The DXCC entities are becoming harder to pick off now. I’m currently using a 10/20/40/80m parallel inverted-V up about 40′ and a 10/20/40m dipole up at an average height of 25′. The shorter dipole is better oriented for DXing across Europe. The inverted V doesn’t seem to perform better in any direction. As the solar cycle peaks/declines, there are going to be less opportunities to work DX easily on the high bands. I really need to put some time and effort into getting what I can while I can.
I missed many of the DXpeditions this year altogether. Half of the year I was dormant, and the last three months I guess I’ve been lazy. I should have been able to work 4-5 ATNOs from DXpeditions but for the fact that I just didn’t spend enough [or any] time trying.
My current DXCC count worked is 178, with 166 confirmed either via LOTW or via a QSL card. This really isn’t any sort of accomplishment. I’ve only barely worked more than half of the current DXCCs, and that’s by having operated in many DX contests (CW, SSB, RTTY) over the past two years. So I definitely need to step up and figure out a new strategy.
Along with picking off new DXCCs, I’ve been attempting to increase band/mode slots for DXCC entities that I’ve already worked.
I have a stack of about 150 cards that need to be shipped out to the Bureau sometime. I’ve been sitting on them for a month, and I know the DX who have sent me cards would really like to receive a confirmation from me before any of us die of old age.
I also have cards ready to go for the 12 entities that I need confirmed. What’s holding me back? It’s this whole thing with green stamps, IRCs, postal authorities that cannot be trusted, etc. I’ve pretty much decided that working the DXCC is far less of a battle than confirming the DXCC at this point. I’ve got nested envelopes, plenty of air mail stamps, plenty of 1 dollar bills and IRCs. I probably would have sent all of these out if I could write worth a damned. But my penmanship is worse than a doctor’s. If I were to write out the envelopes, they would stand a good chance of not being delivered because nobody can read what the hell they say. I have a printer, and a damned good one at that, but it’s a royal nightmare trying to get TO/Return addresses printed on them properly. Considering that I really only have about 40 cards that I’d like to send out for confirmations (ATNO or additional band/modes), I probably ought to type them in manually in OpenOffice and print them off one by one.
At any rate, this is a sort of depressing moment for me as I realize that I’m likely not going to increase my DXCC count very much over the next year without improving both my antenna system and my technique.