[CQ-Contest] Contesters in the Wall Stree Journal

Bruce Sawyer N6NT at worldnet.att.net
Fri Jul 31 09:24:45 EDT 1998

For those who don't take the WSJ, the following article appeared in this
morning's edition:

July 31, 1998

Takeoffs & Landings


Ham-radio amateurs are traveling thousands of miles to spend vacations
cooped up.

Last year, a group of 21 radio amateurs from 10 countries chartered
helicopters to Heard Island, an Australian territory in the South Indian
Ocean, where they logged 80,673 radio conversations. Transportation costs
amounted to $10,000 a person, though sponsors defrayed the costs. Dubbed
DXpeditions, with "DX" standing for "distance" in ham-radio jargon, DXers
try to make contacts with amateur radio operators world-wide.

This past January, Steve Thompson, a Mesa, Ariz., computer programmer,
jetted to the Maldives, with nine other DXers and five of their spouses for
about $3,000 a person for 10 days. Wayne Mills, a Pinedale, Wyo., business
owner, once stayed holed up with his son in a rented house with three radio
towers in Aruba for a DX contest, "not seeing the sights," he said.

Jimmy Treybig, former chief executive of Tandem Computers Inc., however,
takes a baby monitor to the beach so he can tell when he gets calls during
his very-high-frequency DXpeditions, which bounce radio waves off the moon,
limiting the amount of contacts. For some, isolation is key. Amateur radio
operator Tim Totten and other hams set up a station in the Solomon Islands
in April, and other ham operators battled to catch his signal because it was
so remote: "It's a bit of an ego trip," he said.

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