DX Streak # 2
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 fabulous most of the time, and working DX was just as easy as working someone next door.
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 European 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 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.
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