#5: HK3CW – Colombia

Colombia itself is a chip shot from the West Coast, but Malpelo – a possession of Colombia is super rare – and is a place very hard to get to – and I mean physically getting onto that rock in the ocean. More on Malpelo much later in this series . . .

This QSO happened while I was still trying to figure out what a DXer is and how to go about chasing DXCC. It didn’t take long – DXing is one of the most fun things you can do in ham radio – and it has kept me interested and on the air for 17 years straight. Before that my record was maybe 3 or 4 years.

SA ITU Zone: 12 CQ Zone: 9

Added to the DXCC List: on the original 1937 list. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colombia


Rareness Factor: “Garden Variety DX with a splash of good coffee”. However, on the low bands – especially 160M, the QSO is very much appreciated since anything on Top Band from the West Coast seems rare – hi hi

Current Clublog Most Wanted (as of this writing): #277

DXpeditions: I’ve never heard of a DXpedition to Colombia – but certainly from San Andreas and Malpelo. Since these islands are both IOTA as well as DXCC entities – both are sought after. There are frequent San Andreas activations, but seldom Malpelo activations – more on that when we get to those entities. There are several big contest stations in Colombia that are active in the DX contests.

Merit Badges

Garden Variety

Colombian Coffee


In July, 2001, my boys would have been 10 and 6 years old. I was on my way DX wise – in fact, I think the perfect age for a ham is when the kids are old enough to not need constant attention as infants do – and where the adult(s) have to stay close to home a lot. I remember I did not mind at all being “sequestered” at home with the kids – because after homework – they played with their toys and so did I.

So I say look to middle aged people to bring in new hams and especially new DXers. There is something about chasing DXCC and being middle aged (at home with kids) that makes that even more fun than it normally is.

DXCC Entity “Vital Stats”

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

Cycle23 Start 1996-08 Number 11.2 Peak 2001-11 Number 180.3 Years to Rise 5.3 Years to Fall 7 Cycle Length 12.3

I always enjoy QSO’s to all of South America, and I’d love to visit there some day.

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. Its amazing how long a simple ladder line fed doublet with a tuner can deliver hundreds of entities – and with only 100 watts. I remember those early DXCC chasing days fondly

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