DX Stories by Paul M. Dunphy, VE1DX

DX is a State of Mind

By Hugh Cassidy, WA6AUD

(Originally Published in the West Coast DX Bulletin)

We had a confused QRPer up the hill last week, this one burdened by a problem. "You know how the DX Club changed the rules so you now can join with just twenty-five countries, don't you?" We had to admit that we were aware of the change. "Well," the QRPer continued, I'm on the Committee to check applications and last week we came across one applicant who has never worked a JA. He has twenty-five countries but never worked a JA. Think of that! We could feel the foundations of DXing trembling and we had to nudge the QRPer onwards.

"How can a W6 be a DXer and never work a JA?", the QRPer demanded. "Not only has he never worked one, he does not even recall having heard one. He wanted to know when JAs are on the air. The Committee is not sure if they should approve his application for membership."

These are times when one hears things that are hard to believe and we finally hauled the QRPer up the hill to the Old Timer. There we had to listen to the whole exposition again, complete with arm waving, table thumping and various expressions of incredulity and indecision. Then it was quiet. After awhile, the old Timer spoke, but rather than giving an answer, he asked a question. "What really makes a DXer?" he asked. "Is it the working of a JA?" We both had to admit it would take more than that. But we could not come up with a satisfactory answer. Then the Old Timer spoke again, perhaps a bit wearily this time. "DXing is a state of mind," he said. "Judge a DXer by what they are and what they think, not what they have worked." And that was all he would say.

We had to think this over for a bit for long we had clung to the cherished belief of most DXers that the more countries you work, the better DXer you are. But we were now coming up with all sorts of wobbly angles when we were looking for the four-square word. "I guess maybe we'd better let the fellow in," the QRPer said, "but it is sure hard to think a fellow is a DXer when he has never worked a JA."

We had to bail out at this point for these high-level dissertations and the intimation that DX may be a thinking man's game were beginning to worry us. If DX is a state of mind, why are so many DXers longing for a big and high antenna and all the power they can ram into it? These are times that test men's belief's. Meanwhile . . . are you a thinker? Or a DXer?

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