It's taken a while, but when I finished tallying up my countries, there were 102
countries in the DXCC
logbook a few nights ago. I had just sent in my WAS
(worked all 50 states) data in February, and received my certificate for that award, just a few weeks ago.
It's taken me about three
years to achieve both
these awards, with never more than 5 watts of power,
and indoor "stealth
" antennas. My immediate neighbors still
don't know I'm a ham radio operator, and since I live in a historic area, where outside
antennas are prohibited, I consider that a good thing. lol
I worked nearly all
of my WAS
) with my Isotron
antennas on either 40 meters or 20 meters. Alaska
were my two most difficult states; I worked those with a 50 ft length
of "Radio Shack" speaker wire which I strung around the perimeter of a spare room in the house. The wire runs from my tuner, across the windows, which have wooden curtain rods, across the hallway, over the top of an "open" wooden door, and is tied off the the "downstairs" wooden stair railing. It's a tough way to do it, and it's a true "random wire
", but I've enjoyed every
minute of the challenge it took to work those 102 countries.
How did I work DXCC (100 different countries) with such simple antennas, and such a simple station? I attribute my DXCC award to two specific things. Number one was the ability to get my code speed into the 20+ wpm range. Number two was being able to string that "random wire antenna" which allowed me to use "all bands" through my small tuner.
The process accelerated a little before September of 2012 when I started using "dedicated band dipoles" for my DX contacts. My indoor "upstairs" space is very limited but I'm able to stretch out a dipole for 10
meters and 15
meters. Those two dipoles barely
hang between the wooden curtain rod, on one side of the house, and the bathroom window sill, on the opposite side of the house. This picture below shows my "end fed" 10 meter antenna. The 15
meter dipole antenna requires an "open door" and an extended length to the bathroom window frame.
Those two antennas work well on those bands (even indoors) but the 50 foot random wire
, which allows me easy
access to the 17
, and especially
meter band, were the true deciding factors in my DXCC
What are my immediate goals now?
on a "single" band, working the "capitol cities
" of every country and state, or perhaps working DXCC
with "outside antennas
" while operating in the field
. I'm not sure what it will be now that I have the QRP DXCC
award but I'm sure something
will soon grab my attention.
The North American QRP CW Club
has always been my favorite
organization. I hope my addition of the NAQCC DXCC QRP Award
will be an inspiration to those of our members who think working over a 100 different countries with five watts, or less, of power and "simple wire antennas
" is impossible.
, and 30
meter contacts were actually done with about 3
watts of power. Never say the word "never" when I comes to QRP. I've been an optimist when it comes to my QRP operations. I'm looking forward to the next challenge, whatever it might be.