Pacific Northwest DX Convention

2024 Speakers

The 2024 convention team is assembling a schedule packed with informative, interesting and insightful presentations.

Our theme: Run wth the Sun – Celebrating Cycle 25

Featured Speaker

Don Greenbaum (N1DG)

LIVE Presentation from Jarvis Island

Don will present LIVE from Jarvis Island during the N5J DXpedition with a team of on-island operators as well as a crew of remote ops. We believe this will be the first live-from-DXpedition-to-convention event.

Don grew up in New York City and the NJ Shore. His father, WA2UDV, was his radio mentor and two other siblings also had their licenses by the time Don became WN2DND at age 11 in 1962.

Don has worked all entities on mixed modes, and only needs P5 on CW. His mixed country total stands at 358.  His Challenge total is 3,192.

Don has been on several major DXpeditions including VP8ORK, K4M, KH1/KH7Z and A52A. He has also operated as A61AD, A51DG, A73A, and /FO, /KH9, /VP9, /VS6, /BV2, /4X and /9V.

Don is Treasurer of the Northern California DX Foundation.

In 2005 Don was honored at Dayton by CQ Magazine by being inducted into the CQ DX Hall of Fame.

Other Speakers

Robert Fanfant (N7QT), Banquet Keynote Speaker

Presentation Title: TX5S Clipperton Island DXpedition

Robert is president of the Western Washington DX Club and a veteran of over 20 DXpeditions, including Clipperton TX5S, South Orkney VP8PJ, Mellish Reef VK9MA and Willis Island VK9MA, among many other South Pacific and Caribbean locations.

With degrees in electrical engineering and materials science from University of Washington and Washington State University, Rob began his career at Intel Corporation manufacturing computer chips, transitioning into software development. He retired in 2014 after a successful career at Applied Microsystems, Microsoft, and software consulting. First licensed at age 14, Rob obtained his extra license in the mid 1990’s. Rob’s primary passion is combining his love of travel and chasing DX. He loves giving back to the DX community by becoming the DX.

Tony Garland (N7DX) and Mitch Mason (K7RL)

Presentation Title: Contesting

Tony: Licensed in as WA7UQG (age 16), my first rig was a Heathkit HW-16 from which I developed a life-long love of the “purer mode.”  Operating from south Seattle, I was taken under the wing of the well-known DXer, Bill Bennett (W7PHO, aka “W7P-5-Oh”). Bill, along with Ken Barroll (W7OP) were my first Elmers, but numerous other WWDXC members contributed to my interest in contesting: George Loetz (K7NF), Tom Owens (K7RI), Rod Linkous (W7OM), and Joe Naylor (K3MNT/7, now N7XX). As a young teen in the WWDXC I was fortunate to rub shoulders at meetings and the annual field day effort with legendary contest operators such as Dan Eskanazi (K7SS), Chip Margelli (K7JA – SK), and others — many of whom contributed to the success of the super-station W7RM. A few years later, I was fortunate to obtain the call N7DX. As with many hams, after college and marriage, other activities took precedence over hamming. Other than a few years as a net controller for the Seafarer’s Net (running telephone patches for boats transiting the Pacific), my operating activity dwindled. Fast-forward to 2019 and Tom Owens (K7RI) recruited me to help with several multi-single efforts from his station. Thus began my re-acquaintance with the latest ham technologies (e.g., SDR, spotting, remote operation). About a year later, Tom introduced me to Mitch Mason (K7RL) and we began operating as a multi-two team from his excellent station on Camano Island. Due to Covid—and Mitch’s small shack—my contributions have been via a remote connection. This operating method presented a new learning-curve and set of challenges all its own.

Mitch: My first introduction to radio was back in the early 1970’s in the San Francisco Bay during solar cycle 21. I had a pair of handheld CB walkie-talkies with a full 100 mW of raw power! I recall hearing my first skip stations and being very intrigued. By age 11, I upgraded to a chimney mounted vertical and 12-watt P.E.P Radio Shack SSB transmitter. Working people in faraway places seemed like magic.

As a teenager, radio took a back seat to other teenage pursuits. It wasn’t until my college years that I decided to get my ham ticket in 1984. I passed all of my exams in one sitting obtaining a General Class ticket. The next day I erected a dipole in my parent’s backyard and eventually bought a Kenwood transceiver and a build-it-yourself Heathkit amplifier.  

Ham radio took a back seat again, this time to marriage and kids until 1998 when I got back into the hobby. I upgraded to Extra Class shortly after and gradually started upgrading my station.

Back in the early 2000’s, solar cycle 23 was raging and I enjoyed working the world on a scale I hadn’t experienced before. With my Force 12 tribander pointed to Japan one day, I found contesting (or maybe it found me). It was a bottomless pile of callers. What a thrill! I was completely hooked.

My contest interest really took off at that point and a tribander simply wasn’t enough to accomplish my goals. In 2001, my wife and I found some acreage on Camano Island in Washington state, and thus began my contest station.

Since then, I have been fortunate enough to qualify for four WRTC competitions from my home station: Russia, Boston, Germany, and Italy. I was only able to attend the Boston WRTC and it was an experience of a lifetime.

Notable mentors in my contesting pursuits are K7RI (Tom), K7SS (Danny), KH6DV (Ron, now a SK), and KW7Y (Paul). After decades of single operator contesting, moving to multi-two with N7DX (Tony) has been the next level of fun and challenges in the world of contesting pursuits.  

Brian Moran (N9ADG)

Presentation Title: How Not to Get in the Dxpedition Log

Brian has been licensed for over 40 years, with current interests in contesting and DXing. He was the editor of the  ARRL Contest Update for over six years, and is occasionally the guest editor. He’s been on DXpeditions to Mellish Reef (VK9MA) and the Solomon Islands (H44WA), and was also remote for the T88WA Palau team. He’s on the WSJT-X development team, and has his own ham-related projects posted on You can find him on the air with his own call, or as part of  K7BTW, K7IR, KZ1W, and K7RU multi-op contest efforts. He’s been a WWDXC member for a very long time. 

“How NOT to get in the Log” is a light-hearted yet real compendium of DXer operating practices that, when used, can reduce the chances of  getting into the DXpedition’s log, slow down the pile ups, and frustrate the DXers and DX. Gathered from discussions with those who go on DXpeditions, some of these examples of how NOT to work the DX may surprise you. But hopefully, not. 

Robin Amundson (WA7CPA)

Presentation Title: The Business End of DXpeditions—It’s Only a Hobby!

First licensed as a novice in 1972 straight out of the womb, Robin returned to the hobby in 2017 after raising a family and retiring from tax work as a CPA and enrolled agent, passing the extra exam in 2018. Robin loves chasing the DX and now being the DX after enjoying the adventures of T88WA and H44WA and looking forward to more. She currently serves on the board of Western Washington DX Club and is a member of her local clubs as well as a CWops member.

Ara Kourchians (N6ARA)

Presentation Title: From SOTA to DX: Working the World from JA

Ara is a Robotics Electrical Engineer with an extensive background in circuit design, embedded systems, visual effects, robotics, and space systems. First licensed in 2007, Ara is constantly seeking new ways to enhance his amateur radio skills. He began his ham radio journey by designing, building, and flying custom APRS trackers for high altitude balloons. After a brief hiatus, Ara picked up the mic again in 2020, learning CW and exploring the world of HF. Today, you can often find him on mountain tops testing new gear, tinkering with various modes, rigs, and antennas. His never-ending project is miniaturizing electronics for lightweight portable operations.

Join us for an insightful presentation on activating Summits on the Air (SOTA) in Japan. In this talk, Ara will share his recent SOTA adventures in Japan, and address the various challenges faced by US operators such as obtaining a Japanese license and learning local regulations. Ara will cover planning, gear, strategies for maximizing QSO’s, and will highlight the lessons learned throughout the process. Whether you’re a seasoned activator/chaser or new to this aspect of the hobby, this talk is sure to provide a fresh perspective on portable ops and becoming the DX.

Mike Ritz (W7VO)

Presentation Title: The Storied History of DX

Mike was first licensed in 1974 as WN6HKP and earned his Amateur Extra in 1983. His main radio interests are multi-op contesting from Radio Scappoose, chasing DX, and mentoring for both. He is past President of the Willamette Valley DX Club, and is Trustee for the Columbia River DX Club, which he founded to mentor local hams in HF contesting.  A Life and Diamond Club member of the ARRL, from 2019-2024 he served as Director for the ARRL Northwestern Division. From 2019-2024 he served as a Board member of the ARRL Foundation, and from 2022-2024 he served as its Vice President. Mike was elected as ARRL Second Vice President in 2024. More on Mike can be found on his website:

“The Storied History of DX” chronicles the struggle of early hams to get their signals heard across the country, let alone across the oceans and to the point where DXCC was even possible. It also covers the early history of DX Awards from inception to the post-war era.

Gene Spinelli (K5GS)

Presentation Title: The DXpedition Funding Conundrum

Gene was first licensed in 1976 as WB5WFD (Arlington, Texas), and issued K5GS in 1996; previous calls were WD6DLK (San Francisco Bay Area) and KE6LT (Northern New Jersey and Boulder, Colorado). His DXCC totals are 354/340 (mixed) with all current entities confirmed. Gene’s radio interest has always been DXing with occasional diversions into restoring vintage radios and the digital modes. He was a team member on: 2012 ZL9HR Campbell Island, and co-organizer / treasurer for 2014 VK9MT Mellish Reef, 2015 TX3X Chesterfield Islands, 2018 VP6D Ducie Island, 2020 VP8PJ South Orkneys Islands, 2022 Austral Islands and 2024 TX5S Clipperton Island, projects. He has been involved with DXpedition fundraising since 2012. He is a founding member of the Perseverance DX Group (PDXG), and also holds call signs: VK2IXC and ZL1NA. Retired after 45 years in the I/T industry, Gene and his wife live in Tucson, Arizona.

Gene’s presentation will review:

  • Boat-tent-generator” DXpedition funding
  • Recent experiences fundraising for TX5S Clipperton 2024, a $350,000 project
  • Historical trends in DXpedition support
  • He’ll seek your opinions on this subject

BJ Rollison (WA7WJR), Breakfast Speaker

Presentation Title: DXpeditions to America’s Best Kept Secret

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is sometimes referred to as “America’s Best Kept Secret,” perhaps due to the lack of accessibility to the islands and their remote location on the far western side of the Pacific Ocean. BJ (WA7WJR) made several sailing trips from Guam to the three inhabited islands of CNMI (Rota, Tinian, and Saipan) in 2022 and 2023 and set up portable radio operations at all 13 Park on the Air (POTA) parks. BJ will talk about how he got to the far side of the world, some of his adventures on the islands, and of course the fun and challenges of DX’ing from America’s best kept secret islands.

BJ spent 13 years in the US Air Force flying around Southeast Asia and continued to live in Okinawa, Japan for another four years after his discharge. In 1994 he moved to Seattle to work for Microsoft for 20 years, then taught at the University of Washington and Duy Tan University in Da Nang, Vietnam. After semi-retiring in 2015 BJ spent the next three years preparing his sailboat for a circumnavigation. As a backup communication system and to check in to the maritime nets he installed an Icom M-802 SSB radio, passing in 2016 his Technician and General exams. To learn more about amateur radio he also set up a shack at his home and began to discover the joy and excitement of the amateur radio hobby. His interests grew and in 2017 he was licensed in Vietnam.  Since then, he completed multiple one-man holiday-style DXpeditions to ten different DX entities. When not traveling, BJ enjoys chasing DX, participating in contests as a small gun, and working portable to activate parks for the Parks on the Air (POTA) program.

Paul Butzi, W7PFB

Presentation Title: Getting Started in POTA

Paul was one of those nerdy kids who built a Heathkit VTVM, and then a dual trace oscilloscope.  Those were followed by a host of computer projects, which in 1975 was still not a common thing to do. We’re talking the heyday of Byte magazine, Steve Ciarcia’s Circuit Cellar, and all the rest. All that led to a career writing operating systems software.

Paul got his Tech and General license in April, 2015, and Amateur Extra in May, 2017. Prior to Fall, 2023, most of Paul’s HF activity was digital (especially PSK-31) but the siren call of outdoor portable operating lured him out of his comfort zone and into SSB voice, and then CW. Although his CW skills are best described as “he may be slow, but he makes lots of mistakes”, he’s having fun and is steadily improving.

Paul’s principle when operating is “Don’t forget to smile and have fun.”  He’s found POTA to be a fountain of fun, and he’s thrilled to have a chance to help others get started in POTA by sharing what he’s learned from his POTA adventures.

Marv Shelton, K7IU

Presentation Title: Getting Started in DX

Marv has been a licensed ham for 50 consecutive years. His interest in radio and electronics began with CB radio in his early teens and progressed into ham radio once he attended high school in his hometown of New York City. While attending college in Pennsylvania he was bitten hard by the DX and contesting bug and admittedly spent too much time at the club station where he later became its president. While at college Marv met several hams who fostered his interest in DX, leading to invitations to operate at the famous K2GL contest station and a trip to Lord Howe Island on a DXpedition.

Marv has appeared in several of the CQ magazine DVD’s including “Getting Started in DXing, Getting Started in Ham Radio and Getting Started in Contesting.” His ham interests include DX, contesting, antenna design, analysis, building and station automation.

Marv has chased DX on both coasts and continues to do so from his home in Snohomish and while RVing across the country with his XYL since retiring a few years ago.

Justin Mc Allister, K5EM

Presentation Title: Getting Started in Contesting

Licensed since age 15, Justin’s current interests in radio involve contesting, satellite roving, and portable SOTA  operations.  Active in contesting for over 2 decades, he enjoys being a part of multi-op contest teams and has guest operated at K5UTD, AA5NT, K7RI, N7QT, and KZ1W.  Justin is the developer of, an online tool used to schedule satellite contacts between grid squares for grid chasing and record breaking.  As an Electrical Engineer, Justin has spent his professional career developing hardware and software systems for unmanned aircraft and enjoys designing and building antenna systems. Justin was a team member for T88WA to Palau in 2022 with other members of Western Washington DX Club.

More to come…

The speaker list is still being filled in, and the schedule is being worked on. We will share more details when available.