Sunday, April 19, 2015


I never thought I'd need to post this but in view of what I'm hearing on the air these days, perhaps it's not a bad idea.

What is DX?
As far anyone can tell, the terms means "distance X", and in modern day English has the equivalent of "LONG DISTANCE". Now, its clear that this term is subjective and not the same for everybody. Long distance on uhf is not the same as on HF, for example, nor is it the same for someone running qrp and simple antennas as someone using a more sophisticated setup.

In order to qualify what DX means, it was established in times well before I was licenced that DX on HF is a station on another continent. This was, and is, the definition I and millions of other hams understand and accept.

However, in view of the fact that it seems a large number of hams might never have had this fact clarified, I think it's time to set the record straight, even if it is only on a little-read and uninfluential blog.


Now, it may well be that you are in Europe and want to give me a call for some reason. You might want a qsl from my province, you might want a rig check, or you might be a friend wanting to say hello. Does this mean you shouldn't call me? No. What it means is the following:

Please listen.

If you hear me working another station, please don't call.

If you hear me call DX but don't hear anyone come back to me, please don't call. There may be a weak DX station calling me that you can't hear. If you call at the same time, I will need to ask the other guy for a repeat.

If you hear me call more than once with no apparent reply, give me your call. If I don't reply, please don't insist.

If when giving your call you say something like "not dx but would like a short qso/antenna check /etc" there's a good chance I will reply.

If I do reply to your call, please keep it short.

I'm sure that at this point a number of readers will be indignant at my attitude. Please take into consideration the following:

My operating times are usually short. I am a busy man with a demanding job and with family commitments. I do not have all day to chat on the radio (I wish I did).

I live in a country that is the fifth least wanted on the dxcc list. In the event that you do need Spain confirmed let me know and I'll be happy to send you a card.

I do not always call dx. There are times when I am looking for a chat with anyone anywhere.

I don't always operate from a dx capable station and know what its like to be qrp or antenna limited and the only guy you can hear on the band is looking for dx. As you can read above, respect my call, if no one comes back after a couple of times then go ahead. I am sensitive to things like qrp, portable, and novice licence holders.

To recap:
For those who are unaware of what dx is, on HF it's contacts on another continent.
For those who think their need for a qso is more important than what I want, time to revise your operating. I am not a bad operator for not answering you. You are a bad operator for calling when you shouldn't.

Please feel free to comment if you I'm wrong!


Jonathan said...

It's interesting Duncan, I got caught out on this on one of my first mobile sessions in Scotland. I responded to a Swedish station on 40m who told me in no uncertain terms that I wasn't DX. Being from VK I had a mindset that Europe was DX and it hadn't occurred to me. 73 MM0/VK6JON.

ham radio for sale said...

Thanks for the interesting post. Just goes to show that we are not all on the same page when it comes to what we consider DX doesn't it.