How Many Does It Take To Spot A DX Station?

This was written by Don Greenbaum, N1DG back in 2005. It still has relevance today!

Q: How many dx Internet mail list subscribers does it take to announce a new dx station?
A: 1,343

1    to spot the dx and and to post to the mail list that the dxpedition has been spotted;
14  to share similar experiences of working the dx and how the dx could have been worked       differently;
7   to complain about the dx operating habits, lack of low band activity, interference to nets,      lack of WARC activity, too wide splits, too narrow splits, or not enough cw;
27 to point out the spelling/grammar errors in posts about the dx;
53 to flame the spell checkers;
41   to correct spelling/grammar flames;
6   to argue over whether it’s “dx-pedition” or “dxpedition”;
another 6 to condemn those 6 as anal-retentive;
156 to write to the list administrator about the dx spot discussion and its inappropriateness        to the mail list;
109 to post that this list is not about splits, cw or low band activity and to please take this          email exchange to dx-l;
203  to demand that cross posting to grammar-l, spelling-l and dx-l about dx be stopped;
111  to defend the posting to this list saying that we all work dx and therefore the posts               *are* relevant to this mail list;
306  to debate which method of working the dx is superior, where to look for him, how              many calls it took -5 being the lowest so far and why this is the worst dx pedition EVER;
27 to post URL’s where one can see examples of better operations;
14 to post that the URL’s were posted incorrectly and then post the corrected URL’s;
to post about links they found from the URL’s that are relevant to this list which makes        the dx discussion relevant to this list;
33 to link all posts to date, then quote them including all headers and footers and then
add “Me too”;
12 to post to the list that they are unsubscribing because they cannot handle the
dx controversy;
19 to quote the “Me too’s” to say “Me three”;
4   to suggest that posters request the dx list FAQ;
43 to ask what is “FAQ”;
4   to say “didn’t we go through this already a short time ago on the List?”
141 to ask “How do I unsubscribe?”
1    to ask if anyone’s heard the dx…….
1   more to ask what country the dx is in….

Sound familiar?

73, Don, N1DG

Ian – ZL1OGX



Having been licensed since 1987, just a new comer, I was issued the call GM1XOG. I worked mostly on 6Mtrs.  Being very close to the magical DXCC with 15w for a long time out of a Yaesu FT690r plus a small linear and a HB9CV for the antenna.  I managed the VUCC with relative ease after all there was a big lift what with the upcoming solar max.

After several years of playing on 50Mhz a few of my friends whom I had gone through the RAE with pushed me into doing the morse assessment, after passing I held on to the GM1XOG and got MM3XOG to go with it.

Coming to ZL land in 2003, I just brought the VHF/UHF handy, all the rest of the kit was due to be packed into the container and shipped off.  Once the gear arrived I set about getting a proper ZL call.  I applied to the MED with all my documents from the UK and asking for ZL1XOG, only to be told that the ‘X’ series was not issued, at that time, so they moved the ‘x’ to the rear and gave me ZL1OGX.

Once all sorted I set about getting a G5RV up and digging out the radio from the container stuff, the XYL was a bit miffed that the station was almost the first thing unpacked.

I have to say that operating from ZL has been interesting, you don’t quite have 50 – 60 DXCC countries on your door step, band conditions are totally different to what I experienced in GM land, it’s been a learning curve.

The Diamond CP-6 Multiband Vertical

The Diamond CP-6 Multiband Vertical

So today I still use the rig I brought over an Icom IC-706Mk2 with its ATU the AT-180 added a Heil mic to it.  The antenna has changed to a Diamond CP-6 vertical, the wife was complaining about the number of wires about the section.

Currently I’m sitting at 176 worked countries, yes not a lot but not too bad with 100w and a vertical and having to go to the office.  Also I’m playing about with digital modes at the moment, it’s fun working EU on 20-30w.zl1ogxQSL

Also in some of my spare time I look after the website of Branch 29 – NorthShore, if you want a wee look.

QSL Direct, Bureau or LoTW

73 Ian, ZL1OGX


Things To Come – A Cautionary Tale

By LES MITCHELL, G3BHK* (From: Radcom Magazine 1984)

OUR LITTLE GROUP of local ex-service G3 types often meets for a drink in the snug of the old coaching inn down by the riverside. Discussion ranges far and wide, but as one might expect revolves mainly around our wartime experiences and, of course, amateur radio.

Recently someone pointed out that he had not heard Bill on the bands for some time. Bill had obtained his licence immediately after the war and had spent every available moment chasing dx or chatting to his friends on 3•5MHz. Since he retired a few years ago he had spent even more time on the air, and it was very unusual not to hear him working on some band whenever one listened. When we compared notes we suddenly realized that no-one had heard Bill’s signal for over six months. “You live nearest to him,” said Joe, “why don’t you drop in and see what has happened. Let’s hope he is not a silent key, but I am sure we would have heard something if he had passed on.”

A few days later I knocked at Bill’s door rather worried that I might be faced by a tearful and grieving widow. The door swung open to reveal Bill with a big grin on his face and looking fitter than I had ever seen him. Within a short time I was sitting in an armchair with a full glass in my hand and explaining why I had called.

“Well,” said Bill, “it is a long story. You see just after l retired a relative of mine died and left me a useful sum of money. As you know, all my rigs were getting quite old, so I jumped at the chance to completely renew all my station equipment. “First of all l purchased one of those Sky-Gain automatic aperiodic multi-band beams plus the computer controller. This array works on all bands and the computer turns the array to the maximum signal path without any effort on the part of the operator. I mounted this on my old 100 ft. tower and it was fantastic!

“Then I invested in the very latest transceiver, the Fuji Yama FJ 20,001 which covers all bands l•8MHz. to UHF with full legal power and no tuning whatsoever. To supplement this I also bought two computerized attachments-one which enables you to enter all the call prefixes of the countries you have worked already on each band, and then commands the transceiver to hunt each band in turn and only stops when it hears a new prefix. This unit also allows one to program automatic replies – callsign, signal reports, handle, location and requests to QSL etc. It had an additional program which made automatic calls to any of my friends’ callsigns it heard on 3•5 and 7MHz. l had to keep these replies updated with the latest news: you know the sort of thing-the car has gone wrong again. I have just mown the lawn, the rheumatism is painful, the income tax people have overcharged me again, etc.

“The second computer unit was the printout attachment which automatically printed the log entries and produced fully-completed QSL cards. So you see l could just leave the rig on 24h/day and it would work the rare dx and also chat to my mates on 3•5MHz without me going near it except to add more printout paper and blank QSL cards. Apart from a trip to the post office every day to post the QSLs, it left me time for decorating, car cleaning, gardening and after-meal naps. After it had been on the air continuously for about a month I discovered I had worked every dx station which existed, and even my friends on 3•5MHz were not replying to my calls-I expect they did not like the impersonal touch.

Then I suddenly realized that this new rig had utterly and completely destroyed my interest in amateur radio. Even the walk to the post office was boring me, and the parcel post costs were also becoming a strain. So l then made the decision that after nearly 40 years on the air it was time to give up my hobby, I sold the rig, and with the money bought the XYL all the labour saving gadgets I could find – a washing machine, a microwave oven, a food processor, a dishwasher etc. Now she has as much spare time as me so we have taken up golf. It’s very relaxing and gets us out in the fresh air. In fact we are spending more time together than we have done since we were courting!”

Bill and his XYL and l smiled at each other as she refilled the glasses. When I related this story to the others later there were sad faces all around. “But,” I added, “Bill did tell me that he intends to renew his licence every year, so perhaps at some time in the future we shall hear him on again.” But remembering just how those two smiled at each other I have my doubts.

Sign of things to come?

73, Lee ZL2AL (Reprinted from Radcom 1984)