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Author Topic: At what point does DXing become "hard"  (Read 5183 times)
WD4ELG
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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2013, 05:35:29 PM »

Trevor/Gene, great points.

I must confess that I have been DXing since I started in 1977, but did not put the time in or really track it until 2001.

I do have some on that list from the late 70's or early 80's: KP1, KH1, KH9, KH3.  At the time, they were not that rare. But back then, ZA was at the top of the needed list!
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2013, 05:54:26 PM »

I am sitting at 203/198 at the moment.  Things are starting to slow down a bit, but things are not really hard.  There are some that I just can't hear with my antennas and I am slowly experimenting with different antennas and having some success with new designs.

My question is what is the magic number where new ones become really tough? I suspect it is somewhere around the 250 mark.  But I am curious where that brick wall came for all of you guys.  

If your objective is to work all DXCC entities on any band, in any mode, things get tough around 270 entities worked.

My advice is to recognize that you are an addict, and start pursuing DXCC Challenge now. This will keep your interest and skills sharp as the "mean time between new ones" gets larger and larger, and reduce the inevitable "I wish I'd worked that guy on all 10 bands and in all 3 modes when he was QRV!" recriminations that will occur when you wait to start chasing Challenge.

DX Is! (for some, more than others).

      73,

          Dave, AA6YQ
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 05:57:00 PM by AA6YQ » Logged
K3NRX
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« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2013, 06:02:34 PM »

DXing becomes hard when you have that little itty bitty thing called LIFE that gets in the way of your fun activities and you can't get on and operate......DX becomes hard when the conditions are perpetually bad and you have a low power station with a marginal antenna, etc.....Dxing becomes hard when you have only 59 entities to go on the current list and you never seem to be able to sniff them when they are spotted for one reason or another....shall I continue???....

V
KA3NRX

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W1VT
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« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2013, 06:15:24 PM »



If your objective is to work all DXCC entities on any band, in any mode, things get tough around 270 entities worked.

My advice is to recognize that you are an addict, and start pursuing DXCC Challenge now. This will keep your interest and skills sharp as the "mean time between new ones" gets larger and larger, and reduce the inevitable "I wish I'd worked that guy on all 10 bands and in all 3 modes when he was QRV!" recriminations that will occur when you wait to start chasing Challenge.


Guess what, that is precisely what I am doing!  I'm at 270/261.  I started the Challenge after I hit 200 Diamond DXCC countries--I have 851 Challenge countries, plus another 2 dozen or so in paper QSLs.  I figure I'd get the Challenge, then go for my 5BDXCC--I'm now up to 126/95 on 40M and 77/46 on 80M.  

I figured that if I did well hunting DX in the Diamond DXCC that I'll have a decent chance of making the HR if I just hang in there long enough.

Having had a stroke and recovered fully, it is really sweet to pick up DX via hand sent CW--there is just something about having a connection with the other operator by being a CW operator, as opposed to someone who just pushes a button to send your call over and over again.  

Zack W1VT
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 06:32:09 PM by W1VT » Logged
AE5X
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« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2013, 08:06:38 PM »

I've charted my own answer to this topic's question graphically:
http://www.ae5x.com/blog/2011/08/02/conundrum/

John AE5X
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VK3HJ
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« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2013, 08:16:19 PM »

I was first on air in 1981, but did not seriously get addicted to DX until after I found myself working DX with some success, after a long time off air pursuing other interests. In late 2008, I finally considered DXCC a possibility - right at the bottom of the cycle. Late 2009, I had my first DXCC certificate on the wall, and of course, that wasn't the end of it.
My goal for 2012 was to make 300 (mixed). I have a preference for CW, but will try to work a new one on any mode. With reasonable conditions, a modest station (Hex Beam and wires) I made 306, and with my 10m DXCC at last, made 5BDXCC with 3 WARC bands endorsement.
Now all that's left are uninhabited islands, countries in civil war, paranoid dictatorships, and one fellow who does not seem to have much desire to work DX. My "Black Hole" is the VP8's - over the pole and Great Dividing Range.
2012 was a smorgasbord, with quite good HF conditions. It will be hard to top it this year.
So, after all that waffle, I reckon the high 200s is where it starts to get "hard", and 300 is a great milestone to surpass. After that, it seems, it is just a matter of time. The next DXpedition to ATNO for me is Heard I in 2014!
To keep the radio interest going, there's the DXCC Challenge, CQ DX Marathon, and QRP DXCC. The Diamond DXCC was lots of fun last year, and there's always special event stations to work.
Being in the Antipodes, we often get overlooked by the DX, who just works EU, NA and JA.
That's Life.
73 and good DX,
Luke VK3HJ
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W6GX
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« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2013, 10:49:43 PM »

Two different people with the same country count could face completely different challenges.  To further improve one's odds one needs to understand exactly what that challenge is.  For example, person A has been on the air longer than person B but person A has a limited antenna.  Person B has a great antenna but missed many dxpeditions that occurred prior to person B becoming a ham.  I'm the latter.  Recently I compared my worked countries with another ham who has a vertical antenna not near salt water.  We both have roughly the same number of worked countries.  He has been licensed much longer than me.  He has many countries from dxpeditions from many years back that I don't have (i.e. Midway, Desecheo, Aves, etc.).  The ones that I have and he doesn't are those with 1) a tough path from CO such as Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Monaco, etc. or 2) rarer dx entities that have big pile ups such as SMOM, Vatican, etc.

Which category do you fall under, person A, person B, or somewhere in between?  If you are person A and you've hit a wall in terms of working ATNOs then a new antenna will make it a lot more fun.  If you are person B like me then you probably read DX-World on a daily basis looking for new activations to work.  I don't think one person is experiencing more hardship than the other.  They just face different challenges.  GL.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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KY6R
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« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2013, 09:10:10 AM »

In the last 11 1/2 years of DX-ing, the number one tip that I have received came from a Dean Straw, N6BV presentation on Big Guns vs. Little Pistols:

"If you can improve your antenna system by 2 dB, do - it - you will start hearing the next "layer" of DX.

Tom, N6BT, in his "Array of Light" book also mentions this.

I have done this twice in the past year and haven't missed on ATNO that I have gone after. I even made up for the ATNO's that I missed before - with a wimpier antenna system.

BTW - I have improved my antenna system on all bands between 160M - 10M by at least 2 dB, on many bands 4 dB.
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2013, 09:11:42 AM »

If you've uploaded your QSOs to ClubLog, it can display graphs of your DXCC entities by year, and your DXCC Challenge score by year. Choose the Timeline tab, and click the DXCC Graphs and Slot Graphs buttons.

     73,

           Dave, AA6YQ
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N6ORB
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« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2013, 09:16:47 AM »

Yesterday I received a card from Swaziland for a QSO that took place almost exactly two years ago. It took two requests, but it finally got here  That was number 251, uncluding two deleteds, all on ssb and all on 20 meters and above.

I live in an HOA with antenna restrictions. In fact, there is a prohibition against radio transmitters, so I don't have any permanent antennas. I use mostly wire-on-a-stick vertical end-fed antennas that come down when I'm finished operating. Only 100 watts here.

I got on HF in 2006 just as the sun went into it's long slumber. Still, I plugged away and got my DXCC certificate via LOTW. When the sun finally woke up in the fall of 2011, the pace picked up and I got past 200. I nearly got skunked in this past year's summer DXpeditions, except for SMOM.

It feels like I've worked a bunch of DX since I got started, but then I looked at the DXCC standings on the ARRL web site. Eyeballing the list, it appears that 250 is the approximate median number of entities awarded to the DXCC holders. It's now clear to me that I'm a perfectly mediocre DXer. Still, there's more DX out there waiting for my weak signal. I'd better go check the cluster...

Dave, N6ORB
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2013, 10:16:33 AM »

I'm at 281 worked and with a wire antenna I am definitely feeling the limitations as I do see stuff every day that would be ATNO's for me. I'm beginning to wonder what I can try to improve my antenna which is simply a ladder line fed dipole up 60-70 feet. A tower and beam would be great but hard to pull off. As of right now I'd love to see 300.. it's a goal.
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N3QE
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« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2013, 10:59:48 AM »

It feels like I've worked a bunch of DX since I got started, but then I looked at the DXCC standings on the ARRL web site. Eyeballing the list, it appears that 250 is the approximate median number of entities awarded to the DXCC holders. It's now clear to me that I'm a perfectly mediocre DXer. Still, there's more DX out there waiting for my weak signal. I'd better go check the cluster...

An analogy: I can consistently turn in top-10 scores in the DX contests "assisted LP" category. Which I often compare (having been at the contest superstations for visits and operating) to being the "world's tallest midget".

In any event, 250 in 4 years with 100 watts and only transient antennas, is incredibly impressive. From the East Coast of the US, I got to 250 in about 4 years too, but without many of your limitations.

My goal now, is not honor roll, but 9BDXCC (now that I've completed 5BDXCC).

Tim.
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IK0OZD
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« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2013, 11:08:01 AM »

340 is the magic number


I know...

I just want to know when ATNO's become a rare.


I meant that now it's all beautiful,
When you arrive at 340 and don't have more countries to do is tough and sad,
Anyway I think the hardest are approximately 20 countries + or-
all  kh1 kh3 kh4 kh5 kh7 kh9 p5 kp1 and all FT  and FR/J/G + p5, yk 3y 3y/b/p yv0 vp8ss vk0h E3


well here it becomes really hard,

vote for 320

« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 11:11:32 AM by IK0OZD » Logged
K1DA
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« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2013, 11:13:31 AM »

I only count my 80 meter dx, and I admire those guys dxing 160.
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KY6R
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« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2013, 11:23:53 AM »

I only count my 80 meter dx, and I admire those guys dxing 160.

Its funny you mention this - last night I heard ZS4TX with a VERY strong signal on my K9AY loops and tried to call him. My MA-160V and 400 watts wasn't enough to make a Q, but to hear a South African station that strong on 160M was as exciting as the rarest entity I have worked towards Honor Roll.

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