Blue Flower

"DX is..." once Martii Laine, OH2BH said. It is a short description of what we're doing in our shack.

 

It's hard to describe DX to a person who has no idea what Ham Radio is. It's "Contacts over a long distance, to another continent or so"

But what is the fascinating thing on sitting in my shack six days every morning, from 7 to 9 o'clock, going later to work, and only to call call and call on a frequency and hope that K9W hears my call? -> It's the moment when you hear the DX station pick up your call and gives you a short 59 and you have to hurry to confirm it also with 59. It's the moment when you get a confirmation of your call from a point on earth, far away, that he heard you calling and put you in the log. Fine - that's all you waited for during the last 6 days, 12 hours...

Now you're thinking "6 days - 12 hours, for that?" In times of internet and telephone???

Oh yes - and why - it's because everybody can do internet and telephone. But you reached this remote island in the middle of nowhere with your own Transceiver, with your own (maybe self build) Antenna, maybe from your car or powered by solar modules or a battery (or with 230V, a 750W PA and a warm coffee mug on your table).

It's like hunting the big animal and get it - not like just going to the supermarket like the fat guy next door...

There are actually 340 "DXCC Entities", that means Countries and also Islands or area's who are far away from their homeland, and also some special entities like the UN Headquater or Mount Athos. It's a hard and mostly long way (over decades of years) to get them all (because some of them get activated only after a long period of silence, sometimes 10, 20, 30, 40 years). That's the reason why i and a lot more Amateur Radio Operators try to get them when they're QRV - mostly only for a few days or at best two weeks. And because everybody is calling in the Pileup, and a lot of guys have no discipline, it costs a lot of time to get a single contact. And when the time of the DXpedition is over maybe you have to wait another 10-20-30 years for the next chance (when it comes and there are still operators willing to activate a expensive to reach island). So please understand (this is dedicated to the YL's of the Ham Operators) why your man needs to be in the shack for this time he says - because he will never take rare family time for a contact to the USA, but needs time to try his chance for a island you (and 99% of the other people) never heard of.

But being a remote Island (like Amsterdam Isl. Heard Isl. Kerguelen, Crozet, Bouvet, South Sandwitch...) is not the only thing to get rare... Also some Islands and States in the Pacific Area are hard to get from Europe. And there are also some countries where people are not free like us, like in Eritrea, Turkmenistan, North Korea, or in countries who are in war like Central Africa, Syria, Libya... So you could see, it's not easy to get them all. Expecially on all ham bands it's nearly impossible (but not complete impossible)

It's nice to get the QSL cards from all over the world. Often you have to pay a small donation to get a rare DXpedition's Card because activating remote islands is very expensive - so the guys who go there need to get some sponsors and also some money for their cards. Some DXpeditions have to charter a boat or a additional helicopter (like on subantarctical islands) and they pay hundredthousands of dollars from their own purse, and hope to get some of the money back from sponsors and the ham community. But they will never get rich from it, never. So when you get a contact to such a rare "Most-Wanted-Top-10" DXCC, it don't makes you poor to give these guys some greenstamps of their own money back. It's only fair, isn't it?

I like being on air and check the bands  and make a handfull of contacts to South America in the evening, or Asia during the day. Also it's a great pleasure to get a single Qso into Oceania. I prefer getting at least one contact to a (band) "New One" instead of ten 80m Qso's to Germany. So normally i am like a spider - sitting in front of my Transceiver and waiting a long time - to get the DX when it's workable.

Maybe you get a chance for a rare DXCC Entity only once in your lifetime - so it's better to work them and put it in your Log! You never know if the next time (when it comes) maybe you're at holiday, or in hospital, or a storm damaged your antenna. Some days ago i read a article from a german ham who has 339 of 340 DXCC's worked. And the one missing? P5 = North Korea - when it was last active, he once moved into a new house and didn't had a antenna mounted...

 

So, DXing is a way of life - a way of hobby life. It's the marathon of reaching every point of the earth from your own station - and it makes a lot of fun, believe me!