#1: (Re) Introducing The DXCC Sleuth: EA6NB – Balearic Island

ea6nb

Continent: Eu ITU Zone: 37 CQ Zone: 14

Added to the DXCC List: on the original 1937 list. Balearic Island is a possession of Spain. It is an arcepalgo consisting of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera

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Rareness Factor: “Garden Variety DX with a touch of African Continent and EU” – Jaime (Jim) has given Balearic Island out to countless hams worldwide and has been a real “beacon” in the DX community. The fact that it is near the African continent elevates it above other “Garden Variety” DX that I have worked. In many ways (for me), Jim IS EA6!

Current Clublog Most Wanted (as of this writing): #293

DXpeditions: there have been so many – but since there are so many “locals” and also holiday style activations, large scale DXpeditions have never really been needed. There have also been many contest activations. However, the great opportunity here is a very nice place to go on holiday and experience being the DX! In fact, make sure you Google Mallorca and feast your eyes on what a gorgeous place this is. Wikipedia also has a nice background on the island as well.

Merit Badges

Garden Variety

Great Place for a Holiday

Background

This is the first in a series of my personal pursuit of the ARRL DXCC Honor Roll and Top of Honor Roll. It is meant to be a walk down memory lane – and is driven by my DXCC HR #1 QSL Card Collection. These QSL cards act as a great way to bring back memories buried deep in the “Back 40” of my memory. The journey has been so much fun – I hope you enjoy the memories.

I was first licensed in 1973 as WN2QHN in Newton, NJ:

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I was WA2QHN when this picture was taken – I had just purchased a Kenwood TS-511s transceiver new from Barry Electronics in Manhattan. Yes, I took and flunked my General class license at the FCC office and sat for my test in front of Grumpy Old Finkelstein. In 1976, just months after my Novice license lapsed, I took the test in a much more mellow Seattle (while on vacation with my Father and Brother), and passed easily. Little did I know that my Father was interviewing at Lockheed Missiles and Space in Sunnyvale, and that the family would be soon moving to the West Coast.

I was off the air shortly after this picture was taken – since I bought my first car and found “other interests”. I would be off the air from 1977 – 2001, but with two “attempts” at getting back on the air – in San Francisco in 1991 – 1993 ( while living in a house I purchased at 242 Bella Vista Way near the top of Mt. Davidson – the one with the big cross on it), and once again in Lafayette in 1994. We moved to Lafayette after seeing what a pain it was to send our kids to decent schools in San Francisco. In hindsight – that probably wasn’t a necessary move, but Lafayette, Orinda and Moraga (Lamorinda) is a nice San Francisco suburb.

In 1991, I decided to upgrade my General class license to Advanced and Extra. My ex wife was pregnant and I had serious “nesting” instinct. The nervous energy of waiting drove me to study and easily pass the tests at the Sunnyvale VEC – which was held at some park in the South Bay. Shortly after passing the tests, I purchased a 2 meter rig, (but quickly grew tired of that) – and so decided to get back in HF – and went to the old Ham Radio Outlet in Burlingame (?) – at the old Railroad Station Building (I haven’t been able to find a picture anywhere online). I purchased a Cushcraft R7 multiband vertical and Icom IC-725:

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Fun Fact – check out where I found a review of this rig. The “Behemoth” is something I remember from Popular Science and Behemoth II is now in the Computer History Museum in Mountain View:

https://microship.com/icom-ic-725-73-review/

I remember just having CW rag chew QSO’s – like I did 20 years earlier in Newton, NJ. But now – I had a 2 year old in the house (Graham), and I had been a couple years out of being in a rock band in San Francisco dive bars – but as always – I was working in IT as an Oracle Database Administrator (good thing I never quit my day job – but The Hotel Utah is where played most of the time). I had been working for the City and County of San Francisco, and also had a darkroom in the garage – and had been back a few years from living in London where I was the European Distributor representative for Gupta Technologies.

So – that’s a pretty big introduction leading up to the EA6NB QSL card, and the first entry I had on my way to DXCC Honor Roll, 9BDXCC and Top of Honor Roll.

DXCC Entity “Vital Stats”

ea8nb-path

The QSO was made during the West Coast evening, on the Short Path, and the solar conditions were:

Cycle 22 Start 1986.8 Number 12.3 Peak 1989.6 Number 158.5 Years to Rise 2.8 Years to Fall 6.8 Cycle Length 9.7

The mean for 1993 was 54 – so we were about 4 years away from the bottom of the cycle and also when VK0IR would activate – which in many ways was a major “watershed” DXpedition – and one where my future fate would cross paths with one of the principles of that DXpedition.

Anyway, this QSO was a real “fluke” – I happened to call CQ – or maybe I answered his CQ, and didn’t care if it was DX or not. I had never been a DXer nor did I have any interest in DXing – I just liked CW and thought I should keep my skills up at that time. It was 100 watts with a “compromise” vertical, but my QTH was probably the best I’ve ever had – and I did not even know it. We had a view of the San Francisco Bay – but towards Hunters Point – and could see Oakland and Mt. Diablo in the distance – where we would end up living in just a few years later.

Important DXCC Resources

  1. ARRL DXCC Standings – http://www.arrl.org/dxcc-standings
  2. LOTW – https://lotw.arrl.org/cgi-bin/lotw_page_auth/default
  3. Clublog – https://clublog.org/index.php
  4. The History of the DXCC by (me) – History of the DXCC

BTW – I think the best DXCC List is either found at Clublog or in LOTW. The ARRL DXCC Desk and other parts of its web site regarding DXCC almost look abandoned. Luckily, LOTW and their standings lists look well kept, supported and looked after.

Parting Shots

  1. W4MPY, Wayne, was a legendary QSL printer and went SK a few years back. You can see his moniker at the bottom of EA6NB’s QSL card
  2. I will try to average 2 posts a week – one on the weekend, and one during the middle of the week. At this rate it will take me 3 years to complete, and might even coincide with me working the last 2 I need – Bouvet and Glorioso. In any case – it will get me through the bottom of this solar cycle – hi hi

4 thoughts on “#1: (Re) Introducing The DXCC Sleuth: EA6NB – Balearic Island

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