3Y0J - why was he dropped from the RA9USU team?

Radio amateurs enjoy the expedition 3Y0J na ostrov Bouvet. We know, that it is not easy to carry out a DX expedition to this remote place. Why was Dima RA9USU dropped from the team? It's a long read though, but it's good to know, what are the reasons. RA9USU describes it like this:

Several friends asked me about the reason for my dropping out of the 3Y0J Bouvet team 2022. I will do everything for it, to clarify things. I apologize for the delay – the end of the year is a nightmare multiplied by a hundred in Russia. Due to the long New Year holidays – every state contract should be concluded by the end of the year, and there is almost no time for anything except work. For the last month, we sleep a maximum of four hours at night.

Unfortunately, although Ken and I have not usually had communication problems in the past, about mine “leaving the team for personal reasons” I learned from the DX-world website. I know, that's it, to tell someone to their face, that he sucks, you need balls.

The question clarified the situation a bit, but I was really confused by the decision of the expedition leaders.

It all started in 2016 and I was in touch with Ken, when I was working on my 3Y0H plans to operate from Bouvet. After the failed attempts of 3Y0Z and 3Y0I, it was clear, that collecting funds from clubs will harm them a lot, and so I worked on a budget-friendly operation. I had a plan and a way, how to implement it, but I failed to collect the money in two weeks, which was almost impossible during the pandemic, but that was the vessel owner's condition, to keep the price low.

Then came the notice of DX expedition 3Y0J. I saw, that Ken joined the team led by N6PSE. It was surprising, because I have had experience with this in the past “leader” in action, but all for the sake of it.

Fourth of August 2021 I got a message from Ken, in which he invited me to the 3Y0J team, where there were already eight members (including Axel, DL6KVA). I found out later, that Axel is not yet a member of the 3Y0J team. It was just a dirty trick, to agree. Later, the same trick was used on the other members, to join 3Y0J. Anyway, in the end the team looked really promising and worth traveling with.

So I paid my dues and the required installment was paid…

On 15. In October, I received a revised team contract from Ken. Deadline for signature and second round of payment (which I have already paid in advance) he was 25. October. The next payment was due in February 2022. It kind of interfered with my way to 3A3A, which lasted during mid-November, along with providing most of the equipment for this operation, but my fees were paid in advance and I would read the contract later on my return, nothing terrible.

Then I read the Agreement.

I was confused to say the least.

At first, as a team agreement governs the payment fee OQRS? 15 USD per ticket? I get it, that DX expeditions like Bouvet require a lot of money, but fixing the cost of confirmation on 15 USD is something, which I really don't want to see before the expedition begins!

SunSDR2 radio and MFJ antenna tuner
SunSDR2 radio and MFJ antenna tuner

Secondly, is a member of the team “expressly prohibited from receiving funds from anywhere, who else could contribute to the team account”. I.e, that I can no longer ask my friends at Expert Electronics (SunSDR), to support me, because 3Y0J could use this support for himself (although everyone will bring their own anyway Elecraft K3).

It was something until the third, which I absolutely cannot accept. I tried to negotiate it, but I failed to find understanding from the expedition management. I have never encountered that in my life, that some expedition Contract (and that I have seen many of them) adjusted the style of operation, but this one went even further.

This agreement prohibits me from using the Russian language! I am mainly a CW operator and was invited as an operator, which applies 20 000 USD, to join the expedition. Not the other way around! I am not an employee and have not been hired; demand from me, to speak only English, it is illegal and discriminatory! Linguistic diversity is a reality, the observance of which is a fundamental value in the European Union. The article also edits it 3 Treaty on the European Union (EU), an article 165 ods. 2 Treaties on the functioning of the European Union (TFEU) (while fully respecting cultural and linguistic diversity (an article 165 ods. 1 TFEU).

The Treaty of Lisbon prohibits discrimination based on language (an article 21) and obligates the Union to respect linguistic diversity (an article 22).

There is absolutely no sufficient justification for this, for this requirement to be in the Contract!

Just reminding Ken, that “Amateur Radio DXpeditions” is registered in the European Union and must comply with the laws.

3Y0J Bouvet
3Y0J Bouvet

I asked Ken, why is this requirement in the Contract and he answered, that “will not allow any QSOs in Russian or anything else” a “it is not allowed to give instructions in Russian on CW, which other people do not understand”. This is what a man says, which deleted TZ4AM from the TL7M/TL8AO log on 160 m just because, that he did not behave according to the operator's instructions.

Really? I consider myself a decent operator and have never been reprimanded by any DX expedition leader, that I am able to work in my native language. On the contrary – they insisted, to operate the radio then, when the spread to Russia and Eastern Europe was favorable. I know best, how to maximize the number of connections and how to operate specific areas of the world, dependent on propagation.

The contract also prohibits direct calls to a specific area (t. j. Asia, Pacific or other) and only allows CQ calling without specifying the area.

Fourthly, to date we have not had a confirmed port of departure, and therefore I could not accept the cancellation conditions. To Argentina, I don't need to get a visa for Brazil or South Africa. However, if the port of departure changes to Stanley (Falklandy), I will have to get a visa. Because of that, that the British Embassy in Moscow is mostly closed – there will be further problems with obtaining it, especially if it happens a month before the DX expedition.

In one part of the Agreement it is written: “If you are denied entry, we will consider you to have voluntarily withdrawn and your payments will not be refunded”. I know, that visas are my responsibility, but visas do not guarantee entry into the country. It is the decision of the immigration officer, whether they let you in or not. Decision of a civil servant, not mine. It cannot be considered as voluntary leaving the country. Dot!

Fifth – in part 10 Various A(a) is stated, that “Recommended for team members, to secure their own IridiumGo phone for personal communication!, Garmin InReach or Iridium satellite phone”. Then in letter c) states: “Team members are not allowed to use their personal devices to publish on the Internet while on the island”.

Mast with antennas for HF and VHF
Mast with antennas on KV a VHF u OM0AAJ

Ken later added: “During the DX expedition, no operator is allowed to publish anything of the operation on the Internet while on the island… nor post things on the DX-World website, post videos of operations on your Facebook page, on reflectors etc.”. Although it is technically challenging, to begin with, this kind of censorship is illegal, unjustified and unacceptable.

All this led to our several weeks of correspondence, in which I was asked, to admit my disagreement with several parts of the agreement, and I got an ultimatum from Ken, in which he stated, that he does not accept any dissenting opinions and if I want to continue to be part of the team, I should immediately sign the Contract and accept all discriminatory and illegal demands.

Ken, your entire Covenant has a single purpose – protect the interests of the three team leaders from any liability to the 3Y0J team members, while the members themselves remain vulnerable. I get it, that treat members as their employees, dictate to them, how they should use their free time and how they should behave, maybe there is something, what you do in your field of work, but in no way is it in the best interest of the team or the Covenant in general. This is a statement. We were supposed to be a team of friends, who are going on a DX expedition together, but instead we ended up as a dictatorship, which makes money from it, that…

Yagi 10m antenna
Yagi 10m antenna

How many people in the 3Y0J team have sea sailing experience and how many of them are good operators, able to achieve your goal 120 000 Q? I can transfer 70 kg of generators ashore? I can easily survive without it, to be on Bouvet (the wife will surely like the idea, that I will not spend 25 000 USD), it really serves the purpose of this DX expedition? I have experience in delivering results under high pressure Antarctic operations. You have? I was raised as a DX dispatcher by the Italians, German ones, Serbian and Russian teams. And you? How many real team operations have you done??

Just a note – the failed DX expedition of 3Y0Z had a budget 700 000 USD with two helicopters on board and twenty operators plus the entire crew of the vessel, while the operation of your sailboat with two crew members is 650 000 USD. while for a 90 ° apex angle inverted V the gain reduction is only about, precisely for this reason your agreement requires, to keep the DX expedition ledgers private.

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Dave Pergamon
1 year ago

Norway is not member state of European Union !!!!

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