The next MHDXA meeting will be on Wed 29 May 2013, at Bennett's BBQ in Aurora (3 blocks south of I-70 on Peoria). Dinner at 1800hrs; order off the menu (separate checks), meeting and program to follow.
phone # is: 303 375 0339
As announced before, the program will be given by Gene Spinelli (a member of our association) on the ZL9HR DXpedtion to Campbell Island (of which he was on the team).
We'll need to bring projector and screen; so anyone that can help out in that area, please let me know.
Dick Williams K8ZTT
I am happy to report that DXU is now on the Hamcon website and registration is open!!!!
Once you are signed on to the websitewww.hamconcolorado.org click on "Special Activities";
DXU is the first one in the window that will open. We already have one individual signed up!!!
Also, Thanks to Wayne, DXU at Hamcon has now been added to the DX University website. It gives a "mouse click" link directly to the registration page on the Hamcon webpage; check it out, www.dxuniversity.com
As I am sure all of you know, I have been pretty busy getting things set up for DXU. When I was thinking about price, my figure was a WAG (based on what I though would cover our costs). Today, I was working on the "food/beverage issue". We have to procure all food/beverages though the hotel; this is no surprise (I was born at night, but not last night).
After receiving the options available, the best deal is a "Meeting Planner's Package". This includes a Continental Breakfast; Assorted Danish, Muffins, and Breakfast Breads. Assorted Bagels with Cream Cheese & Fresh Fruit Tray, and Coffee & Hot Tea in the morning. For the mid-morning break; assorted Granola Bars, Coffee & Ice Tea, and for the afternoon break, Freshly Baked Cookies & Brownies, assorted Coke products, Bottle Water & Lemonade.
The cost of the above is $21 per person. As compared to their A La Carte options, this is by far the best deal and will give us the best "bang for the buck". After doing a cost analysis (now a SWAG - Scientific Wild Ass Guess) , I have decided we need to raise the price of DXU from $40 for pre-registration and $50 at the door by a whooping $5 (new cost will be $45 and $55). I can't believe that anyone would be too upset having to spend an additional $5 with breakfast now included.
There is a "hidden benefit" with breakfast included; it should help get everyone in the room on time! I am sure you are aware we have a pretty jammed packed day; so I want to start on time!!!
I feel that great progress has been made in the last week, and the major challenges have been conquered. Next on my list is to work on the knickknacks; I have a couple of leads (thanks to Wayne (N7NG and our VP, John). Additionally, I will be at Visalia this coming weekend, and will be "snooping around" and trying to come up with some additional ideas.
PS; I can't thank Wayne Mills (N7NG, and a MHDXA member) enough for all the support and help he has provided!!
I have been working for well over a week contacting amateurs I know and/or have been recommended to solicit their participation in developing a first class DX University. With Wayne Mills (N7NG) help and guidance, I believe we have a outstanding cadre of instructors lined up to present diverse, interesting, and applicable blocks of material that will be of interest to both seasoned and new DXers. The majority of the instructors are members of MHDXA; and I think this speaks well of the amount of expertise we have in our club! I really appreciate the amount of support I have received from our club members, N0KE, and NOVD for volunteering their time and effort.
I hope to see many of you attending DXU, and lending support to our club's effort to add this outstanding program to Hamcon. As a "heads up", I am going to need a few volunteers to help with registration, collecting money, passing out the knickknacks, and a "bouncer" (or two) that will monitor the doors (N0UN ??) to ensure only registered individuals have access to the room.
Initial planning of DXU is far enough along in the development of the presentations that DXU can be affixed to the Hamcon website; and I have forwarded the curriculum to the Hamcon Committee for their action to affix DXU to the website and open per-registration. The next meeting of the Hamcon committee is this Sat, and I am guessing DXU will show up on the website early next week.
The following is the curriculum (though slight modifications are possible on one or maybe two of the courses):
DX University faculty and presentations (not necessarily in this order):
Dick Williams K8ZTT Moderator
Wayne Mills N7NG "Best Practices for DX and DXpedition Operating"
Walt Stinson W0CP "Dxing; In's and Out's"
Jim Reisert AD1C "LOTW"
Kelly Jones N0VD "Finding and Working DX"
Barry Mitchell N0KV "From the DXpediton's Point of View"
Phil Krichbaum N0KE "Alternative DXing Activities (Pending update: "DX Fun with a Budget Station)"
Jonathan Woo W6GX "Antenna Modeling for Beginners"
Ken Eigsti W0LSD "DXCC in a Weekend" (exact topic pending)
DXU will start at 0745 (registration) on Thurs, Jun 27, and conclude around 1700 (ish); courses will run from 0800 to noon, 1300 to 1700, with a one hour break for lunch. Rather than have a 10 minute break between each course, two courses (50 minutes each) will be presented back to back; followed by a twenty minute break between the next two 50 minute sessions. The cost will be $40 per-registration, and $50 at the door; I think you will all agree this is a "steel" for what attendees will be receiving over the course of the day.
To keep the attendees hydrated (and awake) we are planning on providing coffee, tea, water, soft drinks, and light snacks in the classroom (no 807s - later, in the hospitality suite). Attendees will be given a few knickknacks (hat, T-shirt, plastic bag, pens, note pad, etc.), along with (as voted on at the last MHDXA meeting) membership in MHDXA for the remainder of 2013. Additionally, I have been negotiating with John at HRO to donate a "small" prize to give away at the end of the day (Yaesu FT-9000D? - NOT, but I can dream).
Dick Williams, K8ZTT
If you are not aware, MHDXA is sponsoring DX University at Hamcon in late June. The Hamcon committee approached our association early last month and asked us to sponsor the event. Adding DXU to the Hamcon program was somewhat of a "last minute decision"; to exacerbate the situation, there is/was no room on the program for scheduling it on Fri (first official day of the convention). Consequently, the committee inserted DXU on the schedule of events as a Thurs activity.
Our club officers were not overly impressed with the Thurs schedule, and initially declined; our opinion being the Hamcon committee had watched "Field of Dreams" one to many times (commonly referred to the "build it, and they will come" syndrome). Hopefully your club officers are dead wrong on believing Thurs is a "bad day" for DXU. After exchanging a few emails with the chairman of the Hamcon committee (Steve Williams K0SRW - no relationship to me, Tennessee, Hank, Andy, or Serena), Steve and I reached a compromise; schedule it on Thurs, and if the per-registration is too light, we will cancel it.
The compromise deal was brought up as new business at the meeting late last month; good discussion followed. This is not a "free event", and MHDXA will incur some initial expenses; however, any proceeds left over after expenses will benefit MHDXA. With input from our CO Section Manager (Jack WM0G, and member of MHDXA), a cutoff date of the end of May with at least 25 per-registered attendees was hammered out. This date will allow us to make our "go, no-go decision" early enough that we will not have to incur any expenses that we would be unable to recover (more on that later). As an add-on; it was decided to tack on free membership for the attendees through the remainder of 2013. The proposal was voted upon and passed unanimously.
I have been very busy the last few days contacting amateurs that might be interested in volunteering for the faculty. Have been very fortunate and have lined up what I consider to be a very pristine group of top DXers and Contesters. The group includes Wayne (N7NG), Berry (N0KV), Ken (W0LSD), Kelly (N0VD), Phil (N0KE), and Jim (AD1C). Additionally, I have contacted Walt (W0CP); he is "on the road" and will get in touch with me when he returns from his trip. I am hoping that he will be the last "piece in the puzzle". If we are unfortunate enough to have someone have to drop out at the last minute, I will fill in with a presentation on ClubLog; and additionally expand on the premiss, one should not take your Flomax prior to dinner while attending a club you are a member of on the night of election of officers. One can be saddled with "additional responsibilities" while absent attending to other needs in the restroom/water closet.
If you are not aware, Wayne, N7NG (member of MHDXA) is one of the brainchild's of DXU, and has been intimately involved in all of the programs/presentations. Check out DX University at their website (www.dxuniversity.com). Wayne and I have been in contact several times this week, and we are well on the way to achieve our goal of a top notch DXU at Hamcon.
The plan is to start around 0845 and run until 1700 (ish); there will be seven presentations (50 minutes) with a 10 minute break. Three in the morning with a lunch break from 1200 - 1300, and then four in the afternoon. To keep the attendees hydrated (and awake) there will be coffee, tea, water, soft drinks, and light snacks available in the room (no 807s - later, in the hospitality suite). We will also be "giving" the attendees a few knickknacks (hat, T-shirt, plastic bag, pens, note pad, etc.) along with membership in MHDXA for the remainder of 2013. The cost will be $35 in advance, and $45 at the door.
MHDXA will incur some initial costs (knickknacks and refreshments mentioned above). Since I do not anticipate any expenditures before May 31, and the "costs" should be well below the $35 per person registration fee, it should be a win-win situation for MHDXA.
My next "order of business" is developing the curriculum with the instructors, coordinate the presentations with Wayne, and finally, insert each block into a time block and print out a working schedule. I hope to wrap this phase up by early next week. Once I have the schedule and topics in stone, I will be able to give it to Steve so he can publish it on the Hamcon website and open pre-registration.
Unfortunately, not everything is smooth sailing. Much to my vexation, "rooms" has quickly become the Achilles Heel that I am having to deal with; there are "no rooms at the inn" from Wed night on. I have talked to the hotel manager a few times; the best he can do is set up a few army cots in the utility room. This does have one perk; the room is right next to the kitchen, so room service will be readily available. Bathroom facilities are a different matter; fortunately it is only up two flight of stairs to the main lobby, and he has assured me the restroom will be well stocked and maintained to the highest of standards.
Am just kidding on the utility room option; but Steve and the Hamcon committee are well aware of the problem, and are purportedly working on it. The Hamcon committee definitely has a "dog in this fight", so I am sure they are going to find a solution. Along the same lines, since finding rooms for the instructors is an issue, anyone who wants to attend and does not have a hotel room, is going to be confronted with the same problem (especially if they are trying to add on Wed night).
I will give another update when the final program is complete, and the basic objectives in each block of material is finalized.