#12: ZL7/G3TXF – Chatham Island

This is one of the first QSO’s that I had where I knew I was a DXer. That might sound strange – but in July 2001, I purchased an Icom IC-756Pro and it was because I wanted to become a DXer. (I didn’t even know what that meant at first). Sometime in between July 2001 and this QSO, I discovered the ARRL DXCC List and started understanding what “chasing DXCC” meant. And my personal definition of being a DXer has always been chasing DXCC entities – not necessarily the awards. That’s not everyone’s definition ….

The other part of this was that I must have started following the DX web sites – I think the first was http://www.ng3k.com/misc/adxo.html

NG3K still has the same simple but very effective calendar of DXpeditions – with single ops, duo’s, small teams and megas. Nigel and Roger were certainly the first “team” that I followed – and they gave me many ATNO’s. They are great operators and they gave out so many ATNO’s to “the deserving”. The OCD had set in – I was looking at lists – DXCC and NG3K daily – and looking for DX news of upcoming activations. These were wonderful times, and this would carry me through a whole lot of change in my life for 17 years (so far).

OC ITU Zone: 60 CQ Zone: 32

Added to the DXCC List: added to the list in 1957. It is a possession of New Zealand – and why I have New Zealands flag below – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatham_Islands

Flag

Rareness Factor: “Top 100 with a Pipeline between the West Coast and Chatham Islands”. 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): #87 – in the Top 100, but not rare at all for the West Coast

DXpeditions: many, and most have been small team or single person projects

Merit Badges

Nice place for a Holiday

Pipeline

Background

I think out of all the DXpeditions, I have enjoyed the small team or single DXpeditioner who are great operators the best. Sure – some places just demand it be a mega DXpedition (cost and logistics, economy of scale), but I always have the warmest memories of these smaller operations – mainly because when they come on the air – you have to be ready. They come on the air when they want and on the bands they want. They are not on 6 or 8 bands all at once operating – which then has the effect of having huge swarms everywhere 24 by 7. With smaller teams the excessive “greenie chasing” doesn’t happen as much either. It has the feel of a more relaxed DX “hunt” – and I made so many QSO’s just because I had guessed where they would be – and sure enough – I was the early bird. The best example of this was North Korea – P5/4L4FN . . . The one DXpeditioner who has given me more ATNO’s than single person or team of any size is Vlad Bykov – UA4WHX.

DXCC Entity “Vital Stats”

The QSO was made during West Coast afternoon and the solar conditions were close to the second peak of Cycle 23:

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

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

Its interesting to look back on conditions at the second peak of Cycle 23 and realize just how much better that cycle was as compared to Cycle 24. However, the most rare DX I have worked has been in Cycle 24, so perseverance and working on your antenna farm is the biggest keys to success.

2 thoughts on “#12: ZL7/G3TXF – Chatham Island

  1. Another ZL entity that was most recently activated by a tiny team was Antipodes, by ZL9A. I was terrified I would miss them (since I was convinced ZL9HR would be the “last one ever”), but in the event I worked them quite easily on three bands. The operation was so small, at only 8.5k QSOs, and so short, at 4 days, that I think it just flew under the radar a bit. Maybe a mega would have been harder to work. Anyway, it was a reminder that the impossible can still happen in this hobby, and it may be easier for a small team to work a miracle.

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    1. I worked them for a band slot and they were easier to work than ZL9HR. I think it’s a combination of ZL9HR having worked down demand but also the fact it was 4 guys, there were only so many bands and modes they could be on at any one time. I think they were chased even more by IOTA chasers since it was the first time that iota was activated AFAIK

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