Meet Bob Vallio, W6RGG, February 18 in Pescadero

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    Peggy, KI6PGA

    What is DXpedition? It’s a trip to an offbeat and uninhabited part of the world in which amateur radio operations are not commonplace. It involves special skills, equipment and political permissions. The objective for Bob Vallio’s trip in 2007 was Scarborough Reef in the middle of the South China Sea–territory controlled by China. The radio license was issued by their equivalent of the FCC. Additionally, permission was required by their State Department.

    Bob traveled on a chartered 93-foot diving boat based in Hong Kong run by an experienced crew that previously had taken divers to the same area.

    According to Bob: Imagine yourself taking a trip to some place in the world that is very isolated, hard to reach, and has no inhabitants. Once there, your goal is to make two-way amateur radio contacts with thousands of people who want very much be one of those contacts. There are no homes, radio stations, or antennas since nobody lives there, so everything has to be brought with us. Meaning this expedition required plenty of radios, antennas, generators, materials with which to build operating positions, and people skillful enough to assemble and operate stations.

    The team also figured it would be good to have a place to eat and sleep while there, and a plan that protected the safety of each of the team members. So much, much more time was spent in planning and organizing the trip than in the actual making of the contacts. (If you’ve ever been on a field day mission, just multiply those preparations by several orders of magnitude.) There’s no local Ham Radio Outlet or Radio Shack to replace items inadvertently left behind or damaged – and once underway, it’s too late to go back.

    The DXpedition team had to see to all of these tasks, plus thousands of others, to assure the success of the mission.

    On Saturday, February 18, 2012, we invite you to come and hear first hand from Bob Vallio (pictured above) how the 2007 Scarborough Reef Team accomplished all of this!

    The club meeting starts at 10:00 AM and runs until noon at the board room at Pescadero High School, 360 Butano Cutoff in Pescadero. All are invited.

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