On 26 October 2014 an announcement was made through various channels that I had obtained permission to land and reside on Bouvet Island (3Y/B) for the mid-January 2016 until mid-April 2016 time frame.
On 19 November 2014 I sent a request for funding intentions to the various DX Foundations, DX Clubs, Radio Amateur Organizations and some of the corporate material providers.
Today I am addressing you as an individual DXer who has actively contributed towards the success of one or more of the fairly recent major DXpeditions.
On 11 November 2014 Alex/UN7PCZ announced a two week DXpedition to Bouvet Island during the December 2015 - January 2016 time frame. I do not at all see this as a competing project, and welcome this great news.
The fact of a large group going to Bouvet has convinced me even more that I should try to obtain funding through a single/exclusive sponsor .
Two main reasons for this would be to
1) off-load the financial burden from the ham community (in case the sponsor doesn't want a financial return but has other plans with the project), and
2) for me to be able to focus on the DXpedition logistics, rather than having to search for finances.
In case I manage to secure an exclusive sponsor for this project, it would obviously be favorable if this sponsor does not specifically seek a financial return. In the opposite scenario I will have to turn to the ham community, investigating what is feasible in terms of financial support.
The subsequent question: what financial support would you be able to pledge for this project? This is no formal request for funding, I am only asking for your intentions in order to assess the financial feasibility of the project – with the scenario outlined above.
The forecasted budget is put at 250,000 euro (± 310,000 USD), which is far less than a larger group operating for a shorter period of time would require. Furthermore, this is a generous forecast, I expect the final budget to ultimately be less.
In the last month I received donation pledges from individual DXers ranging from 15 to 3,400 euro. To give you an idea what would be needed to reach 250,000 euro: if each of the addressees on this list would pledge 55 euro (70 USD), Bouvet 2016 would be a fact.
This of course I can neither ask nor expect, it is just a mathematical example of what is required financially.
Another important aspect to me is the transparency and control of funding. Every cent raised for this project will be registered through the non-profit organization 'Peter I - Antarctica Expedition 1994' (renamed 'Antennes zonder Grenzen - Antennes sans Frontières' in 1995). This organization was formed in 1993 by Peter ON6TT, with the goal of transparent accountability for every cent spent on the 3Y0PI DXpedition – visible to the entire expedition team. Good accounts make good friends!
You will notice further below what my intentions are in regard to QSLing: I want people to be able to receive bureau cards, get instant LoTW, e-QSL and Club Log confirmation. This is important to me: I don't want youngsters and less fortunate radio hams having to pay for a QSO with Bouvet. Call me idealistic/philanthropic/ideological, but it does indeed matter to me.
With the upcoming of the 3Y0F-group, many of you may decide to put your bets on that project. However, in the event that the UN7PCZ-group withdraws its plans (it wouldn't be the first time a major DXpedition is cancelled), my Bouvet project will probably be the only one in many years to come.
Here is an excerpt of the operational plan:
- projected number of QSOs: 100,000
- QSL: bureau, direct, OQRS, in the way people want it
- log: daily uploads to LoTW, Club Log, e-QSL through proper satellite link
- all HF bands CW/SSB + RTTY on 2 or 3 bands
- antennas: verticals/inv-V's in various constellations and inv-L's will be the only manageable type of antennas that won't break down on Bouvet – with sufficient spares brought along
- radios and amps: I will take what I am comfortable with, well proven and sturdy radios and amps, three of each device
- 24/7 operation during 3 months (with adequate rest periods), mitigating the impact of the Antarctic black-outs known from past expeditions of shorter duration
- operator: one
- I already have several offers from QSL-managers for (free) QSLing (a decision on what to ask for OQRS has not been made; it should be as low cost as possible so everybody can enjoy this service)
I would highly appreciate your response within the next few weeks. By the end of this year I will make a decision whether or not to proceed with the project. In the event that I am not able to secure an exclusive sponsor and at the same time the projected sponsoring from within the ham community would be sufficient, it will be a challenging decision.
Regardless if you are able to foresee financial support to this project or not, I would appreciate if a lead or an introduction to a potential exclusive sponsor would be considered. It is still my favorable prospect for funding, and I thank you in advance for any assistance on that front.
I hope this mail answers most of your questions upfront. I believe you will notice that the project is well thought through.
Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
Thank you for your time and kind consideration.
73 de Mark / ON4WW