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DXpedition Funding Round 2

In my last blog Post, “Damned If You Do” I mentioned how do we fund “minimalist” DXpeditions in the future.

Here’s a few radical DXpedition Funding ideas for nonconformists, mavericks and rebels:

Homer The HamPay to Play #1.  While you’re setting up camp on that remote rock, take a remote controlled radio and charge people across the world to work the pileups.  Yep, I’d pay to remote into a station on Bouvet just to work myself!  I’m sure there are hundreds, if not a thousand folks that would pay to take a 15 or 30 minute shift working a pileup from Bouvet.  “This is 3Y/N0UN, listening up five to fifty, QRZ?” Revolutionary, huh?  $50 a slot.  Pay the man.

Pay to Play #2.  How about Crowd Sourcing?  It’s a way to fund the absolute best operators that maximize QSO rates.  Presently there are some DXpedition teams that physically can’t even unload their boat, let alone operate with any kind of determination, intestinal fortitude or skill.  But they got the loot so they go!  Never mind you need full time doctors, helicopters and have to carry extra cases of Geritol.  Keep your money Pops, I’d rather donate to a Go Fund Me page for a young foreign operator that can blast CW at 50 words a minute without food, drink or sleep for days and days on end.  They are out there.  Radio assassins for hire.  Pay the man.

Pay to Play #3.  $25 QSL and LoTW requests.  You work’m, you want (or need) the card or LoTW confirmation?  40,000 QSO’s. 9,000 unique. 2,000 QSL or LoTW requests?  2,000 times $25 – $50,000.00 (on the back-end).  No bureau.  No LoTW after 6 months.  Pay the man.

Pay to Play #4.  “Don’t call us, we’ll call you”.  Yep, you heard that right.  $199 ahead of the DXpedition and they’ll call you on a preset frequency and time.  No pileups, no QRM, no nothing because nobody knows where you’re at.  Satellite phones work wonders in case of missed schedules.  “Hey Lump, I’m set up and on 14.153 listening 14.204.5 calling you, where you at Buddy?”  Pay the man.

Smack That DawgPay to Play #5.  Charge the folks who charge us.  That’s right.  You have a Website/forum or Blog that earns money from advertisers showing ads to DXers looking for news?  You have a subscription service that charges users a yearly fee that gives DXers the news?  Well, be like CNN, Fox and the rest of those news clearinghouses, move those DXers eyeballs and quit fighting over who gets the scoop.  You’ll get the “world exclusive announcement” for your news publication, just pay a real thousand dollars!  😉  You won’t even have to “leak” it.  Pay the man.

Pay to Play #6.  The ARRL should have some skin in this DXpedition game.  They created this cesspool with their DXCC program.  Why aren’t they breaking loose with some grants to DXpeditions?  I believe they have an operating budget of over 15 Million dollars.  Why can’t they throw their own damn dog a bone?  They sure do collect with their awards programs for national parks and centennial W1AW bullshit.  Oh, I see.  They create the business (and chaos), then only collect from their business (and chaos).  Don’t bogart that joint Homie.  Pay the man.

These are just a few of my ideas for funding a DXpedition.  I have several more.  In my next post (soon), I’ll attack the $800,000.00 versus $60,000 and $150,000 versus $15,000 DXpeditions.

I have a couple ideas there too.  And before I get started, know that many of my ideas do not go over well with the old timers that say it bucks their system.  Oh well.  I really don’t care what they think because when I see requests for 400, 500, 800 THOUSAND dollars from us and the rest of the Ham Radio Community for these Mega-DXpeditions I get to thinking WTF?  $800,000.00?

Let that sink in.  800 HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS for a team of operators to go to Bouvet and put some radios on the air so some of us can sit in the comfort of our shacks and try to work them through the idiots, carriers, asshats and Lids.  Where do you get that kind of money?  Better yet, WHY do you need that kind of money?

See you in the pileup!  Come to think of it, maybe you won’t (remember, Pay to Play #4 – “Don’t call us, we’ll call you”).


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9 Responses

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  1. Zack W9SZ says

    I am reminded of the W2NSD Wayne Green outcry against “the SH0DDY DXpedition” 🙂

  2. Tom says

    Some great ideas you have there. Although, if they were so great, wouldn’t they be in use already?

    DX’ing has become much more of a pay-to-play that it ever was. You’ve always had to pay to get your own station on the air, but now you have to be competitive on every sticking band. The days of working an entity once, or maybe once per mode are long gone. Now people are screaming to work BFE on 160m SSTV. Every band, mode, day of the week, hour of the day, right side up, upside down, it’s just ridiculous. Get a life already! But I digress… however, that is just one of the factors that drives up the cost of DX’peditions.

    To be considered a “successful” operation, a group (no longer a single adventurer) has to take kilowatts and high-performance antennas for every band. The DX community just demands it. Somehow it’s the expedition’s fault if you don’t work them. The expedition has to cater to every Tom, Dick and Harry with their 100 watts and a wire. You see it in youth sports today – everyone gets a participation medal. But I digress (again)…

    Another reason DX’peditions cost so much is just simple logistics and health and safety. Are you going to take your REI backpacking tent to Bouvet, or are you going to buy a world-class expedition SHELTER? Dude, Bouvet is a glacier covered rock. If your tent is destroyed, what are you going to do? To go to these remote polar places you need expert resources that have experience and can handle extrication in case of a life or death emergency.

    Now a few comments on your Pay to Play ideas. Starting with #1. Setting up and leaving a remote site has got to be the way to go for a good dozen places in the world. There’s so much to overcome though, but hopefully our community comes up with some solutions. Shelter, power source, sustainability, maintenance, theft / vandalism, and satellite data are all factors and limitations. Also, who is going to authenticate the QSO? What if the remote operator doesn’t log your QSO or forgets or refuses to upload to LOTW? Working yourself? C’mon now. Who’s going to allow that? Honestly, I like the idea and I think it’s certainly one way to go to keep very remote places on earth on the air. Just a lot of challenges to overcome.

    Pay to Play #5. With the free exchange of information and an instant news cycle via social media, I’m amazed that there are still subscription-based DX “news” services. I bet that 95% of what you read in these newsletters was picked up from some other free source and reprinted. Soon to be a thing of the past.

    Pay to Play #4. I would need to re-read the DXCC rules, but to explicitly have to pay for a QSO is not what the ARRL envisioned when creating the award, and I’d be surprised if they would approve such an operation if it ever came to that. Yes, we do pay to a certain extent now but in a much more indirect way, including higher cost of equipment (donor’s have to recoup their costs), free-will dontations, and OQRS or direct QSL fees. Charging for a QSO though? I doubt it.

    No, in the end, I think you’ll find that remote places on the earth will get more and more rare because fewer hams will activate those places. We’re losing a generation of folks who are willing to do this, and the skills aren’t being transferred to the next generation. Heck, the next generation may not even exist.

    As far as Rebels go, I bet those days are over, too. I just can’t wrap my head around a single guy/gal or even two, going to any extremely remote or dangerous place such as Bouvet, Heard, Scarborough, Peter 1, S. Sandwich, or a long list of others and staying for a few days and doing anything that will satisfy the demand for the entity. In fact, it will create such pandemonium and DQRM that you can’t even imagine. We’ve done this to ourselves. Unless we go back to being happy with ONE ATNO QSO and then letting your neighbor go next, and those days are long gone. Just look in the history books at DXpeditions of days gone by where one guy operates for a few days and nets 5,000 Q’s. You want to go back to that given the expectations of today’s DX’er?

    Great topic of discussion though. I like your thinking outside the box and challenging the status quo.

    • Dom,3z9dx says

      Funny guy… heheh what is your callsign ?

      • N0UN says

        Wracaj do łóżka!

      • k8bkm says

        Forgot to include my call, K8BKM. Hi, Dom.

        • Dom,3z9dx says

          I will try to answer all dilemmas on this topic when back from the next trip. Or maybe you will have an automatic answer in February about all ”issues” he is talking about.
          Regards and lets see what will happn

  3. Tom K0CIA says

    Way back in the past distant fog of memory, 60s early 70s, I recall a huge fight
    amongst dxers. One well known dxpeditioner, Don Miller, I believe, and others
    adopted the scheme of making contacts from a prearranged, prepaid list. You were
    advised of the time and freq you would be called….if you “paid the man”.
    pay to play #4 ? No, it didn’t work
    It seems to me that systems we have today, as unfair, and unwieldly as they seem to
    be, might be the best it can be. As in all things in life, if you are going to play you have to
    pay…some one.

  4. Gary ZL2iFB says

    How about a ‘pay it forward’ scheme: “I’ll fund the first DXpedtion personally and all the contributions received will go into a savings fund for the NEXT expedition. I’ll announce the next trip in due course once I know how much finding is available. If you think I’ve done a good job, please donate generously to encourage me to do more. If not, no worries, save your money or send it to someone else. You’ll get a free LoTW confirmation at least.”

  5. Mike W2LO says

    Around 1968 there was another non-Don Miller DXpedition to a rare Pacific entity that did operate the same as #4 (“Don’t call us…”), that is, via schedule agreed upon by the expedition and donor before the expedition’s departure. $5 ahead of time and he showed up exactly on schedule, called the donor, the donor responded, “599 TU”, and you were in the log!

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