Some advice and real-life DXpedition experiences .....
From Clive Penna GM3POI ....
1. Try to obtain the help of a local agent that can be used
for liaison with shipping or authorities. It may be a local amateur and could
provide for example storage of shipped items. (Be careful)
2. Dependant on the expedition size obtaining the help of a Pilot to provide feedback could be useful, especially if the lower bands are your aim.
3. Advanced SSB pile-up working - you drop the use of phonetics when replying to a station - most stations recognise their own callsign when given without phonetics - this is a big time-saver.
From Tom Wylie GM4FDM ....
Sound advice Chris, but I'm not sure I agree 100% on your
examples of efficient pileup working.. From my own personal experience I find that sometimes contest style operating is
NOT the most efficient. During Contests, operators are there because the want to take part in the
contest and have a modicum of contest experience and kinda know what to do and
In an expedition scenario, sometimes more than 50% of callers are not necessarily contesters nor even Dxers. (If they are proficient DXers they probably don't need the location from where I am operating). So you are left with a lot of fairly inexperienced callers, often with a lot of language difficulty, or sense of operation propriety...... they just call and call and call.
I am quite happy with the "OSCAR JAPAN 5-9" in any mode, but as you suggest I prefer full calls. Sometimes it does not pay to be too slick as the other end of the pileup doesn't have the experience to cope. I can remember in Senegal one novice German guy kept asking me to repeat his report when obviously I had given the previous 2,000 callers 5 and 9. During the time I was repeating his report I also worked another three stations and the conversation went something like:
6W/GM4FDM or should it be GM4FDM stroke 6W you are 5 and 9 and my name is Norbert
DO1AXX thanks Norbert 300-310
6W/GM4FDM I'm still not sure of your call and I didn't copy my report please again
DK2AB 5 9
6W/GM4FDM 59 also thanks Tom DK2AB
6W/GM4FDM from DO1AXX are you calling me? You are 5 and 9 my name is Norbert what is my report?
PD1DX thanks - Norbert DO1AXX you are 5 and 9 OK?
F5CWU Flo your 5 9
Tom 59 also thanks
73 Flo 300-310
6W/GM4FDM I think you gave me 5 and 9 I'll put you in the log 73 de DO1AXX
and so it goes on......
In Banaba I was called by (IMAGINE STRONG JAPANESE ACCENT) Delta Sierra Sierra Sierra Sierra
DELTA SIERRA 59
Hah thank you so much you are also 59
Delta sierra sierra sierra sierra
The Delta Sierra station I do not have you call please repeat and change your phonetics
Hah - my call Denmark Sierra Sierra Sierra Sierra
Delta Sierra I do not understand your call please repeat
Delta Sierra Suloo Zierra Zierra
and so it went on for about 2 minutes with Ronald and Flo lying on the floor slapping their thighs in laughter until I finally got the Delta Sierra zero zulu sierra. We just missed the pleasure or meeting the guy at the Club station in Seoul when we were there. A couple of years later I worked the same guy when I was in TY4TW and we instantly recognised each other...... Delta Sierra Zero Zulu Sierra 59
I'm not criticising what you are saying, but i think you make it out to be easier than it is at times and even on T33 when we had good sunspots and mega pileups, really the QSO rate never got out of hand. Unfortunately I am in the category where I can talk faster than I can type, so my rate depends on a good run at the keyboard without any cockups where I have to make edits - especially on CW when I am operating on the keyboard as well as logging.
Just thinking aloud again - I'm not sure its relevant to
what you are trying to say, but it is important to make all necessary licensing
arrangements before you go and not leave it till you arrive. You could be
disappointed. Some locations it can take 3 months or more to get a licence
and sometimes you need separate documentation to enable you to get a radio into
and more importantly out of a Country. Having a licence is
often not quite the same thing. I can't remember where, but I
think it was Benin, where they asked us for $150 to temporarily import each
radio and wanted the same for export. Even though we showed them our
licence they still wanted the dosh. I think it was just scam tax and
refused to pay until a superior was present to confirm our requirement. Eventually we were allowed to pass.
In Tarawa we had to have a whip round to "bung" the customs and
immigration....... and again when we came back from Banaba, we had to
"bung" the customs to get our gear out of their shed before we left