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Surfin’: How’s DXCC?

07/20/2012

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ searches the Internet for the history of the DX Century Club.

Rich Holoch, KY6R, e-mailed me: “I would love it if someone would write an in depth account of the history of the DXCC program.”

Searching the Internet, I found the A, B, Cs of DX: Fundamentals of the Art of DXing (An Interactive Tutorial) by Don Boudreau, W5FKX, which appears on the Delta DX Association website. Click on “Entity” in the article’s Table of Contents and you will find “Some Historical Perspective” concerning “What Are DXCC Entities?”

How to Count Countries Worked -- A New DX Scoring System by Clinton B. DeSoto, W1CBD, is the article from the October 1935 issue of QST that W5FKX referenced in his article. This article was one of the first attempts to define a “country” for DX purposes.

I have not chased “countries” in awhile. So I dusted off the bits of my Excel DXCC spreadsheets and discovered that I had 291 entities confirmed. “Not bad for someone who just dabbled in the DX chase!” I thought to myself, because if I told this bit of news to my spouse, she just would not understand.

To impress myself some more, I compared my spreadsheet with a recent “100 Most Needed Countries” list and was pleased to discover that I had 16 of the top 20 on that needed list confirmed. On the other hand, I stopped chasing DX just about the time ham radio was restarting in China, so I don't have one QSL card with a B prefix!

There have been a lot of changes since I entered Bouvet in the log. Old countries became new countries (such as Czechoslovakia and the Netherlands Antilles) and old countries that were not ham radio-active back then are now on the air (like the aforementioned China), so I can probably push my confirmed total over the 300 mark with a little dabbling on the air.

And soon I will have a new radio to dabble with. I ordered a Hermes Software Defined Radio (SDR) transceiver from TAPR. I have written about SDR here and there many times; even as far back as 1996, but I have been holding off getting into SDR because I was always waiting for the next best thing.

I think that Hermes is the “next best thing” and I am very excited about the project. And I have put my money where my words are.

The Hermes order page will close Wednesday, July 25, so don’t be late!

(Full disclosure: I am on the board of directors of TAPR; I am also its secretary and newsletter editor. Transparency? Now you can see right through me!)

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, seeks the unusual in radio. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.



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