Bill Kendall Featured Speaker At FDL Amateur Radio Club Meeting
Bill is from the great state of Hawaii!
A “DXpedition“ is an expedition to what is considered an exotic place by Ham Radio operators, perhaps because of its remoteness, access restrictions or simply because there are very few radio amateurs active from that place. This could be an island, a country, or even a particular spot on a geographical grid. DX is a telegraphic shorthand for “distance” or “distant”.
Early DXpeditions were simply exploratory and geographical expeditions in the late 1920s and 1930s, in which one or more radio amateurs participated in order to provide long distance communications. At the same time they communicated with fellow radio amateurs who wanted to contact a new country. Most notable are the Antarctic expeditions of Admiral Byrd.
The participation of radio amateurs in geographical expeditions was resumed after World War II. DXpeditions are planned and organized to help operators who need to contact that area to obtain an amateur radio award. There are several awards sponsored by various organizations based on contacting many different countries. Perhaps the most famous of these is the DX Century Club (DXCC) award sponsored by the ARRL. The base level of this award involves contacting and confirming 100 distinct geographical entities, usually countries, as defined by the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL)
There are currently 340 separate entities recognized for award purposes. An “entity” for such purposes is any location that is either politically separate or physically remote (or both) from other jurisdictions/locations. For example, even though Alaska and Hawaii are politically part of the United States, they are separate DX entities (physically separate). Small countries, even ones surrounded by larger ones, such as the Vatican, count.
Bill has been an active Ham Radio operator ever since he received his license in 1955. He lives in the beautiful Honolulu Hawaii area and shares the hobby with his son Will Kendall W0ZKJ and his son John Kendall N0PJV. All three Hams in 2015 trekked out to Christmas Island and set up camp for a fun week of DXing.
Now enjoying life in his late 70’s, Bill and his son just finished up a DXpedition in Tahiti (TX5X) just 3 weeks ago!. For the Christmas Island DXpedition, Bill said “We stayed at the Captain Cook Hotel on the North of the Island. Planes only fly in once a week. Our equipment was tested during the ARRL field day at Leach Lake. We took about 200 pounds of equipment including a KX3 and FT817 each with a 100 watt amplifier. Two antennas were deployed near the beach, a vertical dipole and a full 1/4 wave elevated vertical. Our primary band was 20 meters. We operated 12 meters & 20 meters. Modes were SSB, CW and JT9/65. For JT operation we used a special program to sync our clock off the GPS satellites.”
Bill said, “there was limited Internet available. Logs were uploaded to lOTW, e-QSL, Club Log and QRZ Log. This trip had been in the planning stage for just over a year. Will (W0ZRJ) and John (N0PJV), my two sons, proposed this trip while visiting Minnesota last year. This is my 60th year as a licensed radio amateur, and this turned out to be a perfect celebration. I served in the U.S. Navy for a time as a Communications Technician and for you “Old timers” who might remember in the 1950’s, a signal from Adak Alaska,,,,KL7AIZ my first DX operation. By the way, my first call sign was KN0COU. We are happy for all that got in our log!”
The amount of planning for something like this is staggering. You need to get permission and licenses from the host country. You have to work out travel arrangements sometime in places that never see aircraft! Every piece of equipment has to be weighed and accounted for with backup systems on the ready. In some places, there is no electricity, or running water for that matter! Food rations must be planned and maintained. Antennas have to be constructed. Logs, QSL cards, Internet, on and on. Doing all this in your 70’s is a testament on how much love this man has for Amateur Radio.
The meeting is open to the general public and is free of charge. For more information please contact Joe Scheibinger at 920-237-1450.