The thrill of DX!

Posted: May 14, 2017 in Uncategorized


I’ve been a serious DXer for nearly thirty years. I am glad to say that the thrill of working DX has never worn off. While DXing has evolved largely to a quick “you are five-nine bye” there are those special QSOs or contacts that seem almost magical.

From my location near San Francisco, working the Middle East is always a thrill. With the exception of Abdallah-9K2GS, the signals are generally weak and fluttery as the path is over the North Pole. I have worked several SU9 stations in Egypt which denotes a foreign Ham operator but I had never heard or worked an Egyptian.

A few nights ago, conditions on 40 meters at our sunset were truly spectacular. I was copying Said-SU1SK very well. His pileup was not very large and he was enjoying chatting and saying hello with his many contacts. After a few calls, I worked Said. He was very excited to be working the US West Coast and we exchanged more than just signal reports. He asked about my antenna and my power level. We both knew that conditions were superb and this contact seemed a lot more like “magic” than most of our contacts.

After many years of DXing, its always a thrill to have these kinds of contacts. There are times when conditions are really good whether there are sunspots or not. These are my favorite kind of contacts and this one with Said-SU1SK will be memorable for some time.

What do you think?

  1. These are my memorable moments.

    1) My first and second contacts were Hawaii (Allan, NH7NJ) and Japan (JR4IMV) using a butternut and my FT920 HF6V from San Diego. Both within 12 minutes of each other.
    2) My 300th mixed DX entity with TX3X and also the first contact of that DXpedition and it was a NCDXC member Steve (W1SRD). With 100W and an A3S at 15′.
    3) My first 6m SSSP DX contact with Japan JE1BMJ (Han) from DM12 in 2012.
    4) Oct 17,2011 6m opening working CE and LU from mobile 100W on top of Malibu Canyon in Los Angeles county.
    5) Nov 9, 2013 6m opening to Brazil then Australia and New Zealand later in day.
    6) First EU and Africa on 6m contacts last summer from EL09. All are memorable but will never be as special as working 6m DX from W6 which is dang hard.

    • First Han JE1BMJ contact was 2013. My bad sorry.

      • Gene K5GS says:

        Hi Paul,

        Nice to see you at Visalia.

        Working the ATNOs was always exciting. Receiving the QSL card in the (snail) mail was the icing on the cake especially buro cards from Box 88 which took upwards of 18 – 24 months. All of my DXCC confirmations were processed by mailing in the cards, or by a card checker. Chasing DX for over 40 years, the excitement of an ATNO never wore off.

        I was off the air for about 3 years in between homes, missing several DX-peditions. Back on the air in October 2001 I kept a list of needed entities on my desk, it took a few years to chip away at them.

        One day in 2002 I heard Ed P5/4L4FN on 15m with a small pileup, dropped my call and he came back. A few months later I heard him on 10m calling CQ, Called him and he came right back.

        Eventually, the last ones I needed were Timor-Leste and Palestine.

        Finally got Timor-Leste in 2011 for the last one. I was so excited about making the Q I forgot to include a donation in the envelope. Realizing what I did I sent the manager an e-mail followed by another envelop with $$$$.

        As you well know, today the excitement is meeting the DX face to face at various events, here and there.


    • N6PSE's Blog says:

      Working EU and Africa on six meters would be a thrill! I have never done that. Enjoy your contacts Keith,


      Paul N6PSE

  2. Roger says:

    I have only been working DX seriously since 2005 when I moved from Silicon Valle to Oklahoma.

    My most memorable QSO was with 3Y0X which was the Peter I DXpedition. I had worked him on 15meters CW and 15 meters RTTY using my Log Periodic.

    Then I thought I try to work him on 40m. With my marginal Inverted V fan dipole I didn’t know if I could work him or not. The pileup was very large on 40m. But I figured I might have a shot at him if the total path to him was in darkness and also the band was only open to NA and SA while AS and EU did not have propagation. The bottom line was that if I stayed up all night I might have a shot after the big guns here in NA snagged him and then went QRT. So I stayed up all night for three nights running and finally got him on 40m CW at 0737 UTC on 14 Feb 2006 — which is 1:37 AM Central Standard Time.

    Later on when the 3Y0X video came out there were some shots of the operators in the SSB tent running pileups. During one scene the op said “K5RKS 5/9”. I later showed that video to the XYL and also my grandkids. They said, “you spent all that time and energy just to hear some guy say your call sign once?”

    I guess it is true that people can revel in 15 minutes of fame. But having 5 seconds of fame is probably pushing the limit.

    Other highlights [actually lowlights I guess] were the DXpeditions I just couldn’t work. However, finally those entities were activated again and I worked them. Other than DPRK I don’t think that any of the entities I still need have been activated since 2005.

    73 Roger K5RKS

    • N6PSE's Blog says:

      Hello Roger-K5RKS, I can imagine that working DX from Oklahoma can be extra challenging with both an East Coast wall and a West Coast wall. You seem to do pretty well, Enjoy your journey with DXCC it is a lot of fun!


      Paul N6PSE

  3. Dave W. says:

    My first DX was a station in Panama the day I got my Novice license in the mail in 1988. My most memorable DX contact was with a station in Andorra. I was so naive back then I didn’t really understand the true reasoning behind DX.

    Couple of years ago I got a Kuwaiti station on JT65, only to find out later that the Op was remoting from the states to the Kuwaiti station. That was a big let down for me when I got his QSL card. I just think that a DX station Op should physically be in the station. Just my opinion.

    I chase DX as the conditions and time permits. It’s always fun getting a new DX contact, I also need to start sending out QSL cards instead of just using LoTW, which is great. It’s nice to have a card from a far away place.

    73 Dave AC8YU

    • N6PSE's Blog says:

      Hi Dave-AC8YU, yes I agree, I prefer for the DX contact to be in the DX entity. Working a far away station that then uses the Internet to be part of the transmission just does not carry the same “magic” as a fully HF contact.

      Thank you for your interest in my Blog.


      Paul N6PSE

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