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DX Streaks

Updated on January 3, 2017 - I thought it would be interesting to examine my DX streak up to this point (December 31, 2016 - 1,402 days) to see how it has changed as the sunspot cycle declined.

These lines show the percentage of my DX QSOs during the streak sorted by band and continent.

YEAR  QSOS  10M  12M   15M  17M   20M   30M   40M  80M   AF   AN   AS    EU    NA   OC    SA    SF
2013  1834 19.8  1.9  25.5  7.0  33.3   6.0   6.2  0.3  2.5  0.0  3.2  72.2  14.6  1.3   6.2 123.9
2014  1914 27.0  2.9  24.1  5.9  30.9   5.0   4.3  0.0  3.5  0.1  2.6  71.2  14.1  1.8   6.8 146.0
2015  1486  9.6  1.7  26.4  6.7  33.1   9.0  12.6  0.8  4.0  0.1  2.6  64.2  20.0  1.4   7.8 117.6
2016   899  3.6  0.2  21.9  5.8  32.9  15.5  18.8  1.3  4.3  0.1  0.4  43.7  33.9  2.0  15.5  88.8
First of all, to explain in a bit more detail, the last column is the average daily Solar Flux. For 2013, it is the average for March-December since the streak didn't start till March 1, 2013. The first column after the year shows the total DX QSOs for that year. The 10M through SA columns show the percentage of the total QSOs for each category.

I think certain stats as follow show a definite relationship between QSOs and Solar Flux.

1. A noticeable decline in 10M and 12M QSOs after the SF peak in 2014.

2. A noticeable increase in 30M, 40M and 80M QSOs after the SF peak in 2014 as the higher bands became less useable. Also a slight increase in 20M QSOs for the same reason.

3. 15M and 17M didn't really decline until the SF dropped below 100.

4. Continents with high latitude paths (AS and EU) show a definite relationship to the SF.

5. Continents with medium latitude paths (AF and OC) increased as the SF declined. Probably mainly due to the lack of availability of EU and AS stations to work.

6. As EU and AS became much harder to work, the percentage of NA and SA QSOs showed a big increase.

I intend to do some more analysis and post it here later. I'll mention in the diary when I add anything.

On November 25, 2015 at 0002Z I worked PJ2/KB7Q on 40 meters. That was the 1,000th consecutive day on which I worked at least one DX (non-W/VE) station using, of course, QRP, CW, and simple wire antennas.

Looking back over the 1,000 days, there were some days that it was not that easy to find (the hardest part) and work (easy when found) a DX station. However those days were in a very small minority. Most days (794) the DX was found and worked quickly and easily not long after 0000Z. I think that proves beyond a doubt that you can be a successful DXer using only a very minimum setup. That was the main point of my streak, along with having fun and mastering the challenge of doing so.

The last day was a bit nerve wracking waiting for 0000Z to come along so I could get the DX out of the way quickly. As you know, I use UTC days for my streaks which turns out to be 7PM EST to 7PM EST or 8PM EDT to 8PM EDT days so my day for the streaks starts in mid-evening local time.

One thing that really helped to make the streak easy was having the PX3 Panadapter. That was a great time-saver as it made it possible to quickly scan a band and examine each peak to see if it was DX or not. If it was DX, then jump on it and work it. No wasting time painstakingly scanning each band listening for signals. With the PX3, you know immediately if a band is worth examining further or not. Without it, I may have gotten disgusted some days and given up, thus losing the opportunity to be writing about a 1,000 day DX streak as I am doing right now. Also not to be neglected is the fabulous KX3 transceiver. Its user-friendliness makes it the very best such rig in the world. You can never get tired of operating when using it. One feature among many I'd like to single out is its ease of operating split, especially with the ability to hear the DX in one ear and the pile-up in the other ear when using headphones. That definitely helped me to break some good-sized pileups along the way, especially when I worked K1N Navassa Is. for my very last North American entity.

Let me simply update some things now that I wrote at various times in the streak.

Since the 1,000 day mark, I reached another goal of 3 years for the streak on February 29, 2016 and some of the following is updated to that point.

The last day on which I did not work a DX station was February 28, 2013. As of November 25, 2015 that makes 1,000 (count 'em up) straight days that I DID work at least one DX station. I think that proves without a doubt that YOU can work DX with whatever setup you have, unless perhaps you live in an underground cave with no access to any kind of above ground antenna system. You see, and most of you know this, I live in the middle of a town located in a river valley on just a small lot with no room whatsoever for any kind of large high antennas. All the DX QSOs were made on CW (of course), using QRP power levels (of course), feeding antennas that are mostly inside my house, mounted on the side of my house, or mounted on my front porch roof. If I can do it with that kind of setup, I'm positive if you apply yourself, you CAN do it also.

Before I get on with the report on this current streak, a bit of history about other DX streaks. In fact, this report was originally written several years ago when I had a streak of 154 consecutive days of DX. That was in 1999/2000. That report can now be found at the bottom of this page. Now let me continue with the latest streak of 1,000 days.

First a bit of history. When I worked KG9N/C6A way back on August 5, 1994, I had no idea then that was going to be the start of a still continuing streak of making at least one QSO with QRP/CW/simple wire antennas each and every day. On November 25, 2015 when the DX streak reached 1,000 days, that streak reached 7,783 days. That streak story is told elsewhere here on the site.

Similarly when I worked IK2SND on March 1, 2013, I had no idea what that started either. In fact as with the big streak, I didn't even know it was a streak till many days after the start. This time around it was making a DX (non-W/VE) QSO each and every day. 1,000 days is a long time to be working DX every day. However, just as with the big streak, I have no intention as of now of voluntarily ending either one. I'll keep going until something beyond my control brings one or both to an end. My friend Mike KC2EGL is sure I will keep going. When I said some time ago, I wasn't sure about continuing it past 365 days on February 28, 2014, he looked me in the eye and said he was pretty sure that I would. Then explained why he thought so, telling me that I was the most 'challenge accepted' person he ever knew. I suppose that is true. I do enjoy setting a challenge for myself and then going out and working to accomplish it. After reaching 1,000 days I needed to set another check point in the streak to challenge myself to reach. That was 3 years which was February 29, 2016. I reached that, and then it was time to set another check point. Perhaps 2,000 days which is too far off to even figure quickly right now. Or maybe just 4 years on February 28, 2017. It is becoming more and more time consuming as it becomes harder and harder to find DX to work as we slip into a sunspot minimum. I may not be willing to devote that much time although I'm sure it could be done. Time will tell on that one.

There was another reason for the streak as well. As alluded to in the preamble above, I love showing hams who are in similar situations to mine - namely in a crowded neighborhood in middle of a town which lies in a river valley with little room for antennas of any kind - that it is possible to work DX using CW at QRP power levels. I have gotten many communications stating that they were interested enough to give it a try, and found out what I was saying and demonstrating was true.

I don't think that reason is involved in my decision to continue or discontinue the streak. I believe 1,000 days of DX in conjunction with all the other things I've done with CW/QRP is proof enough of what I have been saying for these many years now. The main point is how much time I want to devote to continuing the streak. Although in most cases it doesn't take much time at all in getting a DX QSO, there are some days it does take a while, and it is distracting if those days happen to be days I want to devote to other projects like a fishing trip, or some long walking, just to mention a couple.

During the 1,000 days of DX, I made 4,939 DX QSOs. I worked 152 countries (excluding W/VE). Of course all continents including a 9-minute WAC in the 2014 ARRL DX Contest. I worked 32 different CQ Zones. I worked 9 new overall countries: Tuvalu-T2YY, Qatar-A71CM, South Sudan-Z81X, Mauritania-5T0JL, Austral Is.-TX6G, Mauritius-3B8MU, Marianas Is. -AH0K, Navassa Is.-K1N, and Western Sahara-S01WS to bring my country total to 223 via QRP/CW. I worked 1,072 different prefixes. The QSOs took place on 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 30, 40, and 80 meters. Of the 4,939 QSOs, 1,262 were with stations I worked for the first time ever. 3,036 came in contests. Only 14 came in response to my CQ. 345 of the 1,903 non-contest QSOs came from a single call to the stations. 52 QSOs came at less than 5 watts - all the rest at 5 watts.
By bands:
80 -   18
40 -  310
30 -  330
20 - 1633
17 -  330
15 - 1187
12 -  116
10 - 1015
That shows that DX can be had even if your choice of bands is limited.

By continent:
AF -  153
AN -    3
AS -  143
EU - 3483
NA -  759
OC -   72
SA -  326
Pretty well spread around the world with the natural predominance of EU.

By hours (UTC):
00 - 1328
01 -  214
02 -   99
03 -   25
04 -   18
05 -   70
06 -   19
09 -    1
10 -    8
12 -    5
13 -   32
14 -  500
15 -  530
16 -  364
17 -  339
18 -  219
19 -  180
20 -  288
21 -  334
22 -  224
23 -  142
Indicative of my operating habits more than anything else.

By month:
Mar - 235
Apr - 230
May - 147
Jun -  56
Jul -  57
Aug - 132
Sep -  54
Oct - 174
Nov - 556
Dec - 191
Jan -  46
Feb - 536
Mar -  69
Apr -  73
May - 256
Jun -  49
Jul -  72
Aug -  48
Sep - 100
Oct -  66
Nov - 429
Dec - 166
Jan -  50
Feb - 504
Mar -  94
Apr -  67
May - 206
Jun -  45
Jul -  39
Aug -  50
Sep -  42
Oct -  53
Nov -  35
The big peaks in Novembers and Februarys are due to the CQWW and ARRL DX tests. (Nov 2015 total is only through the 25th.
The full month is now 292.)

The number of times in which the first DX station of a day was worked by hour:
00 - 794
01 -  39
02 -  19
03 -   2
04 -  11
05 -   1
13 -  10
14 -  48
15 -  41
16 -  12
17 -   6
18 -   3
19 -   6
20 -   5
21 -   2
23 -   1
The 23Z hour day was early in the streak (3-11-2013) when I really wasn't all that
concerned about the streak (ON6VL at 2304Z).
Let's take a brief look at some highlights of the 1000 days now.

3/1/2013 - First QSO of the streak - IK2SND on 17 meters
3/16/2013 - The Russian DX contest provides 108 QSOs and the first of several contests worked as a 'tag team' effort with Mike KC2EGL
3/31/2013 - Closed out the first month with HI3LFE on 40 meters - 235 total DX QSOs
4/8/2013 - Worked LZ833MBB - Just one of many new prefixes worked during the year
4/20/2013 - Eight separate contests worked 'tag team' with Mike including DX contests Manchester Miniera and the YU DX contest
4/30/2013 - QSO total now at 465 with 230 more in April
5/9/2013 - Another Bulgarian Saints station worked in LZ1876SMB
5/31/2013 - May closed with a total of 612 QSOs total
6/8/2013 - Day #100 of the streak featured HA9RT as my only QSO
6/14/2013 - LZ1534GWS worked - I mention the Bulgarian Saints stations because of the beautiful award offered for working so many of them
6/30/2013 - Total now 668 - only 56 DX QSOs in June
7/3/2013 - LZ1722SN and SJ0SOP for two more new prefixes
7/31/2013 - 725 the new total - 57 in July
8/25/2013 - New Saints station LZ1105PIO
8/31/2013 - At the end of 6 months the total is now 857 QSOs
9/8/2013 - LZ2013HST
9/16/2013 - Day 200 is reached thanks to JW/DL5SE, HB0/DF5AU, and LU7HF
9/30/2013 - Now 911 QSOs - only 54 in September
10/16/2013 - EI13CLAN worked celebrating the Irish Clans
10/19/2013 - QSO #1000 logged - DF0DA
10/29/2013 - OG3077F - a station honoring a Finn working all 3077 USA counties.
10/31/2013 - Newest total in at 1085 QSOs - thanks to a big turnout of 106 QSOs in the WAG contest
11/30/2013 - A big CQWW DX effort (421 QSOs) raised the total to 1641 QSOs
12/31/2013 - The 10 meters contest (thanks to a wide-open band) brought many DX QSOs for a year-end streak total of 1831 QSOs

1/31/2014 - Only 46 QSOs for a total now of 1877
2/15/2014 - 480 DX QSOs in the ARRL DX contest - my best total in a contest since the early 2000s
2/15/2014 - A six-QSO, 9-min WAC in the ARRL DX contest between 0025 and 0034 - KH6MB RT0C NP2N CS2C CR3L P40W
2/28/2014 - The end of one solid year of DX QSOs (365 days) saw somewhat exotic Cape Verde enter the log thanks to D44CF on 20 meters.
3/1/2014 - The streak continues for I don't know how long with 3Z6M, DL5FCZ, and TF3JB worked today.
3/27/2014 - DXCC entity # 219 overall worked in TX6G (Austral Islands)
3/28/2014 - Guam worked on 12 meters for a new band-entity (#1,078)
4/4/2014 - RS80KEDR commemorating the 80th anniversary of the birth of Yuri Gagarin worked.
6/3/2014 - Made my first QSO with the ARRL Centennial paddle presented to me by the NAQCC (CO0SS).
6/23/2014 - Worked EF6 honoring the new Spanish king Felipe VI. First QSO with a call having no suffix.
6/28/2014 - Worked FD with Mike KC2EGL using N3AQC from my front porch (we made 288 QSOs including a few DX)
7/13/2014 - The 500th day of the streak. Worked YU1700AST and EA4AOC/P.
10/11/2014 - Worked 2SZ, a station commemorating the 90th anniversary of the first England to New Zealand contact.
10/21/2014 - The 600th day of the streak. Worked WP3Y and SA5A.
11/30/2014 - Worked 3B8MU for country # 220 overall.
11/30/2014 - Worked AH0K as my last QSO in the CQWW DX Contest for country # 221 overall.

1/29/2015 - Day # 700 of the streak. Worked HK1MK, LY8O, SN90IARU.
2/9/2015 - Worked Navassa Island to finish all NA countries (entities). Thanks K1N - # 222 overall.
2/12/2015 - Worked Western Sahara thanks to S01WS for country # 223 overall.
2/21-22/2015 - 449 QSOs in the ARRL DX contest.
4/3/2015 - The 52nd anniversary of my becoming a ham.
4/11/2015 - A tough day for the streak, but made it with FS5PL at 2033Z.
5/30-31/2015 - 151 DX stations in the WPX contest.
6/8/2015 - Received my K1N QSL to verify the last NA DX entity.
6/16/2015 - Another rough day - no DX till 6Y5WJ at 1921Z.
6/19/2015 - One of the longest call signs in the streak - AO10EURAO
9/6/2015 - Rare Russian operating portable in Greece - SV2/RW3AL
10/1/2015 - Not too often worked Liechtenstein - HB0/DL5YM
10/19/2015 - Another of several IARU SE stations - EI90IARU
11/15-25/2015 - Several stations setting up for CQWW DX made last few days somewhat easy
11/25/2015 - Day # 1,000!!

This is dedicated to those who claim they can't work DX with QRP/CW/simple wire antennas. You're wrong, it can be done just about any time you want to do it.

DX Streak - 154 Days (1999/2000)

On November 23, 1999 I worked 5C8M, 9G5MF, XQ0YAF, EC8ACJ, OK1ACF, VP2MGU, and 3 other DX stations. Most of these stations were setting up for the CQWW DX test coming up in a few days. The day before that I only worked a couple of USA stations. I didn't know it at the time, but the 23rd would be the first of a long string of days that I would work at least 1 DX station. We were nearing the peak of sunspot cycle 23 and the bands were finally starting to act like it.

The next 3 days also saw many stations getting ready for the CQWW DX test finding their way into my log. During those 4 days I worked all continents several times over except for Oceania.

During the CQWW DX test on the 27th and 28th I worked 502 stations, most of them DX, from all continents and 83 countries including ZS and VQ9 which were overall new ones for me.

The following week I worked many stations who were lingering at their locations they used in the contest. It was about the end of that week that I started thinking of a DX streak. My longest previous streak of working DX was only 17 days. I felt I could surely break that string this time.

On December 10th, the day before the ARRL 10M DX contest, I worked OT7KG and LZ2DD for my 18th straight day of DX, breaking my previous record.

The streak rolled on and on through the month of December. As we started the year 2000, the streak was at 39 days with no end in sight. Conditions were just fabulous most of the time, and working DX was just as easy as working my regular daily QSO. In fact many times the DX was my regular QSO of the day for my QRP QSO streak which would reach 2000 straight days on the 25th of January. That's the last I'll mention that streak since it is covered in a separate report.

On each day in January I worked some DX. There were never any close calls. If I didn't get my DX in the 0000 or 0100Z hours, there was always the 1400Z hour. At that time 10, 12 or 15 would always provide me with an easy DX QSO, usually from a EU country. January ended with the streak at 70 days.

February brought more success, and then heartbreak. A massive geomagnetic storm brought the streak to an end on February 12th. I just couldn't work a single DX station that day. I couldn't even find a strong DX station. I tried a couple of weak ones that I heard, but to no avail. I might have been able to get J3/K4LTA on 30M, but I didn't want to try him since I had already worked him on that band a few days earlier and didn't want my QSO with him to perhaps deprive someone else who really needed Grenada on 30M. At any rate, the streak was over at 81 days. I was really feeling down, but I decided to try again.

So on February 13th I started in again to shoot for 100 straight days of DX. As in the previous streak that was cut short, this was just a few days before a major DX contest - the ARRL DX test - and there was a lot of good DX to be had. It started simply with KG4KO on the 13th, and continued with YL2000UZ, JW9VDA, etc. before the test started on the 19th.

512 DX QSO's were logged from 71 countries on all continents during the contest. VP6BR was worked for my only new overall country in the test. I also added 8 new band-countries.

The streak continued through February and into March. On the one month mark on March 13th T97M, YZ1RA, JA1CPZ, and JI1HFJ were entered in my log. The next few days provided some of the best DX conditions I have seen so far in sunspot cycle 23. I worked my first South Korea - HL4HLD, over 50 QSO's in the Russian DX contest the next weekend, and several new band-countries.

March 18th brought me the final QSO's for my Millennium DXCC award. Z31FK, GI0KVQ, and VP2VI were countries # 98-100 worked in 2000. I've since received the award, and it is a beautiful one as you can see by checking my Awards section - Millennium DXCC page where I have a picture of it posted.

Then came the best day of all, March 21st. 23 DX QSO's! That's the most DX QSO's (or non-DX QSO's, for that matter) outside of a contest I've made in one day since I returned to the air in 1993. Among the 23 were EX2X and SV0LK (Crete) for 2 overall new countries. A CQ on 10M netted an answer from UA1ABI. While I didn't make WAC that day, stations from 4 continents filled the log. Unless a better day comes along, I'll remember this day as the supreme highlight of cycle 23.

The rest of March was not all that bad, either. Stations like YM3LZ, Z37HWX, J79LGQ, UA0ABK, and EA9/EA7CTE, just to mention a few, contributed to the streak which stood at 48 days.

29 QSO's in the Polish DX contest on the 1st got April off with a bang. Then the next weekend 11 JA's in the JA DX test were a personal high in that contest and brought my total of JA QSO's to near 100. I never thought I'd see that many JA's in my log back when we were struggling through the sunspot minimum and I couldn't even hear JA, let alone work it.

April 21st brought me another first - WAC in 6 QSO's. RV9CP-20M, VK4XA-17M, UX1MM-10M, W5UJA-15M, YV6AZC-12M, and EA8ALP-20M. I was hoping to make it 6 QSO's on 6 different bands, but I couldn't find an AF station on 30M to finish that off, so I settled for doing it on 5 bands.

Some other new overall countries worked were VK0MM on 28 April, and HV5PUL on 30 April. The HV5 QSO finished off the month of April and made this latest DX streak 78 days, just 3 short of my previous best.

The streak almost ended prematurely again with some very poor conditions on May 3rd. It wasn't until 2248Z that I finally worked PY2NHK on 17M that I made my QSO for that day. Whew! What a heartbreak that would have been to not only not make 100 days, but to have this new streak end at 80 days, just one short of my previous record.

RH1F made the streak 82 days on May 4th. Only 18 days to go now! Some great conditions to Oceania in mid-May saw new countries Wallis & Futuna Is. and Fiji entered in my log thanks to FW/G3TXF, FW/G3SXW, and 3D8AG.

No more close calls, and the DX QSO's came easily through May 22nd, which was day # 100. RA2FBC and EA5/DJ7HZ put me over the top. I continued to keep the streak going after reaching my goal of 100 days. The streak eventually ended at 154 days on July 15th when I contacted FP/AI5P on 30M. Conditions again were very poor due to a severe geomagnetic storm, and I struggled to get that QSO. The next day I couldn't work any DX at all, my only QSO that day being with K4VK. I never attempted another streak until the one written about above on March 1, 2013, being content with keeping my regular QSO per day streak alive in between DX streaks.

Some random highlights of the 54 day extension of the streak included back to back QSO's for new countries on July 2 - A35RK and 3A/OH2BH, 9 JA QSO's on Jun 18 in the morning on 15M, 5H3RK on Jun 20 for a new country and a new zone leaving me with 4 zones needed for WAZ, TT8JLB on Jul 4 for yet another new one, working a dozen or so of the S5##* WRTC stations in the IARU contest, and getting V63KP on 17M for one more new one on Jul 10.

Combining the 2 streaks gave me DX on 235 out of 236 days. Not bad for QRP and simple wire antennas. If you're limited in what power you can run or limited in antenna space, keep my accomplishments in mind and give it a try yourself. You'll succeed and obtain much enjoyment from doing so. I certainly have.

Finally let's look at some stats from the streak. In the following stats, the first column will be for the 100 days, the second for the 235/236 days.

Number of DX QSO's        886        2103
Continents (excl Ant)       6           6
Countries                 114         145
African QSO's              16          49 
Asian QSO's                65         120
European QSO's            633        1549
NA DX QSO's               109         237
Oceania QSO's              20          29
SA QSO's                   43         118
Overall new countries      12          22