DX Stories by Paul M. Dunphy, VE1DX

DX Was!

One of the local QRPers was up the hill the other day, this one obviously on a serious mission. "Tell me," the QRPer asked, "don't you think that it's a bit unfair that all of you guys who have been around for years have most everything worked and us new comers still need a lot of the rare ones?" We hadn't expect such a leading question right off the bat! We were considering taking the 5th because this was a no win situation. "Well," we started off slowly, "it's true our country total might be a bit higher than yours, but we've been on the air a lot longer." "Look at it this way," we continued, trying to steer the QRPer off to the side, "you get to work a new one every month or so. We are lucky to log a new one once every year or two. Why, VE1YX hasn't worked a new one since 1991! It's not all so great being near the top."

The QRPer wasn't to be distracted. He drew himself up to his full five and a half feet and glared at us. "That's not the point," he retorted, "How can I work Burma or Bouvet? Or 5A or VU4? They haven't been on the air since I got my ticket. It's not fair, not fair at all. I can't work the DX that isn't on. It might be years before any of this stuff is activated." We tried another tactic. "It's the same for everyone," we replied, "there are always the elusive few who seem never to show up. Look how long the Old Timer waited for ZA and XZ. And China was off the air for 30 years!", we replied, building up a bit of steam, "How do you think the DXers waiting for them felt?" The QRPer glared at us with his beady little eyes, "I don't care about them. Didn't you tell me just last week the true meaning of DX IS and that I can only work the DX that is, and not the DX that was?" We admitted that we had that conversation. "Well," the QRPer snapped back, "I've been thinking about it, and I've got a solution that will make it fair for everyone!"

We were afraid to ask. We wished we had slipped out the back door as soon as we'd seen the QRPer beating his way up the hill. We decided that wouldn't have been in keeping with the Amateur's Code, so we asked the inevitable question. "How are you planning to do this," we asked, not looking forward to the reply. "Easy," replied the QRPer, "we are getting close to the bottom of the solar cycle, right?" We had to agree that this was true. "And doesn't NASA and all those other agencies measure the cycle from minimum to minimum?", he continued, the glare slowly changing to a sly grin. "Yes," we replied carefully, not following where this one was going, "but how does that have anything to do with making it easier for you to work DX that isn't on the air?"

"Simple," replied the QRPer, "NASA will declare a date sometime in the next while when the cycle bottomed out . . . and that'll be the end of Cycle 23, right?" We admitted this was true. "Well, I've written a letter to the DXAC," the QRPer, "and here's what I petitioned for. I told them we need a new DXCC rule. I call it the Termination Date Rule. And it's easy to find out because NASA does it for us!" We still weren't following the logic and this was clear from the look on our face.

"Don't you see?", the QRPer said, his grin widening ever so much. "On the Termination Date, everyone's DXCC credits are removed! Everyone gets their country total reset to zero! Then we all start over again. It becomes a competition where everyone starts equal and we all work new ones until the next Termination Date in eleven years or so! It puts everyone on an equal playing field!" And with that he was off down the hill to the local club to explain his idea to the Big Gun DXers. Son of a Gun! We'd expected something, but not this. As Albert so well put it, "Everything is relative, some things more so." We decided we'd wait for the DXAC's ruling on this one before we tore up our QSLs!

Best Regards, Paul

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