certainly do that before the next trip. How often should we mention the QSL route? How and when should we point people to the DXpedition web site and the on-line log? Should we tell people to look in the on-line log on the air? Or, should we just assume that people will find it on their own? I will be thinking about things like this before my next group adventure.
That said, I have no immediate plans for another such trip. I've got some Boston Harbor Islands trips planned for this summer, and I've begun making arrangements for a trip to St. Kitts for CQ WW (just Sandy and me), but there are no plans for another team DXpedition. At least none are planned for this year.
Finally, I should have been up on Deer Isle, Maine this week. Work deadline pressures nixed that trip. The weather is horrible here (snow and sleet, cold and dreary). The weather in Maine is roughly the same. Sandy and I joked this evening at dinner how terrible it would have been to be up there right now. Imagine it: stranded in a beautiful house, all by ourselves (or with Dave and his wife Carol), with nothing but good books, good food, and complete peace and quiet. She would have read her pile of books. I would have assembled my K1. We would have ate like kings. Terrible indeed! (Maybe we'll be able to return next year!)


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