Working towards DXCC and beyond, increase your chances!
I was First licensed in 1994 and because CW was still essential to get on HF I got stuck to 2 meters for about halve a year. Then I succeeded for the CW demand and got on Shortwave, a thing I desired for a long time. The First years on HF I did not mind working as many entities as I could, I just made contacts and had fun meeting new Hams. This changed when I moved QTH and met Peter/PA8A in 2004. In the meantime I had picked up CW again after many years on Sideband and noticed that CW work's great from a small city lot. Peter introduced me to Dave Patton/NN1N who stayed at his house on his way to Friedrichshaben/Germany. He did not mind checking my cards for DXCC and that’s what he did! This meant digging in those shoe boxes with cards and search which entities I had confirmed, quite a task! The score was not bad at all, I had worked and confirmed 275 entities (mixed). This got me going and from the day Dave signed the DXCC paper I was keen on working the remaining new ones.
How can you achieve working these New Ones and get or upgrade your DXCC (1)?
1) DX Newsletters
I have always been reading the DX newsletter(2) but now with more interest, searching for new ones to become active. These are very good sources and with most DXpeditions running real time websites with blogs and other info they even tell you where to listen and call.
Keep track on when stations from your country are working DXpeditions.
If they use Clublog(3) you can check if you are in the log and even better….you can click the propagation button and see what times the DXpedition has been worked from your country. You can make a plan and increase your chances!
3) DX Cluster and Skimmers
As a third source I would suggest to keep a telnet(4) cluster running when you know a new DXCC will be on air soon. Some of these are skimmers, very handy with CW(some do RTTY as well). The First call of a DXpedition is presented at you real time(if heard by the skimmer selected). I use VE7CC with success as it happens more than often that I can still work the station simplex…right before the big crowd finds him and there’s a large pile up!
Contests are great for working new countries, as a matter of fact you can easily work your First 100 countries and get your DXCC in one weekend. The CQWW contests are great for this!
5) DX Nets
You could get on DX-nets(5), on weekly or daily bases, which have given quite some Hams a new one, some of ours rather not admit that!
An open door and the main thing……you got to have time! Special when you have just a wire hanging from your chimney to a low structure like I do. My antenna is a 31 meter long doublet with 450 ohms twin lead to my shack where I tune it from 10 to 80 meters. You will be amazed what you can do with such an antenna! But with DXpeditions on the air which are in high demand for the DX community you will not be the First one to work them…..just maybe when you are very very Lucky! You need the relative quieter times when the rest of your continent is at work. I noticed working DX stations during weekdays and/or to the end of their activity without to much trouble. I am aware that not everyone has these opportunities.
We all need a bit of luck and so do you!
Sometimes you will be in the pile ups for hours and sometimes you work them on the spot…priceless!
Some of us have big yagi systems but if you don’t you might become a member of a contest station.You can possible use the bigger yagi antennas available.
Over the years I noticed that with big and high yagis (and QRO) you will get them sooner or later.
If the DX is barely audible in your part of the World, chances increase as well as the Hams with
lesser big antennas will not hear him at that point and the pile up will be much smaller or….he might not be busy at all!
73, Rob aartman
1) ARRL DXCC: http://www.arrl.org/dxcc
2) 425DX: http://www.425dxn.org/
3) Clublog: https://secure.clublog.org/loginform.php
4) RXclus: http://www.hb9bza.net/rxclus-overview
5) DX nets: http://ac6v.com/nets.htm