Wednesday, 13 February 2019

G4OBK 2018 ARRL DXCC Challenge Submission

I've just submitted my annual DXCC endorsement claim to the ARRL. Whilst I hadn't been particularly active in 2018 hunting DX stations I have been more active as a DXer than in recent years, with my main interest at present in Amateur Radio remaining in Summits On The Air (SOTA)In the course of the year I managed to pick up 19 Logbook of the World (LoTW) credits. This was mainly due to two reasons - the newly developed Machine Mode called FT8, where I have used the WSJT-X software over HF radio to provide datamode credits. When the ARRL allowed Kosovo into the DXCC scheme as a valid country this encouraged me get back on and try to work that country on all bands.

So this was how my 2018 claim worked out:

I decided not to submit paper QSLs this year as I only have two, and the cost of an on-line submission with field checking in the UK by Lionel G5LP would cost me an inflationary $20 plus postage, just for two QSL cards to be checked! The cost of submitting the 19 credits for checking via LoTW however was a more economical $14.27.

This year I claimed Z6 Kosovo as a new DXCC Country in LoTW in Mixed, Phone, CW and Data modes and with DXCC Challenge counters on all bands completed from 160m through to 6m, barring the 10m band for which I have a paper QSL for a contact with Z61DX. The other paper QSL I received this year (Thanks to RU4SS) was for a contact with EZ8BO (Turkmenistan) on the 12 metre band in 2004. Amateur radio has been banned in that country now for some years and the operator Eugeny is now "silent key". 
I remember all the DX contacts claimed very well - a few were routine, such as HB9CXZ Switzerland on 160m FT8 - my first HB9 credit for a datamode surprisingly...  The other datamode confirmations (thanks to the new FT8 mode) were BH1TSU China (17m), ZP6ARO Parguay (20m), D44TWO Cape Verde (160m), RI1ANL Antarctica (15m) and PJ4P (17m) and a new counter point for the DXCC Challenge. 

After I cleared up Kosovo for the DXCC Challenge bands, additionally I worked 9K2NO Kuwait on 6m CW, VK9XG Christmas Island on 80m CW and lastly EP6RRC Iran on 30m CW for three more Challenge Points putting me at 2928 Challenge Points and No. 1 Honour Roll Phone / Mixed Mode with all 340 DXCC Countries confirmed. In CW the two countries I haven't yet worked are P5 North Korea and FT\W Crozet Island. 

I now need 72 DXCC Challenge Points to reach my lifetime target of 3000 points.  It remains to be seen if this is achievable with my current station, as this is entirely dependent on the effects of the sun on the next one or two solar cycles and for how long into old age that I am able to continue operating. 

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