Members of the Dateline DX Association have been at the forefront of DXpedition technology for the past 25 years.
In 1986, Don, then WB2DND and now N1DG, wrote a DBase program for 9Q5NW to use on his African dxpeditions. Soon it was adopted by OH2BH, DJ9ZB, VP2MO, VK9JS, W3AZD, ZL1AMO, FR5DX, HL9KI, K8MFO, and many other world travelers and contesters to quickly log and track their QSOs. Over 500 users were registered before Don retired from the DOS software business.
In 1995, Don N1DG, Don created a website for the AL7EL/KH9 for their trip to Wake Island. Live updates were made by logging into his server from Wake via phone modems. Since then Don has been webmaster for over 25 DXpeditions.
In 1997, Don N1DG, was webmaster for the VK0IR DXpedition. He published what came to be known as the Heard Island Tribune, a daily web based diary. Another first was created when he produced a QSO check page for the VK0IR DXpedition. Logs were sent daily via amateur satellite and Don uploaded them to his own linux server at his house. This was the introduction to what we take for granted today.
In early 2018 while preparing for the KH1/KH7Z Baker Island DXpedition AA7A approached the WSJT-X development team to scale up DXpedition qsos. The result was the introduction of F/H mode on our trip. Single OP, multi station became de rigeuer when operatings between phone or cw shifts in the data tent. F/H is a game changer watching one op make up to 8 QSOs at a time.
RIB (Rig in a Box):
Also in preparation to the Baker Island DXpedition, the team experimented with an idea of having some ops remain on the ship and operate there. The idea was to reduce the footprint on Baker, trips over the reef, number of sleeping quarters and food requirements. It was a learning experience and did not work out as planned.
After we returned, George, AA7JV, with funding from NCDXF, built more rugged and dependable remote stations now called the RIB. The concept is the result of multiple rejections by Conservation Departments denying DXpeditions to their protected islands. We believe that the RIB is the answer to their concerns. Instead of a dozen operators with generators, tents, latrines, cooking stations and other needs, a few people can set up a group of stations in a few hours, return to the boat and operate for a week with only a few short trips ashore to fuel and maintain the antennas. Up to 2 days are saved in setup and dismantling. Discussions with the USFWS shows we are on the right path here.
Less setup, less teardown, more operatings time. (And more permissions to visit remote islands).