The results of the DX Marathon for 2012 are now online and when I saw the results in the QRP category I just shook my head in disbelief.
As we all know, 2012 didn’t present the best of RF conditions. Far from it, but the top two QRP DXers each worked all 40 zones in that 12 month period.
At the top of the list was my buddy Dan WG5G in San Antonio, TX who, along with those 40 zones, worked 257 countries in a single year with 5 watts! Dan has one heck of an antenna that puts that handful of watts exactly where he wants them, geographically-speaking. Spectrum-wise, his know-how sends the signal right into the headphones of the distant receivers.
Second place in QRP goes to Bill W8QZA in San Diego, CA. For the year, Bill worked all 40 zones and 221 countries. And he did it with a very modest antenna – a 3-element Yagi at only 32 feet (9.7m).
Both of these guys live on city lots with all the limitations and QRN that implies.
Bill has a pic of his antennas posted to his QRZ.com page. Look at it here and ponder the expertise that allowed him to do what he did with that set-up and 5 watts. Other QRP accomplishments from Bill:
- 70 countries on 80m QRP in a single contest weekend
- Most distant QSO: EA3OT on the Long Path, Jan 12, 1993, 20m SSB at 16:10 Z. 19,091 miles (30,724 km or 76.7% of the way around the world!)
- Fastest WAC ever: 13 minutes. March 4, 2000 on 15m SSB during ARRL DX Phone contest.
- Fastest WAC on 40m CW: 18 minutes, Feb 16, 2002 during ARRL DX CW contest. (It took me two years to get WAC on 40 the first time!)
- Fastest WAC on 40m SSB: 34 minutes, Mar 3, 2012 during ARRL DX Phone contest.
- Fastest WAC on 80m CW: 3 hrs and 51 minutes, Feb 20, 2010 during ARRL DX CW contest. CR2X-P40L-KL7WV-EF8M-KH6J-JA0JHA
- Long Path: I have worked every continent on the Long Path except my own, North America.
This won’t win me any friends in certain circles, but I gotta say it:
There are those QRO DXers on eHam’s DX Forum who take great pleasure in posting to the list every DXpedition they work and how few calls it took to get them. When no ultra-rare DXpeditions are currently on, they piss & moan about having nothing to work, implying (ever-so-subtly, mind you) that they’ve got all the juicy stuff already.
Meanwhile, guys like Dan and Bill are working anything and everything, piercing the east coast “wall” – and any other wall – with 5 watts…and yet remaining as humble as they are effective.
Contrary to so many other aspects of life these days, these guys who are accomplishing the most are crowing about it the least.
And while that speaks highly of their character, a lot of what is possible with QRP is lost on the masses, with so many non-QRPers thinking these feats are impossible.
I nominated Dan for QRP Hall of Fame last year – he’s the only QRPer on DXCC Honor Roll – and in a glaring example of what they’ve become ( a clique-ish “it’s who ya know, not what you accomplish” mentality), QRP ARCI not only refused to induct him – they didn’t induct anyone at all! Screw them.
Congrats to both of you, Dan and Bill, for an amazing year – and a lesson in humility.