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Just one more country. That's all I need to make the DXCC Honor Roll. Just one more!

I'm aware of at least two new ones that will be on the air between now and the end of January 2015 so I might not have to wait long. But it's been a long time coming.

My ham radio story began on Feb. 9, 1969, when as a new novice operator, WN4MEN, I first took to the airwaves on 80 meters. But within a couple months, I moved up to 15 meters where I immediately worked a ZD8 station on Ascension Island and got hooked on DX. Now, 45 years later, I'm still hooked on DX.

Today, I have 344 entities worked and confirmed. I just worked FT4TA on Tromelin Island for No. 344 and the LoTW confirmations came through on Nov. 4 -- while the guys were still on the island. But of the 344 I have, 330 are current entities and those are what count for DXCC Honor Roll. (The other 14 have been deleted from the DXCC list for various reasons.)

No. 331 will put me over the top.

 I don't mention that in a bragging way but rather to explain my long DX journey. I still have a few more entities to go but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Along the way, I picked up DXCC, 8-Band DXCC, WAZ, 5-Band WAC, WAS and a few others.

For me, ham radio has been a multi-dimensional hobby. I love talking with people on the air but like trying new things too. New bands, modes, computer software. For years, I've been hooked on the challenges presented by weak-signal VHF on 6 and 2 meter SSB/CW/digital modes. On 2 meters, I have worked 40 states from Kentucky. On 6, I have worked all 50 states, all continents and 73 entities. (Guatamala, Sweden and Chile were my latest new ones on 6m.) I've even made some EME contacts on 2 meter CW. And many, many meteor scatter contacts on 2 meter SSB.

Along the way, I've been involved with QRP, HF mobile, tons of CW, public service communications, satellites and lots of digital modes on HF. And I love to ragchew too. In fact, I call CQ on HF SSB quite often. I keep reading posts from new hams who say they they tune around and seldom hear anyone calling CQ.  I don't know where or when they're listening. You won't hear many CQs on 75 meter SSB at night or even 40 meter SSB during the day. That's because big groups of friends tend to talk with one another almost daily. No need for them to call CQ. But that leaves a ton of other bands on which others are calling CQ -- folks who enjoy meeting new friends.

That's one of the great things about amateur radio -- it's a dozen different hobbies within a hobby. Bored? Try a new band or mode. That's what's kept me going for so long on the ham bands. Plus, I've made tons of good friends in person and on the air.

Ever been to the Dayton Hamvention? I have -- 38 out of the last 39 years.

I QSL direct, via the bureau or LoTW.

73, Dave, N4KZ






1432611 Last modified: 2014-11-12 19:15:57, 3061 bytes

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