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DX



Maggie wrote:

There's oodles of HF DX out there...I would think very few people become satellite operators *just* because they want to work DX, without caring *how* they do it. 

Wayne replies:

HF DX nowadays is as easy as it gets, even for (U.S) code-free technician licensees whose only HF privilege is a portion of the 10-meter band.  Five years from now it will be much different.  10-meter DX will be non-existent except for occasional north-south openings.  HF DX propagation above 10 MHz will be much more difficult and will occur less often.

I got into satellites during the last solar minimum, PARTLY because HF DXing was so frustrating using modest antennas.  Have any old timers observed that the "amateur public" is more interested in satellite operating during sunspot minimums when there is less HF activity?

We can expect a large influx of HF DXers if AO-40 somehow provides reliable DX windows.  Serious HF DXers are compulsive gadget freaks with a BIG budget.  Many DXers have already "worked them all", and are looking for new challenges like IOTA, 160 meters, and WARC bands (rarely QRP).  Satellite DX could be the next trendy "new" challenge.  Satellite appliances don't add that much incremental cost to the typical $10,000+ station of a serious DXer.  Most DXers constantly crave bigger antennas and more power, so it's a GOOD thing that AO-40 has LEILA.

Wayne Estes W9AE
Mundelein, IL, USA


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