The Cure for the “DXCC Doldrums” . . .

Tin Rooster says “No Duh!” . . . 

I started a new DX this past Summer. It is now “battle tested” and its a winner. Basically here are the ground rules:

  1. QRP – 5 watts only. I am using my Elecraft KX-3 just because its a small portable rig
  2. I can work any 300 entities from the DXCC or IOTA lists
  3. I have to make all contacts from the West Coast (Pacific Time Zone)

To add to the fun, I am using an old Erie Lackawanna Train Log for my radio logbook

QSL’s go in this leather binder

Now that I have hit the first 25 QRP ATNO’s, I can report that without this pursuit, I would not be on the air. Its been since 2016 since I worked my last DXCC entity – VK0EK, and enough time has gone by that I just don’t care about DXCC any more – even though I only have two more to go for DXCC HR #1. I guess you could say “Live by the list, Die by the list”. And I recently heard of a fellow who made #1 HR and then sold all of his gear and got out of the hobby.

That’s a pretty sad story – even if he had to move to an HOA or a retirement community (as my father did). The Elecraft KX2 or KX3 even with that little AX-1 antenna would be enough to keep me in the hobby – no matter where I go. In fact, I’ve taken the KX-3 with me on vacation when we have gone camping or rented a vacation house, and just making a few CW QSO’s using a telescoping fiberglass mast with a wire attached has always been fun. I got rid of cable TV more than 10 years ago – and I “watch the radio” instead. I’d rather listen to static than watch mindless TV.

Besides staying in touch with my favorite aspect of the hobby – antennas, I also use photography for my blogs

Its amazing how you can be under a “spell” with the ARRL’s DXCC program – its too much of a good thing – and almost a “cult” of sort. I do remember getting bummed out after 3Y0Z and 3Y0I did not make it to Bouvet, and how I wonder if the French Team will ever activate FT/G again (these are the last 2 that I need).

The answer has been my new “FREQ 300” pursuit – and of course blogging. The blog posts about the UrbanBeam have been the most popular – so I know staying in touch with the antenna aspect of ham radio is important and worth while. I have always enjoyed playing with antennas as much as working ANY of the rarest DX.

I also know that working 300 QRP DX entities is a much bigger and better challenge than QRO DXCC HR, but lets just say that I am finding these about equal in “quality”. I have no regrets having been a DXCC “cult member”, but time marches on – and for longevity as a DXer – I had to snap that “spell”.

This new pursuit sure is the antidote for the “DX Doldrums”. Its a real thing!


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