DXpedition diary #1 - Preparations
At the end of 2016 I received question from previous DXpedition EP2A members - what are the plans for next expedition?
At that time I already had some ideas on where to go next and one of the options was Bangladesh, Nr.56 in the most wanted list. After doing some research on how to acquire license I sent request on 6th of January. Three weeks passed and no response, I called them by phone and got an answer that they never received my papers. We talked on the phone I told them I will visit next week to discuss and receive the license.
Together with XYL Zigrida we planned our trip and flew to Dhaka. For the possible QTH I planned to look for a place near Kuakata in the South of Bangladesh, outside the city for the reasons to have less radio interference and free space for building antennas. I also wanted it to be near the sea. The plan was to travel from Dhaka to Kuakata by rented car, but after seeing the different traffic culture, we changed our mind and used public transportation, which was a good choice.
On the first evening of our travel we were in Dhaka and met with Syed S21ED and Anup S21TV. Syed offered to be our trip guide during our stay in Bangladesh. First thing next morning we visited Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) and met with the officials to discuss and hand in documents for license. I asked for special callsign with one letter suffix, however, all of them were taken. Also I got informed about regulations that foreign operators can receive callsign only for 7 days and this is the main reason why we have to operate with two callsigns. You can get exception for a longer time, but it has to be arranged through embassy and it takes a long time. We scheduled our next meeting after five days to find out what callsigns could be assigned.
Next morning we sailed with small ferry from Dhaka to Barisal and from there drove by bus to Kuakata - the city called Kingdom of the Oceans Daughter. We visited our planned QTH, hotel with small cottages and big fields next to them for antennas and the sea couple hundred meters away.
Bangladesh has lots of natural historic beauties and one of them is The Bay of Bengal which is situated in the south of Bangladesh with many beautiful sea beaches, e.g. Cox's Bazar sea beach, Kuakata sea beach, Patenga Sea beach and many more. You will be entertained to see the white sandy beaches and blue sky, the sunrise and sunset looks unbelievable.
After four days travel we returned to capital city Dhaka and right away visited BTRC, where I received verbal confirmation about two callsigns S21GM and S21KW and that the written form will be issued only 2 days before operation. We also discussed the issues regarding equipment.
In the evening we said goodbye to Syed and went to airport to head back home.
73, Yuris /YL2GM/