*EDITORIAL* Phonography…The Future of DXpedition Proofs


[Definition:  Phonography — the practice of snapping quick digital pictures and then performing post-processing and sharing from within the mobile phone itself].

The importance of meeting DXpedition proofs requirements for any dx adventurer, or dx adventure team, cannot be understated.

Thanks to mobile phones and some exciting technology, however, this obligation has got a whole lot easier in modern times.

Our Dx Adventure Radio Club (DA-RC) uses the Radio Society of Great Britain’s ‘Validation of Operations’ requirements  (See below) for its own internal island and DXCC DXpedition validation process; requisites that, when met, ensure our activities maintain the highest integrity in the DX community and our many active DXpeditioner’s the finest reputation.


A photograph of the operator taken against an identifiable feature on the island, for example a name plaque, is highly desirable and may be critical in any cases where the transportation statement is challenged and cannot subsequently be easily verified. This applies particularly to small yachts where photographs showing that the operation was land-based should always be provided as a matter of routine.

Before the introduction of mobile phones and subsequent arrival of phonographic forces, satisfying conditions such as these required considerable think time.  How to prove an activity was legitimate, that it transpired exactly where and when it had been advertised, demanded just as much brain power as deciding which antenna or transceiver to pack for the trip.

These days, however, thanks to the arrival of mobile telephones, efforts can be directed into other DXpedition planning areas.

Effectively, a mobile phone’s ability to capture photographs, audio and video recordings of a DXpedition team and their doings from any particular DXstination, makes it a precious tool indeed — one far superior to any digital camera or video

camera given its small size, weight and versatility; and therefore it’s incidental encroach on a dx adventurer’s baggage limit.

Toss in all the typical features you can expect in a modern mobile phone such as text, voice, email and internet access for clusters, propagation forecasts, beam headings and more, and you’ve got the equivalent of a survival knife for DX’ers.

Further to the definition provided above, the term ‘phonography’ is also used by some dx adventurers to refer to field recording — i.e. the practice of producing audio recordings outside of a recording studio.

‘Field recordings’ may also refer to simple monaural or stereo recordings taken of musicians in familiar and casual surroundings, as well as audio transmissions from DXpedition stations.

In addition to being interesting keepsakes for a dx adventurers, particularly if they contain details of a pile up and the associated circus it involved, such audio recordings are also super proofs for DX hunters that a contact did in fact occur.  Especially if there’s some doubt about an exchange of QSO data (i.e. signal report, callsign confirmed, etc.) or even a log error by the DXpedition team themselves.

In addition to securing photos and field recordings, videos captured by mobile phones are commonly used in post-pedition presentations also.  These files can be edited, clipped, and  then enriched with soundtracks, text (e.g. callsigns and log data), stills and colourful graphics to create an exciting snapshot of the whole dxpedition experience.  The innovation of new i-phone or smart phone applications (apps) now also means that it can all be done in the palm of your hand!

In conclusion, mobile phones aren’t just the quintessential technology device for communication in the modern age.  They’ve also become a DXpeditioner’s best mate when it comes to fulfilling ‘proofs’ requirements laid out by his respective club or belonged organisation.  That is, evidence that a dx adventure did in fact occur from where, when and by whom it was claimed.

As you can see, thanks to phonography, and the ease of snapping photos, taking field recordings and filming videos, satisfying proofs requirements are now so much easier.  Not only do they make the life of a dx adventurer less complicated, but DX Hunters no longer have to agree to believe that a dxpedition to a very rare location is a legitimate one also.

73 de Darren, 43DA001