Reflections on the ARRL DXCC Program – from the West Coast

Having been WA2QHN, I already knew that there is a serious advantage chasing DXCC from the East Coast. 160 and 6M DXCC are downright easy – as is 10BDXCC as compared to the West Coast – (where 9BDXCC is a really big deal). I’ve worked 101 on Top Band – 100 from my own back yard and one using my friends remote. That one remote experience was AMAZING! It truly blew me away what you can hear and work on 160M from the East Coast. To this day I have never worked an EU on 160 – the closest was EA8/RW4WR. I have worked AF – V51 and an XT. I even worked VK0EK and FT5ZM on Top Band for my personal best(s). (I am not submitting the remote QSO for DXCC – I’ll stay “pure” – hi hi . . .)

I’m now pretty much done with DXCC – even though the supreme icing on the cake will be when I work Bouvet and Glorioso – and will have worked them all. But pound for pound – nothing will match the way I felt when I made regular mixed Honor Roll, and now DXCC on 160M. Honestly, Top of Honor Roll now just feels like “something I gotta do”. It’s just like that last semester at Lock Haven State College, when I knew I’d be leaving and going to Rochester, NY to work for Kodak.

I made all of my DXCC QSO’s from my own back yard, and all were CW or SSB. Times are a changin’ and with remotes and FT8, its a very new world compared when I started DXing in 2001. Being a 37 year IT guy, I also love all of the new technology. But I wanted to close out the “old school” DXCC stuff because I was licensed back in 1973 as WN2QHN. Ward Silver, N0AX, nailed it when he called the old school “Ham Radio V1” and the new stuff “Ham Radio V2”. I love BOTH!

When I got back into ham radio in 2001 I really did have a world of DXing to catch up with. My mentor Larry, WB2KBH (N9LR – SK) who went to college at Bradley University with Craig Thompson – K9CT – tried to get me into DXing way back in the 70’s. I’d be long done with DXCC if I did get into it then. So – from 2001 until 2012 (New Years Eve going into 2013) especially – when I hit Honor Roll – that was my way of catching up. Its like Ham Radio V1 was “wrapped up”.

DXCC has also been therapy – it really made a world of difference through a divorce with children and both parents passing – all within 4 years (2002 – 2006). My DXCC “obsession” really helped keep my mind off of the sad years. And for that I can thank Clinton DeSoto and the ARRL for my personal (hobby) pursuit, and then my world really changed for better when I met my wife Kat.

3 Comments on “Reflections on the ARRL DXCC Program – from the West Coast

    • And I think you’re right, Rich: there’s something about a highly structured yet ultimately “pointless” activity that’s just the thing to take your mind off personal troubles.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Its a “healthy” addiction or escape. We are lucky we have a constructive outlet. Its healthy “soma” . . .

        Like

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