Sunday, April 1, 2012

About DX University

About DX University™

The DX University™ is new.   It is a one-day, in-person course for DXers, similar to the very successful Contest University,™ CTU.™  Its aim is to help DXers learn not only the basics of successful DXing, but many of the more advanced techniques that allow experienced DXers to get in and out of a pileup in the shortest possible time, while making a minimal impact on the bands.   We'll even cover some really great tips that will work wonders for the serious DXer.
The DX University™ is in its early stages of development.   In the future, we hope to make this course available in a number of additional venues, in the United States as well as in Europe and possibly South America.
The faculty for 2012 includes AA7A, G3SXW, K4UEE, K9LA, N7NG, W3UR, W6OAT, W9KNI, and XE1KK.   These DXers are well-known for their prowess in DXing and DXpeditioning.   As the effort develops, other well-known figures will undoubtedly become associated with DX University™ in various roles as professors and curriculum developers.

Course Descriptions

Welcome and Introduction

Why are we here? This running of the DX University™ is intended to help enable a newer DXer in his or her pursuit of working DX.   It's also intended to give more experienced DXers additional tools to allow them to pursue DX in a more suitable way.For today, we will confine our discussion to the HF bands, 80M through 10M.   In general, we will start our discussions of DXing from a beginner's point of view, and then move toward more advanced techniques as we go along.   Even the most experienced DXers, including the professors, may learn some useful techniques.
We will talk about the equipment needed, from the basics to the more advanced, radios, antennas and accessories.
We will spend considerable time in on-the-air procedures, observing that awards chasers will be pursuing both DXpeditions as well as permanent stations in more or less rare countries.   In discussing DXpeditions, we will briefly touch on what you should expect from a DXpeditioner and what his responsibilities are.   We will also discuss how to actually make a QSO - good QSO mechanics.
We will discuss DXing from a DXpeditioner's point of view as well as DXing from the point of view of other DXers.   We will discuss various aspects of QSLing, the use of the Internet and Remote operation.   Finally, we will talk about propagation and awards - the world of tic sheets.
Interspersed within today's program, we will have two Q&A sessions wherein you may discuss various topics that you feel are important, whether we have covered them or not.   A short description of each course follows.

Station and Antenna Considerations - AA7A

In order to work DX effectively a DXer must have appropriate equipment.   This section describes transmitting and receiving equipment, usually a transceiver, with 1) the features that are absolutely necessary for the purpose - good functionality - and 2) additional features that make the job easier and more efficient.   It also includes effective antennas, probably the most important element in a DXers arsenal.   Deciding which antennas are best for the DXers living situation, and getting the most out of the available resources is among the considerations discussed in this section.

Finding DX, Listening and Preparing to Call - W9KNI

After you have built a station, you need to find DX to work.   This section deals with the skills required to locate a DX station.   Before you can start to work DX, you must exercise a combination of skills including gathering information, listening and planning your next move.   Bob Locher, W9KNI describes his finely honed skills in this section, including the use of Internet Alerting systems, pagers and bulletins.

Getting into the Log: Proper Calling and QSO Mechanics - N7NG and G3SXW

Once a DX station is located, a good DXer will plan his strategy.   How is the DX operator operating? How is he tuning? Who will he work next, and where? What calling style is he using? How should you call to attract his attention? Once recognized, how should you complete the QSO to be sure that you are in the log, and what should you do if you "don't sure?" Wayne and Roger discuss these topics for CW and SSB.

Ethics: QSLing, Internet, Remote Operation - W6OAT

The Internet has had numerous impacts on Ham Radio DXing.   Some of these impacts are profound in ways both positive and in some cases, negative.   In some respects the "twenties and thirties style of operating recognition has been made obsolete by technology." Learn what the issues are, what they might mean to DXing and some ideas on how we might deal with them.

From the DXpeditioner's Point of View - K4UEE

One source of important information for the DXer might be found in the point of view of the DX operator and the DXpeditioner.   After all, there are the folks that you wish to contact, and knowing how they view your calling in a pileup might just be useful! Bob, K4UEE is a very experienced DXpeditioner.   He has most likely "heard it all." Listen to Bob has to say about what he's heard, and how best to get in his log.

Internet Resources - W3UR

Innovative DXers have used outside sources of information since they were available.   DXers have made use of the land-line telephone for "one-ringers." Then simplex VHF spotting nets were employed.   VHF FM repeaters were next, followed by email and Internet Spotting networks.   With the advent of the Internet, the range of additional information resources has exploded.   Be informed -- Bernie may have some new ideas for the serious DXer.

Propagation for Working DX - K9LA

DX QSOs on HF can only be made when propagation permits.   From Topband to six meters, propagation varies throughout the years, from season to season and around the world.   In order to make the best and most effective use of your time, learning when, and on which bands to be active will pay off with more and rarer DX without the need to sit endlessly by the radio.   Carl is more than qualified, and promises to speak in a language all can understand.

DX Awards - XE1KK

In addition to a basic interest in communicating at a long distance, with people we may never meet, one of the primary interests in Ham Radio is award collecting.   Humans are addicted to "box ticking." That is, collecting artifacts and recording the results - coins, stamps etc.   DXing is about collecting contacts with interesting locations under sometimes difficult circumstances.   In fact, we collect any entity that can be counted or categorized.   DXCC, for example, is a well-developed system of groups into which we place political and geographic entities.   Bands, modes, countries, island entities, continents, lighthouses and other entities are all of interest. These are collections that measure our operating prowess. Hear Ramon discuss and define these activities.

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