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QRP DXCC Part 1 - Keynote # 7, 2002

This month, the first of a two-parter on earning QRP DXCC on CW. If you are working toward QRP DXCC or reading this first paragraph makes you think you'd like to try for a QRP DXCC, the following info may just be exactly what you need.

I am providing this info from my personal experience which means what I will be saying applies mainly to someone living in the eastern part of the United States. Those of you living elsewhere will have to modify the info to apply to your location. For example, here on the east coast Germany is easy and Japan is hard to work. On the west coast it is just the opposite from what I understand.

First let me say that since 1993 I have worked 199 (now 202 as I put this article on the web site on 12/26/02) countries using only 5 watts output into simple wire antennas from a town located in a river valley. I say that so you will know that you do not need to live on a hilltop with huge beam antennas to get your QRP DXCC.

In the year 2000, I worked a QRP DXCC in the first two and a half months of the year for the Millennium DXCC Award from ARRL.

By now, you should be convinced that you can easily get a QRP DXCC so let's get down to some specific info. One skill that will be helpful is the ability to copy CW at a speed of at least 20 WPM, preferably 30 WPM since Dxing for the most part is a high speed activity. Don't tune out if you can't copy that fast however. I'll sprinkle in some tips for the slower operators here and there as well.

The best and quickest way to work new countries is in contests. I've worked stations in 148 countries that way, so you can get your QRP DXCC just by getting into various contests.

Many countries have their own contests where the main objective is for foreign hams to work as many stations within that country as possible.

If you get into these country-specific contests just long enough to make one QSO, you've got a new country. Since you may not be going to send in an entry, it doesn't really matter if you copied the station's exchange or not. If he's going really fast, and you can't copy him completely, just as long as you can recognize your call at higher speeds, you should be able to complete the QSO, and get yourself in his log to exchange a QSL card.

Here are the countries that have their own contests: January - Hungary, France. February - USA, Belgium. March - Russia (European and Asian). April - Poland, Japan, Yugoslavia, Israel, Switzerland. May - Italy. July - Canada, Colombia, Venezuela. August - Romania, Hawaii. October - Germany. November - Ukraine, Czech and Slovak Republics, Bulgaria. December - Spain, Croatia.

That's a total of 24 countries so far - nearly a quarter of the way to that QRP DXCC. Just a reminder here that a good place to get the dates, times, and rules for these contests and all others mentioned in this column is my contest calendar on my web site.

Let's move on now to the big world-wide DX contests. I put the following in that category: February - ARRL DX. May - CQ WPX. July - IARU. November - CQWW DX. December - ARRL 10M Contest. These big 5 always draw an extremely huge number of hams from a large variety of countries.

Although not all in these particular contests, I've made more than 100 contest QSO's from stations in the following countries: Argentina, England, Finland, Lithuania, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Sweden. So those are easy ones to add to your total.

Next month we'll immediately zip past the halfway mark to QRP DXCC, and get down to the somewhat harder countries that will help us make it to 100.

You'll find much more info about DXCC on my web site at home.windstream.net/johnshan/. Let's have your input on DXCC via email or hard copy mail to 478 E. High St., Kittanning, PA 16201-1304. Till next column, 73. -30-