This EP6T DXpedition interests me greatly. For a couple reasons. Here's some numbers taken from Club Log:
Total Worldwide QSO's: 68,064
Worldwide - 16,866 is 24.8% "Unique" stations of the Grand Total 68,064.
Total North American QSO's: 6,665
If I use the same rate of Unique of Total (24.8%); that's 1,653 unique North American stations out of 6,665. And remember Canada and Mexico count as North America so there's another split downward for US stations in there somewhere too.
It is quite possible North America Unique's are a higher percentage of the NA total than Worldwide Unique's, but even if I double that to 50% North American Unique (I doubt it was anywhere near that), that's 3,333 North American stations. Exactly how many US stations is hard to tell from the data available.
Whatever that number of US stations is that worked EP6T, it isn't what North America as a whole is calling a "successful" DXpedition that I've seen.
Now 42+ years ago when I broke into Ham Radio there was no social media. There was no DX Cluster. No email. No text alarms. No Remote Ham Radio. No Facebook, Twitter Dee, or Twitter Dumber. Nobody handed you a QSO. Amateur Radio WAS the original Social Media back then. And if you wanted to be a DXer, you had to FIND the DX, and you had to WORK the DX. If you wanted to work that rare DX station, YOU had to build a station "that could". And if you didn't work the DX, well, you went back to the drawing board and you got help from friends to BUILD your station one piece at a time. Some early Ham Radio friends of mine bailed out. Ham Radio wasn't worth the effort so they quit. They thought it too much and moved on. That was their choice, and I understand their choice. I can remember all of us saying back then, "this is an old man's hobby, we got jobs and families". Not many could muster up much time to sit around a Ham Radio waiting for something you didn't even know would (or wouldn't be) there, but we tried. Nobody knew if a band was open until you heard somebody or you called CQ. Surely not like today via the information provided on the DX Cluster. Via the Cluster, we know who, when and where. Point and shoot.
It takes years of failure to finally achieve. Each year adding a little something to the mix. Tower, tri-bander, amplifier. Maybe even a new Ham friendly neighborhood when opportunity arose. Whatever it was/is, it took DECADES for a whole slew of us. It was a progression. At 13, I vividly remember going over to my neighbors house and asking Mr. Bambeck (W8DFL-SK), "Mr. Bambeck, I can't hear the DX on my 10' high dipole, can I operate your station?" Just to be told, "son, why don't you ask ME to help YOU build your own capable station instead? Why don't you study the theory, practice Morse Code, upgrade your license and build a beam antenna?"
I guess IF you wanted it bad enough, you found a way. You prioritized. You took the long (but steady) road to some level of success. Just like today, families were raised, kids off to college and most of us still work hard to put the salami on the dinner table. Nothing has changed there.
Except now it's a race! A race to Honor Roll. A race to #1. And a whole bunch of complaining along the way. DX Clusters are full of people complaining about these DXpeditions. Frustrated frequency jammers must figure, "if I can't get them with my G5RV, neither will you". The Internet and Ham Radio airwaves are chock full of Hams spewing hate and discontent because they "can't". Viscous Blog posts, comments and discussion on Leaderboards? Hams complaining because Big Guns are stealing THEIR Lil' Pistol QSO's? Well, let me tell y'all a little something - EARN IT.
Just as all these "entitled" G5RVing Hams can spew all the reasons why they "can't", I push back because I feel "I can". I took the long, hard road to some success and I shouldn't have to explain myself for being a so-called "DX HOG" because I'm after band-fills or competing in the year long DX Marathon. I've earned every chance I get. How 'bout you roll up your sleeves and pull yourself forward too?
In closing, YOU WANT IT? Well, here's some Ham Spirit for ya' - get off your arse, build your own lil' radio empire, prioritize, focus and GO GET IT.
"I'm N0UN, and I approved this message"