*EDITORIAL* Travelling Light – Microlite DX Adventure

“Human nature places a higher value on something you have to work for rather than something you are given…”

The Microlite Penguins, 2002

When most people hear the word ‘DXpedition’, they tend to think of exotic super stations; accumulations of radio equipment designed to ‘do a job’ on the DX community, big teams of hardcore DXers, thorough web promotions, Facebook countdowns, sponsorship opportunities and more!  Not all DXpeditions need be like this, however.  In fact, some might resemble nothing of the sort…

The fascinating concept of a ‘Microlite’ dx adventure is thought of by most in the DA-RC as a back-to-basics DXpedition approach.  In colourful terms, it’s regarded as a ‘commando-like’ strike on a DXstination with lightweight equipment; one by a compact fighting force of dx adventurists especially trained for making quick destructive DXpedition raids, usually lasting only a day or two.

Small rigs, small TX power of no more than 100 watts, wire or vertical antennas, little advance notice, no website or on-line logs, etc. are all features of a Microlite activity.

In contrast to massive DXpeditions where a contact often feels like it’s  been ‘given to you’, the onus in such situations falls squarely on the op whom is looking to make the DX contact, rather than on the shoulders of the DXpedition team.  What’s more, it relies on operating skill of the guy at home; his ability to tune through the band for a workable signal at the right time on the right day and listen to the patterns of the DXpedition station.

For the most part, such an unshackled incursion into a proposed QTH goes against the norm of most modern day, ultra-funded, pre-announced DXpeditions, as well as the expectations of DXpedition combatants.  This is fundamentally because signals are generally weaker and it’s not an easy contact.

There remains, however, a significant quantity of DX Hunters in the 11m and ham communities whom respect, and even appreciate such ventures into the world’s rarest of DXCC or IOTA; guys with healthy DXCC aggregates who cherish the challenge of working a group of dx adventurists with Microlite working conditions and a Microlite philosophy.

This concurs with the famous Microlite Penguins DXpedition team who maintain that human nature places more worth on something you have to fight for rather than something you’re handed on a platter.

Yes, this flies in the face of big funded DX adventures with big antenna arrays, big amps, big logs and even bigger egos yet the ability to snag a Microlite DX station is not lost on the very best of DX Hunters.  This is what makes it such an exciting concept; one which causes the whole field of DXpedition work to be more accessible for more guys too and therefore increases the prospects of putting a rare ‘spot’ on the air.

Such forays, furthermore, generally have less expectations cast on them by an imperious DX Group HQ in terms of ‘on-air time’, log numbers, etc. etc.  This also makes them more attractive to a potential dx adventurer!

So…on behalf of Microlite DXpeditioners the world over, take the time to appreciate the challenge of working such an activity in the future.  If you DO manage to make the log of such a DX assault team then you do so knowing that you overcame many challenges to do so, most likely beating many other DX Hunters to the bone.

Travel light and happy 😉

73 de Darren, 43DA001