We were sitting on the veranda looking down toward Palos Verdes country, listening to the chorus and the beat of the bass bongos of the Sundancers. During these troubled times, it was comforting to know they were hard at it, doing their best to bring on the next cycle. One of the Local QRPers came strolling up the hill. This one had a contented look on his face. It was in sharp contrast to the usual frenzy we'd often noticed with the Locals, scampering around trying to understand the Mysteries of the Ages and the Eternal Enigmas of DXing. This particular QRPer sat down and said, "Well, I guess I can relax and not worry about my DXCC totals anymore.", he said, in a manner of fact way. This took us by surprise, for this one had always been one of the worst, counting his QSLs almost every day and complaining constantly about the DXCC rules and regulations. We were silent for a moment, then asked, "Guess you've lost interest in DXing. Can't say we blame you . . . Sunspot Louie is predicting the Flat Days of DXing will continue for awhile yet."
"No, not at all", replied the QRPer, "in fact, quite the opposite. I put in the extra effort and worked the Kermadec guys on four bands." He stretched a bit in the afternoon sun and continued, "That makes close to 200 countries." We were confused at this apparent contradiction. "If you've lost interest in the DXCC program, why are you increasing your pursuit of DX?", we asked cautiously. "You haven't heard the news?", he asked. "Heard what?", we asked cautiously, not sure we wanted to hear the answer.
"About the RX100 Awards program, of course!", the QRPer replied, jumping to his feet. "East Coast Bob phoned me yesterday and told me all about it! He's a RX100 Field Representative too! He can check your QSLs for you." We were completely confused now. "When did the ARRL start his program?", we asked, standing up and looking the QRPer straight in the eye. "Why would they start another DX award program when they already have the DXCC?" The QRPer looked at us smugly and replied, "Not the ARRL at all. It's awarded by the RSDXMA. The ARRL's DXCC Desk is too strict and too particular about details. The RSDXMA has put the fun back into DXing!" Just then we noticed a couple more QRPers hippity-hopping up the hill. "Hear about the RSDXMA RX100 program?" they chimed in unison. What could we say when confronted by three excited QRPers, all beaming and talking at the same time? So we just listened. "I heard it just now on the DX repeater", one of them said. "It's administered by Romeo, 3W3RR and Roman, 4K20T . . . charter members of the Romeo Stepenanko DX Myanmar Association! They basically took the ARRL's DXCC rules and removed Section IV, Accreditation Criteria. Other than that, the rules are pretty much the same."
Son of a Gun! We were aghast! "What kind of award is that?" we asked, flabbergasted. "The DXCC program is the standard by which all others are measured. And it's Section IV that keeps it that way!" The QRPers weren't even listening. "All you have to do is send your cards and $50 to Box 1000 in Sofia, Bulgaria, mark them attention: 4K2OT and you get your RX100 certificate, signed by Roman himself!" "And you get the official seal of the RSDXMA on the certificate too!", another one piped in, "Word has it the RX100 will be the most prestigious award a DXer can get." "That's right", the third one shouted, "and they are starting with serial #2 'cuz they've already issued honorary certificate #1 to W9WNV . . . Mr. DXpedition himself! If that doesn't give it more credibility that anything the DXCC has issued, what does?"
We slowly backed in off the veranda and into the shack for a moment. We had to regain our composure and stop shaking with the rage that was building within us. This was DX heresy! We calmed ourself down enough to walk back out on the veranda and listen to the QRPers. "I'm cancelling my membership with the ARRL and joining the RSDXMA", one was shouting, drawing himself up to his full five and a half feet, "it's worth it. No more long drawn out arguments about whether DXpeditions or countries should count. They all will count as soon as they come on the air! My 5A0RR card will give me 148!"
Then, from the open door of our shack came the report on the weather radio: "Heavy thunderstorm and lightning warning for the local area." The QRPers looked at each other apprehensively. "Better get our antennas unhooked right away", they said, and they ran off down the hill. We just shook our head and went back into the shack. We turned off the tape recorder and sat down. We thought it all over for a few minutes, but there was no answer or reconciliation forthcoming. We were thankful the Old Timer had told us about the taped thunderstorm warning and how he always kept one handy in case of emergency. And, although he'd warned us not to use it unless it was a dire situation, we had no regrets. These are trying times in this world of DX. If being surrounded by QRPers trying to replace the DXCC program isn't an emergency, what is? Son of a Gun! We paced back and forth for almost an hour before coming to grips with the situation. Maybe there was a RX100 award, but we decided we'd wait and see how the Locals made out before we sent our cards in! We old ones who have been around the track a few times know when it pays to be patient! DX IS! Be prepared! The Great Days of DXing are near . . . and a lot closer than any RX100 award, too!
Best Regards, Paul
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