>It seems to me that if they have spent a bunch of their money,
perhaps with some backers too, they can operate
>any way THEY think is best for them, not us

Why don't we just apply this to the whole of ham radio.  Whoever
spends the most money gets to make the rules.

Don't get me wrong,

1) I very much appreciate what the DXpeditioners are doing
2) I think personally that many/most of them do a very good job
3) I think they largely do it because it's a fun and/or rewarding
adventure that puts some spice back into their love of DX

All this is good, all DXers should be generally appreciative, patient,
and avoid being *unjustifiably* critical of DXpeditions.

However, it really makes me worry for the future of DX and DXing fun
when some hams have the attitude that spending $10,000 of your own
money to go to some hellhole of an island to operate ham radio should
make them into Ham Radio Gods whose operating procedures are
sacrosanct.

Not everything that a DXpedition might do is OK.  In the case of
VP6DX, I think they're running a ship-shape, ethical, and fun
operation and really doing a fantastic service to the ham community.
They're keeping the pileups largely under control to use a reasonable
amount of band space and using the tactics that their excellent ops
know to keep rates high.  I think most DXpeditions fall into this
general category.

However, it would be possible for a DXpedition to spend hundreds of
thousands of dollars, operate for two weeks, make 100,000 contacts and
still be guilty of bad operating practices!  If that statement costs
me a rare DXCC counter from some grudge-holding DXpeditioner, let it
be so, but there *are* things that a DXpedition could be doing
unwittingly that make for big, bad, unruly public relations nightmare
pileups or to unfairly treat some subgroup of amateurs calling.

DXers are not the only ones in ham radio, and the DXpeditions and
DXers have a general responsibility to run a clean operation that
treats the entire world ham population fairly no matter WHO PAID FOR
IT.  The airwaves belong to all of us, from guys with a bamboo beam
and a WWII era rig on a little island to the teeming hordes of NA, JA
and EU superstations.

And I think in that context, the present discussion is about what is
fair treatment of the worldwide DXer  (and in the case of pileup
control, the general ham) population.  Spending the money to go on the
DXpedition does NOT give you the last word in that discussion.

Having a fantastic team of propagation and operating experts and good
organization and planning DOES give you a serious high ground from
which to decide the best operating strategy, which is why I will
staunchly defend VP6DX's decision to work a lot of EU EU, but it is
not about money or simply being in a rare location.  It's about
running a fair and ethical, expert and fun operation that respects the
WHOLE worldwide ham population and their rights to the airwaves, DXers
and non-DXers alike.  There are things that I've heard major
DXpeditions do that I feel are very much like screaming "fire" in a
crowded theater and I can't support that, even if they did pay fifty
times normal price for their ticket.  Again, I find that MOST
DXpeditions are running a good show, but there ARE unwritten rules of
fairness that they have to play by, we all do, and if they and we
don't, we're sunk.

73,
Dan


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