The Yasmé Foundation published two columns in the history of amateur radio DX that make for fascinating reading – a downloadable edition of Yasme: The Danny Weil and Colvin Radio Expeditions, by Jim Cain, K1TN, and the extended article Danny Weil – a dreamer of distant lands who made the amateur radio trip of a lifetime, by Martti Laine, OH2BH.
Cain’s 324-page story, originally published by the ARRL in 2003 and now out of print, is available for the first time in a free downloadable format. It includes revisions to the text as originally planned, as well as a new introduction.
“Even after years of writing a DX newsletter and publishing dozens of in-depth articles in QST, I guess I hadn’t taken it out of my system yet, ”Cain said, recounting the book offer that was too good to pass up. “I had a lot of words and even whole sentences in me.”
Cain’s book documents the life and DX adventures of Danny Weil, VP2VB – de Yasmé fame – and Iris and Lloyd Colvin, W6QL and W6KG. It also offers an overview of the DXCC program from the 1950s to 2000s.
Between 1955 and 1963, Weil sailed to various exotic locations in his yawl Yasmé (four different boats in all) to operate, more than once escaping dangerous and fatal disasters along the way. Another amateur radio legend, Dick Spenceley, KV4AA, created the Yasme Foundation to fund Weil’s excursions. He was also the initiator of Weil’s 1956 fundraising tour to over 100 amateur radio clubs and gatherings. At one point, Bill Halligan, W9AC, of Hallicrafters fame, offered Weil $ 2,000 worth of equipment with the stipulation that he would not use any equipment from another manufacturer. Weil’s wife, Naomi, accompanied him on some of his sea trips to rare DX sites. In 1964, the Colvins took over the Yasme banner, visiting 223 countries and operating in more than half of them before their last expedition in 1993.
Yasme Foundation President Ward Silver, N0AX, said Cain’s book, “while telling a fascinating story, explains a lot about how the structures of modern DXing emerged, presenting many us the colorful characters who populated the DX scene at the time.
Laine’s article provides even more detail about Danny Weil’s life and his DX expeditions, drawing on Weil’s personal memories as well as Cain’s book. The article’s webpage includes links to a collection of Weil’s QSL charts and an audio interview of Weil at age 80 by Wolf Harranth, OE1WHC, of DokuFunk.
In 2020, an international group of operators, including Laine, carried out a Yasme Memorial Expedition using Weil’s reissued call sign, VP2VB.
The Yasme Foundation, first created to support the DX adventures of Weil and then of the Colvins, today supports various projects related to amateur radio, with an emphasis on its development in emerging countries and by encouraging the participation of young people. .