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Author Topic: DXCC Program History Book Idea  (Read 1485 times)
KY6R
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« on: July 17, 2012, 09:36:50 AM »

This won't make a block buster best seller, but I floated an idea by the ARRL:

Why not have a small book or long article - or blog - that describes the history behind the DXCC program. And I mean all of the juicy arguments, controversy, famous and infamous dx-peditions. Someone would almost have to have the notes from DXAC and ARRL BoD meetings and compile this in a timeline fashion. Pictures of DX-peditions, DX Conventions and QSL cards would be highlights.

Why?

Because exactly what we all like to bitch about - (or discuss) - is exactly what makes it the interesting program that it is. The fact that a lot of it doesn't seem to make any logical sense is what gives it its fascination / charm / color - whatever you want to call it. I can't tell you how many times I have asked myself "Why am I doing this DXCC thing?". The answer is - because "its there". That's how I interpret the slogan "DX IS".

A friend made a really funny quote when I approached him about this idea:

"DXCC: Logic is Foreign to Us"

« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 09:40:13 AM by KY6R » Logged
W1NK
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 10:29:16 AM »

Quote
DXCC: Logic is Foreign to Us

Rich--

Having worked at the ARRL in the DXCC department in the mid-80's to early 90's ... there is a lot of truth to that statement!  Cheesy

One of the best history (if you will) books relating to DXCC is Jim Cain's book chronicling Danny Weil's and the Colvins' YASME DX'peditions.  It's always been worth a re-read and my copy is quite dog-eared.  Another interesting read (if you can find a copy) is Don Miller's "how-to" book on DXing written in the 60's.

I like your idea and hope the ARRL decides to take up the project.

73,
Frank, W1NK
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KY6R
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 10:40:01 AM »

Quote
DXCC: Logic is Foreign to Us

Rich--

Having worked at the ARRL in the DXCC department in the mid-80's to early 90's ... there is a lot of truth to that statement!  Cheesy

One of the best history (if you will) books relating to DXCC is Jim Cain's book chronicling Danny Weil's and the Colvins' YASME DX'peditions.  It's always been worth a re-read and my copy is quite dog-eared.  Another interesting read (if you can find a copy) is Don Miller's "how-to" book on DXing written in the 60's.

I like your idea and hope the ARRL decides to take up the project.

73,
Frank, W1NK

I have read the YASME Book, and I drive past the Colvin's old "Sky Needle" tower that you can see off route 580 in Richmond, CA often. I always think about their travels and trips - and either "being on the dock, being on dry land or being in the boat" . . . .

I recently got into a very interesting email discussion about Kingman Reef. I had been searching for questions to answers that no one seemed to have - until one day - four people who really were in the know pretty much gave the whole story. In fact - I had to piece some of (what initially seemed contradictory) together.

Just piecing this one entities status and history together alone was a really cool story. Like the day they were to land - the Navy tried to stop KH5K back in 2000 - but a lawyer jumped in and saved the day!

I'm not chasing DXCC Diamond - but imagine a book that told stories of places like Walvis Bay or Aldabra, etc.

The worlds geo-politics as well as DX entity creation / deletion would be a great read.

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K0RS
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2012, 02:34:12 PM »

This would be a great idea.  So much DXCC history is preserved only as oral tradition among DXers and is always in danger of being lost.  The trick would be to find an author who could relate all the experiences fairly and in an unbiased manner.  Many of the most interesting events were embarrassing to the operators involved or indeed to the League itself.  Remember Don Miller, W9WNV?  Plenty of black eyes to go around there.  And of course more recently, the Romeo saga.  At one point, the ARRL was crosswise with a certain monk, too.  The tendency to embellish or omit otherwise interesting occurrences would be tempting, depending in the personal views of the scribe!  A truly inclusive history would indeed fill a book.
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NI0C
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2012, 04:03:59 PM »

I too would enjoy a comprehensive history of the DXCC program.  Jan Perkins (N6AW) biography of Don Wallace (W6AM) contained a lot of good information in it, and would be a start .  I'd like to see a compilation of statistics concerning the number of the various awards granted, when they started issuing the various single band awards, etc., etc. 

Like Rich, I just can't get interested in the Diamond DXCC award.  My first DXCC award will be 50 years old next month.

73,
Chuck  NI0C

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K4JK
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2012, 07:53:32 AM »

I would be interested in this as well. I find the "golden days" of DXing fascinating and generally try to get my hands on anything about DXing history. I found the book about the Colvins and Danny Weil to be especially interesting. I want to make HR one day- but for me much of the fun of DXing comes from participating in something with such a rich history and being a part of a unique community. I love DXing "folklore" almost as much as I do the thrill of working an ATNO.

The trick is getting access to the "oral tradition" and recording it. I think some type of blog would be a good starting point, since a project like this would have to be substantially crowd-sourced. If the word got out people could submit comments through email or whatever in order to assist with the compilation. Form there volunteers could organize the work and begin writing. Maybe from there it could grow into something published.

The only hurdle I can see is that the ARRL may be a bit touchy about some of the history and controversy, so they may have to be approached with care.

Rich, if you decide that you'd like to spearhead something like this I'd be glad to help out in whatever way I can.

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ex W4HFK
KY6R
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2012, 08:39:34 AM »

I would be interested in this as well. I find the "golden days" of DXing fascinating and generally try to get my hands on anything about DXing history. I found the book about the Colvins and Danny Weil to be especially interesting. I want to make HR one day- but for me much of the fun of DXing comes from participating in something with such a rich history and being a part of a unique community. I love DXing "folklore" almost as much as I do the thrill of working an ATNO.

The trick is getting access to the "oral tradition" and recording it. I think some type of blog would be a good starting point, since a project like this would have to be substantially crowd-sourced. If the word got out people could submit comments through email or whatever in order to assist with the compilation. Form there volunteers could organize the work and begin writing. Maybe from there it could grow into something published.

The only hurdle I can see is that the ARRL may be a bit touchy about some of the history and controversy, so they may have to be approached with care.

Rich, if you decide that you'd like to spearhead something like this I'd be glad to help out in whatever way I can.



I think I will start a blog about this - as a way to see if we can crowd source participation. I am the Data Architect for Lithium Technologies, and our customers (Cisco, Home Depot, Macy's, Skype and 400 others) use crowd sourcing to provide much better tech support online in forums - than the old outsourced 1-800 call centers.

At one time I was tapped to write a book for O'Reilly - the topic was the Perl dbd:dbi interface (no it has nothing to do with antenna gain - it means database driver / database interface). I learned that making money on a book is almost impossible - unless you get really really lucky and the market is HUGE.

The market for such a ham radio book means I would have to do this as a labor of love -not for money. But I also get to do it on my own sweet time.

I will start this blog on wordpress and call it DXCC Folklore - or something like that. I will start it with the story I know about Kingman Reef - and how I now totally understand why I should forever stop my whining about why a particular entity hasn't been activated for "N" years.

Knowledge is mo betta than whining . . . . and the stories are way more entertaining.

73's from a reformed whiner . . .
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NU1O
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2012, 10:31:21 PM »

You might do it as a labor of love but can you find a publisher?  They are going to want to know how much they can profit from it. If you look at the books the ARRL publishes they are mostly aimed at large audiences.  Stealth antennas, small 160 meter antennas, the various Antenna Compendums.  Speaking for the antenna books, which is what I mainly buy, the titles are aimed at books which will have large audiences, and hence large sales.

I think your idea is much too esoteric for the average ham.  I think there are about 50,000 to 75,000 serious DXers and only a fraction of that group would be interested in plunking down $30, which is what the ARRL would charge.  I doubt your potential market is larger than a few thousand. You may have to write it and publish it as an E-book. You will not make any money on the endeavor. That's for damn sure.  I'm a serious DXer and am not interested in it.

You have done some things I'b be interested in reading about.  I haven't checked your blog in awhile so perhaps they are already on the blog.  I'd like to see your plans for the 17 meter antenna you built as well as a discussion of the tradeoffs you made.  I'd also be interested in your vertical with the Capacitance hat.  Too many antenna books give the various dimensions and schematics for the capacitors and inductors, but very few books describe the mechanics of a multi-band tuning circuit.  Where the parts were obtained, the voltage and current ratings, and how it all went together. 

You have done some projects (those I mentioned) which will appeal to many more amateurs than a history of DXCC.


Best 73,

Chris/NU1O
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KY6R
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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2012, 04:33:01 AM »

You might do it as a labor of love but can you find a publisher?  They are going to want to know how much they can profit from it. If you look at the books the ARRL publishes they are mostly aimed at large audiences.  Stealth antennas, small 160 meter antennas, the various Antenna Compendums.  Speaking for the antenna books, which is what I mainly buy, the titles are aimed at books which will have large audiences, and hence large sales.

I think your idea is much too esoteric for the average ham.  I think there are about 50,000 to 75,000 serious DXers and only a fraction of that group would be interested in plunking down $30, which is what the ARRL would charge.  I doubt your potential market is larger than a few thousand. You may have to write it and publish it as an E-book. You will not make any money on the endeavor. That's for damn sure.  I'm a serious DXer and am not interested in it.

You have done some things I'b be interested in reading about.  I haven't checked your blog in awhile so perhaps they are already on the blog.  I'd like to see your plans for the 17 meter antenna you built as well as a discussion of the tradeoffs you made.  I'd also be interested in your vertical with the Capacitance hat.  Too many antenna books give the various dimensions and schematics for the capacitors and inductors, but very few books describe the mechanics of a multi-band tuning circuit.  Where the parts were obtained, the voltage and current ratings, and how it all went together.  

You have done some projects (those I mentioned) which will appeal to many more amateurs than a history of DXCC.


Best 73,

Chris/NU1O

Thanks Chris - yeah - I have come to the conclusion that a DXCC History blog will be good enough, and will most likely create a separate one from my current blog - that touches on the mechanical aspects of building antennas:

http://ky6r.wordpress.com

I also have my artwork there and just other "blather" and "bantering". A couple articles down I have plans for a $12 sextant which you can use to measure nearby hills and then cross check that against HFTA to make sure you set HFTA up correctly. I did that little project so I could add it to my Pacificon 2012 Antenna Forum presentation - which is also this years ARRL National Convention in Santa Clara, California.

I just bought a Craftsman Drill Press - and will be going back up into the Sierra's to buy a U-Haul truck worth of aluminum. I have several plans for antennas on the drawing board - like a 30M Moxon and 4 element 20M yagi on the same boom - but I need to work out the feed - now I am getting into some more advanced modeling. This has started to really take over my "hobby time" in between ATNO's -  Grin

Lots of fun!
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 04:41:18 AM by KY6R » Logged
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