Across the finishing line

by Antony Chazapis

I got all excited when I heard the Australian station question which “sierra victor” was calling him. I gave my callsign a few times and waited. I was touching the 100 DXCC entities finishing line… The VK station repeated slowly: “SV9/SV1OAN, you are 5-4 in Australia.” Fireworks! The line was cut, and as its sides fell to the ground, I was running around the house celebrating.

DXCC entities worked and confirmed

It all started about 11 months ago, when I decided to pursue a DXCC award as SV9/SV1OAN. A persistent goal has been a great driving force. It urged me to set up the logger software on my computer “properly” (with connectivity to the radio, the cluster, LoTW, and eQSL), try out different antennas (just wire ones), participate in contests, do some CQing, and listen around to chase stations from missing DXCCs.

My logbook shows 946 QSOs in 74 days of activity in total. I could have done this faster I guess, if I joined all major contests, if I realized earlier that each HF band favors propagation from different countries, and if I had more hours on the radio, trying to find the callers before they hit the cluster and generate huge pile-ups.

The QSLing process is not fast, so the DXCC award will take months to follow. I am at 85 confirmed entities right now and still have to send out some direct QSL cards.

What comes next? Digital modes, a better antenna, and a new radio cross my mind. I have also been thinking of learning CW. Should I go for more DXCC entities? I think the entity-chasing safari is never over, but I can participate more casually. Like yesterday afternoon, when I heard a booming signal from Guadeloupe. I grabbed the microphone and called a few times. 101! Oh, the sweet feeling of the “new one”…