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Author Topic: What was your most memorable DX contact?  (Read 5112 times)
N5UD
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Posts: 783




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« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2013, 06:13:18 PM »

In 1979 I was listening on 20m SSB to a QSO between a ham in Michigan and a ham in the Soviet Union. The guy in Michigan was talking about how he'd been looking forward to the 1980 Olympic games and that he was very disappointed when Jimmy Carter decided that the US wouldn't be participating in protest of the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan.

Me and the Russian were both surprised - he at learning of the protest by numerous countries (not just the US) which had been in the news for weeks by then, and me at "ear witnessing" this guy getting that belated news via ham radio rather than locally from Pravda, Izvestia, et al.

So my most memorable DX contact was one in which I didn't even participate!

John AE5X
http://www.ae5x.com/blog

About that same time, I had regular schedules to teachers/hams at Yuhzno Sakhalin University. English and history professor types. We sent mail, packages, and gifts back forth for a few years. We each could tell the packages got opened. Then it stopped. I thought from their end.  Maybe I was naive about our gov, but I always thought my new found friends were pushing their luck in the Soviet Union. Maybe I was in the USA !
During this time the neighbors told me the FBI had been by. Well not the first time I had been screened. I had a communications clearance.

Today might be worse over here with contacts to certain places than it was then. Too much paranoia. Terrorist, militant, militia man behind every bush.

73 Tony N5UD





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N5UD
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Posts: 783




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« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2013, 06:27:24 PM »

Another thing I used to do was run phone patches for missionaries in Africa, and Naval vessels in the pacific. This was all in mid to late 70's. One evening on 15M I ran 3 hours of phone patches for a US submarine. They had been "observing the French". Man all those sailors were sure glad to get to talk to the home folks. I had to go to work the next day so I had to cut it short.

Bands today are not good enough to run patches for hours. Of course the technology has mostly passed that by.

73 Tony
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NU1O
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Posts: 2606




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« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2013, 06:49:34 PM »

About that same time, I had regular schedules to teachers/hams at Yuhzno Sakhalin University. English and history professor types. We sent mail, packages, and gifts back forth for a few years. We each could tell the packages got opened. Then it stopped. I thought from their end.  Maybe I was naive about our gov, but I always thought my new found friends were pushing their luck in the Soviet Union. Maybe I was in the USA !
During this time the neighbors told me the FBI had been by. Well not the first time I had been screened. I had a communications clearance.

Today might be worse over here with contacts to certain places than it was then. Too much paranoia. Terrorist, militant, militia man behind every bush.

73 Tony N5UD

I sent a QSL to South Africa during the 1970's when I was a SWL at about 13 or 14 years old.  RSA put me on their mailing list for at least a decade. I guess they were looking for all the friends they could get in the USA. I'd get seasonal sked changes and frequency charts long after I had stopped listening to the SW broadcast bands. All I was really looking for was my first African QSL but I must have got labeled as a supporter of their policies because my mail from South Africa was always opened.

I once heard a story that a US Admiral, who was a ham, had exchanged QSLs with the Russians and was either reprimanded or demoted. I don't know if it was a true story or just an urban legend but I'll bet others in the forum have heard the story because I heard or read about it a number of times.

I'm pretty sure it is worse today than during the Cold War.

73,

Chris/NU1O
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WD4ELG
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Posts: 863




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« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2013, 07:31:26 PM »

I think I relayed these stories, already, in an earlier thread.  Sorry if this is a repeat.

ST0NED in 1977.  How naive I was to think it was a valid call (I was a young teenager in 1977 then).

JH1WIX, my first real DX, 1977 on 15 meters CW.

YI9PSE, ST0R, 7O6T - three DX entities I never ever thought I would (or could work).

XU1A on 75M SSB LP last December.

4Z1UF, 11 PM local on Feb 13 2010 on 160 CW (his sunrise).  Then again one year later, Feb 10, at 11 PM local, again on 160 CW.  Only time I have ever heard any 4X on 160.  Still can't believe I worked Ilya with my inverted L.

8R1X, 1978, with my Johnson Viking transmitter and low dipole on 20 CW, with a straight key, breaking through the pileup (after 2 hours of pounding on that key and sweating bullets over the transmitter).

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KB3LIX
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Posts: 1101




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« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2013, 08:52:04 AM »

Mine has to be Peter !st Island. 3Y0X

I began DXing in ernest in late January-early February 2006.
About the end of January, I reconstructed my homemade
doublet to make it an inverted V and to lengthen both legs
and change the feeder to twinlead instead of coax.

Up until that point, I had snagged a bunch of entities like
Alaska, France, Aruba, Portugal, Mali, several Caribbean Islands,
you know...Chip shots from the east coast.

Then Peter the First came on in February 2006.
I listened to them for DAYS on end, but they were NEVER very
sttrong here. Just a whisper above the noise. (I was strictly a
phone guy way back them too, so it was more difficult)
I tried getting thru, but NO CIGAR.

The were getting close to packing up, and I thought, Well, there goes my first possible GOOD DX down the toilet. Sometime later that day, the OP on 17m phone decided to "go by the numbers"
When the threes came up, I gave it my ALL !

He was about to switch to #4, when he finally heard me calling.
I got so damn shook up, I FORGOT MY CALL !
I don't remember what I sent, but it WASN'T correct.
I had to send it another half-dozen times for him to get it correct.
But he did get it corrected.

That was my # 334 th Q of all time, and my 34th DXCC entity.
I was the last # 3 station he took that go around, and I believe that
they packed up later that day and headed home.

TALK ABOUT LUCKY !

I don't know who the OP on the other end was, but he SURE made my day.

That was February 13, 2006 at 1943 hours.
I think that was the first time I opoerated SPLIT too.

I had to go wipe shortly thereafter.
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W1NK
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Posts: 426


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« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2013, 09:58:34 AM »

There are several that come to mind for me ....

FT5XO & ZL9HR -- I managed to work both after they then they called CQ/QRZ after telling their pile ups to QRX.

3Y2GV & 3Y1EE -- The 1st Peter1 expedition

7O6T  -- Just for being 7O6T.  I never thought I'd hear 7O much less work it.

VK9ZM, Mellish Reef 1989 -- Now this one stands out for what I had to do to get the QSO.  I was in the middle of my 2nd year of chiropractic school in Portland, OR and knew Mellish was going to come up when the semester resumed.  Figuring I had a darned good shot at them, I managed to string up a slanted 15M inverted V on the roof my housemate's house.  The apex was at a small TV mast and the ends tied off at the gutters.  I borrowed an instructor's FT-707 and a friend's general coverage receiver (a Grundig, I think).  The receive antenna was a hunk of speaker wire thrown out the window.  One hand was doing double duty tuning the receiver and turning down the volume control (or flipping the mute switch ... can't recall) and the other banging out my call ... on a straight key.  By luck, divine intervention, or sharply honed DXing skill, I managed to snag a QSO with that setup.

Frank, W1NK
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NU1O
Member

Posts: 2606




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« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2013, 10:54:06 AM »

In October of 1988 I had been a licensed radio amateur for all of 4 months. I was using a lousy vertical antenna, 100 watts, and a straight key but I had the advantage of having just reading "The Complete DXer" by W9KNI, Bob Locher, and I was following his "formula" on the 20 meter band. I heard a weak signal calling CQ DX with a hand key and it turned out to be FT2XE on Kerguelen Island. We exchanged reports and, although a new ham, I knew it was rare so I sent out a QSL right away and I received his. It's probably my most prized card due to my short time as a ham, the chance encounter, the really crummy station I was using at the time, and naturally the remoteness and rarity of Kerguelen Island.

That type of QSO - simply searching up and down the band for rare DX - would be almost impossible to make today due to the spotting clusters. I would've had to be virtually the first to hear FT2XE call CQ DX back then because with today's technology if Kerguelen Island came on the air in the CW portion of the band it would be spotted right away and a huge pileup would ensue. I never would've broke through the pileup with my old station had spotting clusters existed back in 1988. I really miss that part of the hobby -- where one could hunt for DX on the CW portions -- and I think the spotting clusters have taken a lot of the joy of the hunt out of the hobby.

I know the people who write the software for the spotting networks are very bright and creative and I also know that we are not going to put the Genie back in the bottle but why can't they build a delay into the software - say, 5 or 10 minutes - so modest stations can have a chance to work some really rare DX using nothing but skill?  Sure, it is easier and faster to work DX today but easier and faster does not necessarily mean better. I would equate it to doing math with a calculator. Is the person really doing the math or is it the calculator? 

Anyway, that is my most memorable DX contact and I leave you with some thoughts to ponder - which was not part of the question but I was never big on sticking to the rules.  Wink

73,

Chris/NU1O


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W6DXO
Member

Posts: 363




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« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2013, 12:25:50 PM »

Easy for me to answer this...

I don't remember the exact call, but I remember the contact.

My first DX contact...A UA0 back in 1968 as a freshly minted Novice (WN6ZFQ)
operating a home-brew 40 watt CW Tx on 40M into a simple dipole
with a Heathkit HR-10 Rcvr.

I was so excited I nearly blew the QSO as I was reaching for ARRL Handbook (remember them..?)
trying to look up where UA0 was from and trying complete some sort of contact.

That was a long time ago but I remember my excitement like it was yesterday.

73 de harry, W6DXO

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N2RJ
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Posts: 1155




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« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2013, 01:22:29 PM »

By far it is 3Y0E when I was able to work him, and my XYL was able to as well, before anyone around here was even able to hear him.
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KH6DC
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Posts: 634




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« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2013, 12:49:41 PM »

7O6T and HK0NA because they were the most difficult.  7O6T because it's difficult to hear that region in Hawaii. I missed ST0R because of that.  HK0NA because the pileups were hard to break even though they're in the Pacific Ocean.
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73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC
N5UD
Member

Posts: 783




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« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2013, 05:45:31 PM »

In October of 1988 I had been a licensed radio amateur for all of 4 months. I was using a lousy vertical antenna, 100 watts, and a straight key but I had the advantage of having just reading "The Complete DXer" by W9KNI, Bob Locher, and I was following his "formula" on the 20 meter band. I heard a weak signal calling CQ DX with a hand key and it turned out to be FT2XE on Kerguelen Island. We exchanged reports and, although a new ham, I knew it was rare so I sent out a QSL right away and I received his. It's probably my most prized card due to my short time as a ham, the chance encounter, the really crummy station I was using at the time, and naturally the remoteness and rarity of Kerguelen Island.

That type of QSO - simply searching up and down the band for rare DX - would be almost impossible to make today due to the spotting clusters. I would've had to be virtually the first to hear FT2XE call CQ DX back then because with today's technology if Kerguelen Island came on the air in the CW portion of the band it would be spotted right away and a huge pileup would ensue. I never would've broke through the pileup with my old station had spotting clusters existed back in 1988. I really miss that part of the hobby -- where one could hunt for DX on the CW portions -- and I think the spotting clusters have taken a lot of the joy of the hunt out of the hobby.

I know the people who write the software for the spotting networks are very bright and creative and I also know that we are not going to put the Genie back in the bottle but why can't they build a delay into the software - say, 5 or 10 minutes - so modest stations can have a chance to work some really rare DX using nothing but skill?  Sure, it is easier and faster to work DX today but easier and faster does not necessarily mean better. I would equate it to doing math with a calculator. Is the person really doing the math or is it the calculator? 

Anyway, that is my most memorable DX contact and I leave you with some thoughts to ponder - which was not part of the question but I was never big on sticking to the rules.  Wink

73,

Chris/NU1O




Chris, even out mobile I ferret out some pretty nice DX. I either catch them calling CQ or they call me. What gets me is how fast the crowd shows up. Sometimes I am in QSO and skimmers have already put the DX call out. What ?
Sure hard to carry on real QSO's as in days past.
73 Tony N5UD
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W0GXA
Member

Posts: 27




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« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2013, 05:37:20 AM »

ZK2C Niue...  I've been a ham since '76 but only got into DXing in the last couple of years after being off HF for 15+ years.  I'm trying to get DXCC 10m on my POS 10m homebrew (pic at qrz.com).  I listened to these guys for quite some time... he was weak with QSB and figured I couldn't work him.  After awhile I noticed his signal gaining some strength on the peaks.... I timed a call about 100Hz below the last guy he worked on one of those peaks, called him and he responded.  Lots of listening and one call...  then the band dropped out within 10 minutes!

73, Bob
W0GXA
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NU1O
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Posts: 2606




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« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2013, 09:38:32 AM »

Chris, even out mobile I ferret out some pretty nice DX. I either catch them calling CQ or they call me. What gets me is how fast the crowd shows up. Sometimes I am in QSO and skimmers have already put the DX call out. What ?
Sure hard to carry on real QSO's as in days past.
73 Tony N5UD

Tony,

I have followed your posts and I do know you have a very impressive DX record from your truck.

I would've thought with a technology so revolutionary as a spotter that it should not have been imposed on the whole amateur community by a few hams. I think it should've been debated on at the very least and perhaps some restrictions imposed. I don't know how we would've voted but I think for many amateurs it has spoiled things. 

When the internet was born we were innundated with articles of how it would make our kids so much smarter but just the other day I read an article that it has actually done just the opposite.  I am no Luddite but technology often has undesirable changes attached to it.

In my opinion the spotting networks have taken much of the joy of finding a station by pure skill or luck out of the hobby and if one has a modest station they have great difficulty breaking through the nearly instantaneous pileups which develop for not even very rare entities.

I'd like to see the spotting stations shut off for a week so we could reevalute whether they are really benficial or not, but I think too many people enjoy instant gratification.  It does not require any work or skill to go to the DX Summit website and read what station is on a given frequency.

73,

Chris/NU1O



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WS3N
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Posts: 649




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« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2013, 02:17:25 PM »

I would've thought with a technology so revolutionary as a spotter that it should not have been imposed on the whole amateur community by a few hams. I think it should've been debated on at the very least and perhaps some restrictions imposed. I don't know how we would've voted but I think for many amateurs it has spoiled things. 

Imposed? No one is forced to use it. The problem is that everyone's affected, something like the Tragedy of the Commons. I'm was going to say that I was surprised to see you advocating for restrictions on freedom of use, given your occasional hints about your political leanings, but, of course, high-handed restrictions and common-sense rules are in the eye of the beholder.

When the internet was born we were innundated with articles of how it would make our kids so much smarter but just the other day I read an article that it has actually done just the opposite.  I am no Luddite but technology often has undesirable changes attached to it.

The Internet has great stuff on it. For example, there are more and more college-level classes offered at no charge. I'm working on my second Udacity course and have registered for a third. There is also a great deal of junk. It's a reflection (with magnification?) of society. Unfortunately, there are lots of people who are stupid and lazy.
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AB3CX
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Posts: 622




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« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2013, 03:47:16 PM »

I would say it has to be BS7H.  I was down to the last day or so of the expedition, the pileup on 20M was about 15 kHz wide.  I was able to find where he was listening, and called with my entire 1500W,  he heard me, but got the call wrong, he copied WB3CX instead of AB3CX, and I could not get it corrected. I worked like a madman for the next 25 minutes and somehow got a second  QSO with the correct call in the log.  That was the only band, at that time there were few sunspots and no high band openings for me.
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