Post DXCC Station Complete

The DX Engineering NCC-2, ICOM 7610 and ACOM 1010

It all started at Hamvention last year. I wasn’t going to go until I was told it would be well worth my while – and it was – we received the DXpedition of the Year award for VK0EK. A funny thing happened while sauntering around the grounds that Saturday – I saw several very interesting new products:

  1. SteppIR UrbanBeam
  2. US Towers ALM-31
  3. Flex line of new rigs that had the “Maestro” built into the face of the rig

I wasn’t in the market (yet), that had to wait until after 3Y0Z – Bouvet. I knew Glorioso was years away, but figured 3Y0Z would be the last ATNO with my station – which included an Elecraft K3 that I had for a record 10 years. I waited years for “The Buildup”, but oddly enough, I couldn’t wait to get it over too.

The minute they announced that 3Y0Z had to abort, I realized that putting my “next evil plan” on hold for years was silly. I decided it was time to make my move, and it would entail these things:

  1. Make 9BDXCC / DXCC on Top Band – and get that out of the way – as soon as that was done, I could take down the Inverted L. As much as I loved 160M, the new ones on that band came so slowly it stopped being fun. I also started seeing much more activity on 80M – so I figured I needed to maximize the DX opportunities at the bottom of the cycle and I realized 80M would be important
  2. Put up new antennas – put up the UrbanBeam and ALM-31 and (at first I had hoped) a phased 80M array. (I ended up with a single 80M full sized quarter wave antenna – which works great. The 80M phased array was “a bridge too far”
  3. Redo the shack

The ICOM IC-7610 and ACOM 1010 were both surprises, but they make the most sense since I want something decent to play with until I retire – and beyond. I don’t need the monster antenna (my old N6BT DXU-32) nor 1500 watts, so this is a downsizing to fit my new goals – which is to do more Maker projects, work on The DXCC Sleuth, and just have fun with ham radio in general. Sure – Bouvet and Glorioso might be activated – but you know what – maybe they won’t. I feel I’m ready if they do – with a more “modest” but technically advanced station, but more importantly, I’m no longer sitting here waiting for the last 2 ATNO’s.

If they happen – cool – if they don’t – I’m having fun.

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