Presentation on theme: "Traversing a money storm when planning a DXpedition May 19, 2012 By N1DG, Don Greenbaum."— Presentation transcript:
Traversing a money storm when planning a DXpedition May 19, 2012 By N1DG, Don Greenbaum
Why This Discussion? Financial transparency rarely done on DXpeditions. It should be. If more of the ham community knew the costs and risks involved in big ticket DXpeditions fund raising might be easier. DX Foundations and Clubs cant continue to do all the heavy lifting. Not all DXpeditions are alike. One size does not fit all in donations.
DXpeditions go to pretty places. The financial story is not as pretty.
Types of DXpeditions Visit a resident ham... Be happy, dont worry. $ Fly-in. Airline served, hotels, power. … Worry about excess baggage $$$ Semi Remote Places, ship/chartered plane. … Worry about amplifiers sinking in the deep ocean $$$$$ The bottom of the World … Worry about needing an icebreaker $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Methodology of Survey Examined 20 NCDXF funded DXpeditions since 1997. Sent everyone same questionaire and invited outlier costs (ie. Unique to destination) Confidentiality assured if requested. Few did. These 20 expeditions covered almost 2 million QSOs from the Pacific, Indian Ocean, Asia and Africa at a cost of $3 million.
Budget Considerations-Fly-in Mostly Commercial transportation. 5 DXpeditions analyzed, 4W6A, A52A, VU4PB, VU7LD, and VK9DNX. These expeditions made 275,508 QSOs, average expedition 55,000. Biggest budget: $90,000, smallest $17,000. Average cost, $42,000, average cost per QSO: $.72. Individual contributions: 11 cents per Q/ 36 cents per unique callsign.
Budget Considerations-Fly-in Licensing in rare countries like this can be as much as 50% of the cost of the operation. Shipping to some of these destinations can be significant due to import duties or unreliable shipping routes. Travel and planning times short compared to other two levels of operations. This group, on average, relied on the highest % of operator funding of the budget and the lowest ratio of NA stations worked.
Budget Considerations Semi- Remote Private Charter of ship/plane, averaging $88,000. 9 DXpeditions analyzed: BS7H, K4M, K5D, T32C, VK9DWX, VP6DX, VP6T, ZL8R and ZL8X. These expeditions made 958,607 QSOs, average expedition 106,512. Biggest budget: $327,000, smallest $54,000. Average cost, $145,000, average cost per QSO: $1.37. Individual contributions: 33 cents per Q/$1.31 per unique callsign.
Budget Considerations-Semi-Rare Licensing could require lengthy approval processes from government and/or fish and wildlife authorities. Travel and planning times significant. Average travel time to and from these locations average 10 days. Most of these operations took a year or more of planning and fund raising. This group, on average, had the highest % of North American contacts and the lowest % of costs by the operators.
Budget Considerations-Southern Oceans Ice breaker rated ship averaging $260,000. Shelters and generators must survive harsh conditions. 6 DXpeditions analyzed: 3Y0X, FT5XO, VK0IR, VP8GEO, VP8ORK, and VP8THU. These expeditions made 370,000 QSOs, average expedition 74,000. Biggest budget: $475,000, smallest $160,000. Average team member contribution $12,700. Average cost, $323,000, average cost per QSO: $4.30. Individual contributions (pre/post): 52 cents per Q/ $1.69 per unique callsign.
Budget Considerations-Southern Oceans Licensing long and tedious process. Shipping and loading involves dealing with ports in South America with astronomical charges. Travel times mean a commitment of team members in excess of a month. In addition to large financial commitments to team, foul weather gear and airfare to departure points can add thousands in personal costs. Individual donations in this group amounted to the smallest % of funding of any of the groups.
Comparing Averages Item Total Budget Cost/QSOs Team % Foundation % Individual % Average Individual$/Q Average $ Unique Plane/Ship % QSOs EU % QSOs NA % QSOs AS Operating Days Travel Days Fly-in Semi-Remote Southern Ocean $43K $145K $323K 0.72 $1.37 $4.30 66% 58% 63% 21% 17% 25% 13% 25% 12% $.11 $.33 $.52 $.36 $1.31 $1.69 - $88K $260K 52% 31% 43% 18% 44% 36% 26% 20% 16% 16 13 12 5 10 20
A word about uniques Donations from individuals are not only a function of the total QSOs a DXpedition makes but also the unique stations worked. Donations did not go up proportionally to the number of bands and modes a station worked the DXpedition. In fact, across all three types of DXpeditions, each unique callsign brought in triple the donation compared to each additional QSO a DXer made. Just as in contesting, its the unique QSOs in the log that can make a difference in the financial results of the DXpedition.
If you REALLY want to go to VK0H? Clear 3 years from your calendar. Find 20 rich and competent operators who can take 6 weeks off of work. Create a management team. First, organize fund raising. You are going to need $600-700,000. The last group to go was in 1997 and the budget was over $300,000. Things have gotten much more expensive. Start to request donations of equipment. The cost of a ship from VK (no ship can go to Heard if it has visited a French Island like last time) is going to cost at least $500,000. You need a heli, add $100,000. Survival tents, proper clothing, generators, fuel and shipping will easily run another $100,000.
Random Thoughts Foundations and clubs supported 24% of the cost of the 20 expeditions analyzed. If you supported one of the those mentioned above, thank you. If you dont, please consider joining one of the organizations. NA Foundations, clubs and Individuals are 80% of the money pool to these DXpeditions. NA QSOs were 36% of the total Q analyzed. We clearly have an education process ahead of us if we want to see 3Y0/B or VK0HI again.