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Author Topic: 1983 "How's DX" Article Discussing DXCC and Rare Entities  (Read 1321 times)
KY6R
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« on: January 30, 2013, 07:41:43 AM »

Its often interesting to read back issues of QST - especially the "How's DX" column. I've been asking myself for years "What is it about the DXCC Honor Roll that has had me so interested in it?". I guess its similar to those who might ask why do Birders have their "Big Year" . . .

Here are some quotes from Jan. 1983 QST, p. 67.  "How's DX?" article by W1YL discussing rare DXCC countries"

"The "want list" of countries still to work by many hasn't changed too drastically within recent years.  In fact, the ARRL Operating Manual agrees quite well with K1TN's recent DX Bulletin survey results on the 10 countries needed by the "mostest":  China, Heard Island, The Laccadives, Albania, Cambodia, Burma, Yemen, Bouvet, The Andamans and San Felix.  Let's take a brief look at each of these DXCC listings."

The article goes on to explain why these are the top 10 rare ones . . . . sound familiar? and

"Since its inception, the ARRL DX Century Club has been the focus for worldwide DX endeavors.  It is an ongoing race with the carrot (of course) being able to achieve ranking on the DXCC Honor Roll (the top-ten deleted numbers overall).  Some feel that achieving such a ranking is "too hard," and that the wait is "too long."  They feel the achievement should be "easier" to attain.  But, the size of the Honor Roll listing in QST is indicative of the fact that many hams throughout the world have managed, by diligence and skill, to acquire the appropriate credits.  In past years the achievement has been made by some in as few as seven years. The fact that it may take longer is a result of the various interlocking factors of sunspot cycle, lack of expeditions, and world political activity.

But, back to one of those basic questions:  "How can I ever hope to get on the Honor Roll if there hasn't been activity in the needed countries for about 10 years?"  Well, I'd have to say the answer to that might well be that it wouldn't be much of an honor to be on this illustrious roll if the challenge itself was met too easily."

Things haven't changed much, have they? I like that part about someone making it in 7 years. Here is the rub - there were less entities on the list back then - this is a quote from QST Dec. 1982, p. 78:

"The current country count will be 315.  The deleted country count will be 52."

Some interesting stats to ponder . . .

« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 07:45:35 AM by KY6R » Logged
WD4ELG
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2013, 04:36:16 PM »

Interesting article.  And there were fewer entities back then.  And the sunspots were higher in those cycles (especially the peak in 79-80).

But...the rules were revised in 2000 to make the entity definition more consistent and less arbitrary.  And rigs are smaller now for DXpeditions.  And there are more and better portable antennas for DXpeditions.  And we have better prediction tools for propagation.  And we have better real-time info sharing (not just cluster networks).  And the rig receivers are better. 

Although I am only at 307 worked, I have been a ham since 1977.  I submit that it is not any harder or easier today than it was back then.  It's still very hard to do.  It requires really good equipment, skill, patience, a LOT of time on the air, strategy, planning and luck.  Same as back then.
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KY6R
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 08:25:36 PM »

I submit that it is not any harder or easier today than it was back then.  It's still very hard to do.  It requires really good equipment, skill, patience, a LOT of time on the air, strategy, planning and luck.  Same as back then.

I agree 100%. I was a rag chewer - and not a DX-er when I was in middle school and high school - between 1973 - 1977, but I would work some DX just because I tuned around and stumbled on DX. I never even knew what a pileup was back then, but I don't think they were ever as bad as they are today. The cluster sends screaming hoards that are sometimes unbelievable.

I don't remember anything like that back then - but then again - I didn't seek out anything rare. It seems like you could find the DX just by tuning - and before everyone else found out about it. Also - this was even before repeaters were used for spotting!
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KY6R
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2013, 07:22:49 AM »

Heck - I actually think DX-ing was easier back then.
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AD9DX
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2013, 07:47:51 AM »

Heck - I actually think DX-ing was easier back then.

DX spotting websites are a double edged sword.
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
KY6R
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2013, 07:57:29 AM »

The number and percentage that you need to work to get on the Honor Roll and # Honor Roll is either at or maybe one less than the all time high. I would bet that the number of "inaccessible" entities is at least the same - or more than it was back "years ago".

For example, China was in the top 10 - and Navassa had regular activations.

So I would go along with its relatively the same - and perhaps a bit harder to "make the grade" than in the 70's and 80's. No real way to quantify this though - not that I can see.

Maybe I will create a chart of how many entities were on the list each year and what the top 10 was each year. Then add the number of how many hams were on the Honor Roll and #1 Honor Roll.
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WD4ELG
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2013, 06:37:17 PM »

Agreed. On clusters.  On China.  On Navassa.

I am looking at my paper logs before 1995.  Back then (proior to 1991) Albania (under Enver Hoxha) was the same as P5 is now.  Police state.  NO OPERATIONS WHATSOEVER.  Same for Afghanistan after 1979.  And Viet Nam.

Back in the 1980's there was regular operation from the Soviet "stans" and I have logs/cards to validate.  A lot of Russian-licensed hams would do DXpeditions to Turkmen/Uzbek/Tajik/Kyrgyz on vacation.  Not so much today.  And Turkmenistan is off-the-air now.

The African entities come and go depending upon the stability of each country and strife within.  As the standard of living has increased in many countries (e.g., India), there seem to be a lot more hams active.

Maybe time has helped me, and I forgot how hard it was back then.  But all I had was 100 watts and a dipole and a straight key back then LOL!  And I did not get my Extra ticket until 1990.  That made a HUGE difference, the bottom 25 kHz of the CW band!
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W6GX
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2013, 09:29:46 PM »

Could someone tell me why Turkmenistan is currently off the air?  Thanks.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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KY6R
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2013, 03:47:22 AM »

Could someone tell me why Turkmenistan is currently off the air?  Thanks.

73,
Jonathan W6GX

Their government says "No Ham Radio".

As I understand it - Iran stopped issuing new amateur radio licenses a few years back . . . . and of course, there is P5 . . .  
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 04:25:27 AM by KY6R » Logged
G3RZP
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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2013, 08:14:39 AM »

You have to live long enough, and be active enough, and not be away from home on a business trip when an ATNO is on - which is why I need KP1 for #1 spot. And I've been DX chasing for 50 years come the end of April.

Back in the '60s, Libya, Angola, Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia and Southern Rhodesia (as it then was) were all easy. China, India, Andamans, Nicobars, Albania, Burma and even Pakistan were not on for various reasons.

Then we got new ones like Market Reef (first expedition was OJ0MR), 4U1ITU and so on, appearing. There were two Germanies and one Czechoslovakia, and one Yugoslavia......And so the game goes on, some appearing and some disappearing - such as KZ5 Canal Zone. So when you hear them, remember the old advice 'WFWL' - Work First, Worry Later.

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