K2TQC Wins ARRL Diamond Challenge Trophy


Bill Gibbons, K2TQC, of Jamesville, New York, is the recipient of the ARRL Diamond DXCC Challenge trophy. In 2012 the League marked the diamond anniversary (75 years) of the ARRL DXCC Award, Amateur Radio’s preeminent DX accomplishment, with the Diamond DXCC Challenge. The goal was to work as many of the entities on the DXCC list in 1937, the year the award was established. Gibbons, who managed to work 215 of the 226 “countries” available, said it was an honor to win the trophy.

“I worked all 215 entities using just wire antennas in trees behind the QTH,” he said. “I have multiple quad and delta loops, but they are all fixed northeast/southwest and north-northeast and south-southwest from here — proof that you don’t need big towers and stacked arrays.” Gibbons says that so far this year he’s logged some 14,000 DX stations. Gibbons says he starting chasing DXCC in 1957. He retired from teaching at Syracuse University in 2009. “It is nice to now have more time for this wonderful hobby,” he added.

The idea behind the 75th anniversary celebration was to capture the essence and spirit of the original DXCC List with a fun operating activity that allowed DXers to look back and appreciate the wonderful geography of Amateur Radio. There were more than 3300 applications, including endorsements.

Some of the entities that Gibbons worked that put him on top included HC2AQ/HC8 in the Galapagos, ZD9KX on Gough Island, VP8SGK on South Georgia, and KH9/WA2YUN on Wake Island.

Finishing in the top five of the Diamond Challenge at 211 entities were Paul Newberry, N4PN, Dan Sullivan, W4DKS, and Paul Hansen, W6XA. Right behind at 210 entities were Oscar Luis, EA1DR, and Tac Yoshihori, JE1FQV.

“Amazingly, 77 stations finished with 200 or more entities!” said ARRL Membership and Volunteer Programs Manager Dave Patton, NN1N. “Interest was very high in reaching this level and was worldwide, not just in the US. DDXCC activity was popular enough that there have been calls to continue the concept into the future as the ‘Diamond DXCC 231,’ as we all wait for Wrangel Island to come on the air again, along with Aden and Yemen.” They were among several countries that were not available during 2012.

Patton notes that the ARRL will no longer update Diamond DXCC Challenge numbers online, but operators still can obtain a Diamond DXCC certificate.

He said “some big surprises” turned up on the air, including 7O6T from Socotra; BY1WXD/Ø, BA7IO/ Ø, and BA7JS/ Ø from Tibet; 5H1HS from Zanzibar; CN2LO and CN8VO from Ifni; P29VCX from the Bismarck Archipelago; ZD9UW from Tristan; D64K and TO4M from Comoros and Mayotte; VK9XS from Christmas; and 6O3A and 6OØCW from British and Italian Somaliland — among others.

A few entities caused more confusion than most. Baluchistan — an area now associated with western Pakistan — Aldabra (part of the Seychelles), and all the 9M2 entities from Malaysia.

Not on the air in 2012 were Aden — 7O, Aldabra — S7, Andamans — VU4, Baluchistan — AP, Eritrea — E3, Kerguelen — FT5X, Libya — 5A, Midway — KH4, Nicobar — VU4, Sao Tome — S9, Sandwich Islands — VP8, South Orkney Island — VP8, Tokelau Island — ZK3, Wrangel Island — RØ, and Yemen — 7O.