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Local Ham Radio Enthusiast Goes On 'DXpeditions':

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BLOOMINGTON -- Ralph Bellas likes to get away from it all. Far away. The 55-year-old State Farm systems designer and marketing instructor at Illinois State University uses his love of ham radio as an excuse to seek adventure in places most tourists never see. Called “DXpeditions,” Bellas joins teams of other ham radio enthusiasts to visit where ham radio operators are rare or non-existent. They set up temporary ham radio stations so other amateurs can contact them. As Bellas explained, part of the fun of ham radio is logging the countries or regions, called “entities,” operators speak to over the air. Bellas has spoken with about 350 entities over the years. Ham operators also have competitions to see who can contact the most entities in a given period of time. Bragging rights are often the only prize. The destinations of DXpeditions may be nothing more than a sand bar in the middle of an ocean. Most spots are so far from civilization travel agents can’t arrange the final leg of the journey. Those details are left to ham radio operators who live nearby and can plot ways to get to places few others ever go. “The biggest parts of it are the adventure and figuring how to do it,” Bellas said. “These are mostly not on cruise ship lines. But anymore, there’s almost no place in the world you can’t get to.”

Read more: eHam.net News


 
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