Re: Proposed Changes to DXCC for Remote Stations - Charge to DXAC
Though an SWL in my youth, I didn't set foot in an operating amateur radio station until the age of 40, when my older son's scout troop participate in JOTA. We both earned our novice tickets in 1990, and I was immediately infected by the DXing virus, for which I had no immunity. The Northern California DX Club provided excellent DXing Elmers, initially on the club's VHF repeater and later on its VHF packet cluster. A Cushcraft A3 tribander and an SB-220 amp acquired at the local flea market combined with software (DXLab) I developed to identify activity patterns and band openings from the DX spot data stream got me to little pistol status, but as the engineering leader of a struggling Silicon Valley startup, my "DXing time" was limited.
In 1997, growth in our business required me to relocate to the Boston area. I was thrilled that this relocation would not reset my DXing totals. In our new QTH, I put up a tower, Force-12 beams, a full-height vertical on 80m, an inverted L on 160m, and enjoyed QRO DXing from the northeast. For several years, I made QSOs from both coasts. Eventually, our company was acquired, enabling me to spend more time DXing and further developing DXLab. I've reached the top of the Honor Roll, and DXCC Challenge 3000.
From first-hand experience, I say that reaching the top of the Honor Roll and DXCC Challenge 3000 from a single geographic area is a much greater accomplishment than attaining these milestones with QSOs made from both US coasts, as I did.
Debating the wisdom of the past DXCC rule changes regarding remote operation is a waste of time. Remote operation makes amateur radio more accessible, for the many reasons already stated in this discussion. Awards have been granted based on QSOs made using remote stations; de-valuing these accomplishments is the last thing we should do.
But neither should we ignore the accomplishments of those DXers who have achieved DXCC milestones by making QSOs from within a single geographic area. I thus repeat the proposal I made here when this issue arose several months ago: the ARRL should create a new "Single Area Endorsement" for DXCC, 5-band DXCC, Honor Roll, and Challenge awards. This Endorsement would be awarded to any DXCC member who submits a statement asserting that his or her QSOs were all made from locations within X miles of each other, where X is a number like 200. A provided "Single Area Endorsement" sticker could be affixed to DXCC award certificates and plaques; "Single Area" Endorsements would also be indicated in the online DXCC standings.
This approach would retain the expansion powered by remote operation, while recognizing those DXers who "did it the hard way" -- from a single geographic area.
This approach would not break new ground: there are separate DXCC Honor Rolls for CW, SSB, and Digital Mode operation.