One of the Local QRPers came along last week and we talked of a number of things, all important, like the progress of the solar cycle and the DXCC program. "You know", the QRPer said, "I think I have found a serious fault with the DXCC. One that's been there since the Early Days of DXing."
We immediately perked up, for although we were a bit doubtful that any serious flaws had lasted all these years, we had long ago learned that even the most unlikely DX advise can sometimes come in useful. We nodded for the QRPer to proceed. "I've noted that those who submit exactly 100 countries for DXCC may be technically in error.", he continued, "And if my observation is true, it will cause a lot to lose Honor Roll status . . . and there will be no one on Number One Honor Roll at all."
We thought about this for a moment, for if there was indeed something that had such far reaching implications, why hadn't it been discovered before? "Tell us more", we said, with a look of concern on our face. The QRPer looked at us straight in the eye and said: "First we have to define DXing. And what is DXing? It's working another amateur over a long distance. And in terms of the ARRL and the DXCC program, it's working a station in another DXCC country, right?" We nodded slowly, looking at the QRPer as he built up a head of steam and plowed on. "The problem is, you can count your own country as DX." We had to agree that this was so, but we failed to see the problem. "That's the way it's always been. Why is it a problem and why will it affect those who send in exactly 100 cards, or anyone else, for that matter?"
"It you work a guy in the next state on 20-metres, is that DX?" the QRPer was quick to ask. "Of course it isn't!", he continued, answering his own question, "And since it isn't DX, and it isn't in another country, why does it count for DXCC? By the very definition of DX, it is a non-counter. So it follows that the US should be deleted from the DXCC countries list. And if the league does that, then those who send in QSLs for the Ws, Ks and the like won't get a free credit for working their own country. It's an obvious problem with a simple solution." He looked at us with the all too familiar 'so-there' look and waited for our response.
"That's absurd!" we retorted, jumping to our feet and glaring at the QRPer. "What about the VEs? If a Canadian station works a station in another province, or even 2 miles down the road on ground wave, it's still a HF QSO. Is that DX? Maybe not, but should we delete VE from the DXCC list? And if that's done, VEs and Ws won't be able to work each other for DXCC credit!" The QRPer wasn't to be stopped: "Who cares? Canada isn't rare. And I'm sure they wouldn't care if they couldn't get DXCC credit for us, either. It wouldn't hurt if both Canada and the US were deleted from the DXCC list. Not a bit."
It was obvious this QRPer hadn't thought this through, so we switched tracks and got on the same train. "Maybe you are right", we replied, "and what about G land, and the DLs . . . and for that matter, any place that is on the DXCC list that is a 'real' country. The same applies to all of them. If they were all removed from the DXCC list, we'd just have rare DX, like the uninhabited rocks. Nothing but rare DX and massive pileups. And it might even do away with lists too!"
The QRPer was starting to look a bit doubtful. "If we delete all the common stuff, and just leave that sort of country, will there still be at least a hundred?", he asked, slowly rubbing his chin and deep in thought. "Possibly so", we replied, "but all of those inhospitable places are on the DXCC list because of the separation by water or another intervening county rule. If all the major countries are deleted, those places would lose their DXCC status too."
The QRPer thought this over for a few moments, then said, "Maybe we better not mention this to anyone. What do you think?" We just shrugged and looked back at him. He thought a bit longer and replied, "I guess the folks at Newington must have considered this when they made up the DXCC Countries list." And he made his way down the hill slowly, confident that another crisis had been averted. Some days, when the flux is low and the Ap high, we have to wonder what newly minted QRPers do in their spare time. But not today . . . for this one had just figured out a way to abolish the DXCC!
73/DX Paul VE1DX
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