DXing Campout/North Am QSO Party, What is it? (by KZ6T)
Take a little bit of Field Day, add DX, and combine it with camping.
In 2010 I was looking for a way of combining my new found hobby of radio, my long standing love of the outdoors, and create a unique SCRA social event that others could experience. I considered a full DXpedition but those take a lot of funding and intricate planning. The alternative was to mount a miniaturized version, AKA DXing Campout/North Am QSO Party.
For year #1 we had a clear defined mission. To activate a highly prized grid square. Northern California is home to one of the rarest grids in America, CM79. Activating a grid square means transmitting from that grid square so that “chasers” can collect it and add it to their list of squares. The holy grail is to collect all 488 squares on 6 meters. Only 7 have done it to date. CM79 its located in the Lost Coast where no roads, or electricity exists. All supplies and gear had to be packed in. Our group carried, radios, feedline, antennas, batteries, tables and chairs, miles into the Lost Coast to make a few chasers very happy.
For year #2 we moved the event to the northern Sierras We setup camp at Bucks Lake and enjoyed a much less intense operating weekend with friends and family. The focus was just on having fun and enjoying the company of others. Prerequisites were set for future event locations such as clean grassy areas, showers, flush toilets, and more temperate weather. Scouting began and a new location was found. A.W. Way Park along the Mattole River in Humboldt County has been our QTH ever since. This is a County Park pretty far off the beaten path so it is not subject to the massive summer invasion of tourists seeking the Redwood forest.
The 2018 mini DX will take place on August 16th,17th, 18th and go home on the 19th.This year mini Dx will be in conjunction with the SSB part of the North American QSO party. This will be at the Arthur W. Way County Park in Humboldt County.
Location and Directions:
1. A.W. Way Park is located along the Mattole River in rural Humboldt County. Nearest towns are Petrolia to the north, Honeydew to the south.
a. The address of the Park is: 36625 Mattole Road.
b. Coordinates are: 40d 16.0934’N 124d 13.8007’W
a. Maidenhead Gridsquare is: CN70vg
2. There are four routes you can take to reach the Park, three of which are paved. You can find an online Google map of the routes here. Google Map
Link. Just click on any of the routes on the left hand menu bar to turn them on or off.
a. Most seem to take Route-1 in from Weott. It is paved but does have a steep switchback decent into the town of Honeydew. Those with trailers or RV’s should be careful.
b. Route-2 is a good alternate for the Sunday drive home. 90% paved. It will take you through a very remote area of Humboldt County where you may experience a sweet aroma in the air.
c. Route-3 takes you along miles of deserted beaches and through the historic Victorian town of Ferndale.
d. Route-4 is only for the adventurous 4-wheel driver. In 2015 we rescued a driver who had not seen another soul in 6-hours of waiting for help.
3. A. W. Way Park information:
a. They do not take reservations, however we have never had any problem securing multiple campsites together. The first to arrive will setup in a number of sites to help secure them for late arrivals. We usually secure the sites on the western edge of the Park.
b. General Park information can be found here.
c. Big picture general map can be found here.
For more information on DXing Campout/North Am QSO Party for 2018, please contact Doug Payne KF6LMB
Download the Complete 2018 Mini-DX Ops Plan.
The Group from Mini-DX #1 2011