DX University™

  A Guide for DXers and DXpeditioners

The West Coast DX Bulletin

The WeeklyDX™ Helpful Hints No. 64 from the DX University™


We moved to Wyoming in 1972, and I operated five years in an apartment using a 14AVQ. It was a major hiatus in my DXing – possibly even terminal – because I left California (K6ALH) at 293 mixed on the DXCC list, and I was faced with working all of those countries again. As much of a DXer as I had always been, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about starting again from the beginning.

As luck would have it the DXCC rules changed beginning in 1977 allowing DXCC QSOs to be made anywhere in your own DXCC entity. As a result, my interest was again engaged. I gave up W7JFG for N7NG and was again up and running.

In becoming active in DXing again, it seemed reasonable to look for a source of DX information. It was probably Bob, W6RGG who introduced me to the West Coast DX Bulletin. The WCDXB had been published by Hugh Cassidy, WA6AUD and his wife Virginia as “The Marin County DX Group” since 1968. There were several bulletins being published, but the WCDXB was “local” for me, so I sent a subscription request. I received a receipt dated April 19, 1978. I don’t recall the price, but I can tell you now that it was worth every penny.

I had been active in high school and during my college days at the University of California in order to get that 293 countries worked. Now it was down to 275 due to deletions. Some of the stuff that I had worked had become very rare, stuff like Burma, Heard Island, the Andaman’s and Laccadives (Lakshadweep) and so on. I was missing some other countries that came up while I was inactive. The West Coast DX Bulletin was a tremendous help in finding the countries that I needed to fill out my list. By early 1979 I was already at the Honor Roll level. Even then, I looked forward every week to the arrival of the WCDXB.

As were most DXers, I was shocked the day I received the last copy of the WCDXB in July, 1979. I sat in front of the Jackson Post Office for some time as I read that last issue. Could it be? I had had the pleasure for only a little over a year. Cass had been hinting for some time, and finally as he said: “Sooner or later most of us learn that even the longest road has an end, the most glorious day a sunset, the beautiful melody a final note, and that even the most enthusiastic can tire.”

In hindsight, the value of the West Coast DX Bulletin was as much in Hugh Cassidy’s way of presenting the bulletin as it was in delivering DXing information. Through his stories, he included lots of interest and even some wisdom. I always found Cass’ stories had a point, something to think about. Also, I usually found it difficult to figure out what his own take was on the issue of the day.

Many of his stories are just really funny. Charles Allen, W5DV and his brother James, W6OGC published a book of “The Best of the West Coast DX Bulletin” in 1981. Every once in a while I pick up my copy and turn to a story on one of the well-marked pages and get another chuckle. They are still really good, over and over again.

According to Ross, K6GFJ, “When Cass decided to stop publishing the bulletin, he shipped his entire collection to Paul, Dunphy, VE1DX.” Paul recently shipped Cass’ collection back to the West Coast where the Northern California DX Club will have every issue scanned to be available on the Internet. So far, issues from issues from May 1, 1968 to December 30, 1975 have been published on the NCDXC webpage. After every issue has been scanned and available on line, the collection will be moved to its permanent home in the W6CF Memorial Library at the California Historical Radio Society in Alameda (CA) (www.californiahistoricalradio.com). Most likely, by the time you finish reading those issues already published, the remainder will be scanned and online.

Although many of the stories refer to operations and other DXing matters that are dated, not relating directly to today’s operations, you can easily substitute current callsigns, as most of the topics are the same and relevant, maybe more so. As Cass would say, “DX IS!” Still is? You bet!