For 11 1/2 years, I have been looking at (boring text) lists as far as the ARRL DXCC program is concerned. (Said to his “DX Therapist”):
“It all started when I read a sentence by the ARRL either online or in some publication where it said something like:
“The DXCC Honor Roll is the Pinnacle of something or other . . . “
Well – of course – I wanted to be on the “pinnacle” – who wouldn’t? . . . .
But I digress – back to the article at hand . . .
I have felt that these “tried and true” lists just don’t unlock “that special something” that is the magic of the program. I started searching through back issues of QST and found lots of very interesting “back stories” regarding entities, the DXAC, DX-peditions, and the DXCC program and its history. I wanted to try to capture the “essence” of the DXCC Program on one :info-graphic” page. Here is my first cut at such a “Visual History” of the DXCC Program (this is just a small thumbnail):
And here is the link to a PDF that you can view at 400% or whatever suits your fancy:
You should look at this PDF on a large screen – or print it in A3 format for best effect. Legal works too – but is a bit of a strain on the eyes.
I will make some cursory observations – and these are just my “musings”:
The most important Rule of Thumb is:
Make sure you go read as many “stories” – written in the style of “Cass” (WA6AUD – SK) by Paul, VE1DX:
Cass was part Zen Master, Preacher and Professor. I have only recently gone through my “religious conversion” with the writings of Cass. . . . . but through Paul’s “channeling” of Cass:
1) Contrary to my previous grumbling / bitching about the “illogical nature of the DXCC Program”, in a world that has had such upheaval and wars and strife and stuff – the DXCC Program has been a pillar of stability. That’s no easy feat. I respect the fact that it has maintained its integrity – far better than any politician has . . . Spock would actually be proud of how logical it has been . . . DeSoto and Handy were geniuses . . .
The funniest thing is how in the beginning – they seemed to care more about how the DXCC articles and listings would “take up more space than they were alloted in QST” – and so there was a strong emphasis on keeping lists short -including the “Country List”. You can see how that emphasis went away after WWII.
2) The number one reason why entities are added or deleted from the list have been geo-political. I have griped about how some are “ridiculous”, but that is such a small percentage of the total – I feel bad I ever griped. The “silly” ones added due to changing the rules to accommodate such entities are now “cute” in my mind – and nothing more. (I won’t get carried away and say they “add character to the program”). Oh well – yeah – they do . . .
Speaking of history – one thing you can infer from the graphic is what happened after each war. For example, after WWII, first the European Colonies in Africa became independent countries – so you saw a wave that lasted from the 40′s into the 60′s with Deletes and then New Entities – many times having one “country” become two new entities. Then Asia Pacific had changes after Korea, but especially Vietnam, and finally, a lot of change due to the Fall of the Berlin Wall and then what happened with the former Yugoslavia and other countries close by. Everything after WWII until the Berlin Wall seemed to have some connection with the “Cold War” and its end. Then there was the aftermath of Communism falling and the breakup of the USSR.
The biggest social influence has been the coming of age of The Baby Boom Generation. As Boomers found more time to devote to their hobby (kids grown up), combined with more disposable income, the program really started taking off in the 90′s and the number of those on the Honor Roll sky rocketed. Couple that with packet clusters and internet clusters and this is why I think the numbers start doubling and even tripling between cycles.
3) I do still believe that Kingman Reef really no longer qualifies for the list - because the jurisdiction that had it “grandfathered in” no longer applies, and when that status changed – sometime in the last 13 years – KH5K should have been deleted. I also think it no longer meets the “minimum size” rule. HOWEVER – if someone will please go run out and activate it soon – I would be obliged. It would be the easiest rare entity for me EVER. I’ll throw money at such a DX-pedition! My stack is pointed that way . . . I would rather work it than have it deleted . . . . .
4) I’m not sure – but online “conveniences” such as online logging and DX spotting have probably contributed to the growth we have seen since the late 80′s / early 90′s.
Clinton DeSoto, FE Handy, (and all that followed) at the League are still my heroes. They created a program that will live as long as ham radio has amateurs.
W2LV, Bob Morris – who is mentioned in the “How’s DX” column and several times in QST was a mentor of sorts growing up in Sussex County, NJ (as WA2QHN). He was an awesome and amazing radio pioneer and DXCC “DX Man”, and I was in awe and couldn’t speak when I met him in the next town over when I was 13 years old.
Out West here – Jim Maxwell – W6CF – would be a great friend now – if he were still with us. He and I think a lot a like – and I know this from looking at the research he has done for all of us – as far as DXCC is concerned. As far as DXCC research goes, I’d like to thank Wayne Mills, N7NG, who worked at the ARRL for many years and now is with CQ Magazine and Bill Moore, NC1L, who works for the ARRL as the DXCC Manager, and finally, Stan Horzeppa, WA1LOU, who has mentioned this blog in his “Surfin’” column with very positive encouragement. They have answered many questions that I had and have pointed me in the right direction.
I can’t forget Dr. Bob Schmieder, KK6EK – who has taught me more about DXpeditions than I think I really wanted to know – and the gurus of wire and aluminum – Dean Straw, N6BV and Tom Schiller – N6BT. Dean and Tom are the real reasons that I will make it on the Honor Roll – and very soon.