DX University™

  A Guide for DXers and DXpeditioners


In the early years of the 20th Century almost everything was DX for most hams. Across town, across the country or across the oceans, everything was DX. When DXCC began in 1937, new DX was still plentiful. By the early sixties, though a few DXers had reached worked everything on the DXCC list. Soon after, many DXers began to look for something else to work.

Supply and demand began to take hold. Almost immediately, enterprising individuals began to activate entities that weren’t regularly active. They also began looking for new entities to activate. Although there were a few radio trips to rare places in the late forties and fifties – Bob Leo, W7LR/Gatti, Danny Weil, VP2VB, and Bob Denniston, W0DX/VP2VI – the 1960s expeditions of Gus Browning and Don Miller were the real beginning of modern DXpeditioning.

Award chasing has driven DXing and DXpeditioning. Centered on numerous DXing awards, DXing is a dynamic pursuit. Today, many more award credits are possible. For many less-populated entities, this requires the activities of DXpeditions to provide the necessary band-credits. The expansion of DXpeditioning over the past 35 years has changed the DXing scene significantly, and the large numbers of DXers participating in these events can cause friction and disruption never before heard on the ham bands.

The original version of DXpeditioning Basics was published in 1994. Up to that time, a number of short sets of guidelines had been written suggesting how DXpeditions and DXers should operate to minimize disruption on the bands due to DXpedition operations. These guidelines were written as solutions to continuing and worsening disruptions caused by the increasingly popular DXpeditioning activity. Poor operating on both sides of the DXpedition pileups was nothing new, of course, but as activity waxed and waned throughout the sunspot cycles, an increasing need was seen for such “advice.”

Modern DXpeditions have continued to evolve since the 1990s. The more recent trend seems to be very large, multinational mega-expeditions with at least one radio on each band, operating twenty-four hours per day, seven days for at least three weeks. This is not an unwelcome turn of events for the DXer. For those needing the entity on a number of band-modes, the pileups are spread thin so working these stations in a short time becomes relatively easy. One consequence of this type of expedition is that the demands on the individual operators are reduced. That is, less experience and expertise is required of the operators. We still see DXpedition operators experiencing increasing pileup difficulties however. There is still a need for better operator education – on both sides of the pileup. While the operators have somewhat lesser qualifications and the pileups can be a little smaller, the attitude of some in the pileups hasn’t improved at all.

This updated version of DXpeditioning Basics continues the attempt to chart a path that will increase the order and efficiency of the modern DXpedition.