Presentation on theme: "Brian McGinness, N3OC Contest DXpeditions. Why go on a contest expedition? The thrill of being DX Bigger pileups and bigger scores Rates can be up to."— Presentation transcript:
Brian McGinness, N3OC Contest DXpeditions
Why go on a contest expedition? The thrill of being DX Bigger pileups and bigger scores Rates can be up to 300 per hour! A larger contribution to the Club score
Why go on a contest expedition? Combining a contest with a vacation Bring the XYL Meeting new friends Promote ham radio in other countries You contribute to their tourism industry
Where to go on a contest expedition? Avoid very rare DX locations for a good score Choose a location with good propagation Islands, beachfront QTHs, not too far from USA Choose a location with a good scoring potential Know the scoring rules for your particular contest! Choose a convenient location Is it easy to travel to? Is an existing station available?
Where to go on a contest expedition? Choose an inexpensive location There are some deals out there! Find a ham-friendly location Choose a winning location If you want to win! CQWW winners: P4, PJ2, 9Y, IH9, CN, EA8, D4
Licensing in DX Locations Three methods of securing a license to operate from a foreign country: C.E.P.T Licensing I.A.R.P./CITEL Licensing Visitors License
C.E.P.T. Licensing CEPT is an acronym for the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations There are currently 46 member countries.
C.E.P.T. Licensing CEPT provides for automatic reciprocal licensing with countries that are parties to the agreement when traveling in member countries Member countries can be found at:
C.E.P.T. Licensing – Documents Required You need three documents to operate in a CEPT member country 1. Your original US ham license 2. Proof of US citizenship (passport) 3. A copy of FCC Notice DA
I.A.R.P./CITEL Licensing An IARP is an International Amateur Radio Permit IARPs are issued by the ARRL for US hams CITEL is the Inter-American Telecommunications Commission CITEL member countries are LU, PY, VE, YS, HP, CE, 9Y, CX and YV (and the USA)
Visitors License Sometimes done in advance, sometimes best done in person Local information required A local contact is very helpful You get your own callsign, instead of a stroker May make entry in a country with radio gear easier
Visitors License More information is available online: country.html
What Equipment Should I Bring? Depending on the QTH, you may or not need to bring rigs and amps You will usually need to bring a laptop for logging
What Equipment Should I Bring? You may need tools if you anticipate doing any work while you are there. Tools are heavy to take on the airplane!
What Equipment Should I Bring? Antennas Accessories and power supplies Know the local voltage requirements
Traveling with Radio Gear Antennas Consider shipping antennas in advance Choose antennas that travel well: DK9SQ or MFJ fiberglass masts for wire verticals Sportube hard ski case Cut yagis into short sections that fit in ski case
Traveling With Radio Gear Pack gear in unmarked hard cases Having the cases unmarked reduces the chance of theft and the likelihood the customs official will want to look at it! Pictured are Pelican and Cabbage hard cases
Traveling With Radio Gear The TSA will x-ray your baggage and will most likely want to hand-search the ones containing radio gear Pack things in such a way to make this hand-search as easy as possible for them, and include a copy of your US ham license with the gear Use bags and plastic containers to group similar items together
Traveling With Radio Gear On your arrival, you will have to go through local customs (except FS/PJ7, KP4 & KP2) Have copies of your ham licenses packed with all gear, preferably including a local license if you have one
Traveling With Radio Gear On your return to the US, you will have to go through US Customs Generally, they will not search your radio gear but may ask questions about it. Be prepared to show your US ham radio license
Planning Your Contest DXpedition Plan well in advance Set up an reflector with your team Consider insurance and medical needs Safety – have a plan if someone gets hurt! On-air schedules with first arrivals in case items are forgotten
Where to Get More Information Club members with travel experience Web resources
This Presentation is dedicated to Steve Affens, K3SA / ZF2SA who became a silent key while on a contest expedition.