The object of DXing, regardless of whether you are the hunter or the hunted, is to make DX contacts. If you are a certificate collector,
your objective is further refined as making contact with as many DX entities as possible (e.g., in the WAZ program,
you chase CQ zones; for DXCC, you pursue DXCC "countries"). This may seem self-evident, yet it is amazing how many
people forget this basic concept.
In no particular order, here are my personal candidates for people deserving of recognition, because they gave back more than they took from the DX sport.
W4BPD - At great personal risk and expense, Gus Browning
activated many a "rare one" for the deserving. He was the only person I knew of who could simultaneously send with his left hand and
write (the log) with his right hand. A precursor to the tactile skills of today's computer contesting jockey?
W9WNV - Don Miller could let a pile-up rage while on one of his many
DXpeditions, copy 4-5 calls in 25-30 seconds, then work them all in quick succession. Remember, this was on simplex CW, using nothing more than the Collins
mechanical filters and his brain. He could do this for hours on end. More than anyone else, W9WNV pushed the envelope of DXCC, causing rule changes that
ensured the longevity and integrity of the program. Many people disagreed with his tactics, but there is no denying Don's accomplishments or his greatness
as an operator.
Oct. 2002: Don is relicensed and back in the DX game as AE6IY!
SMØAGD - Erik pioneered the "channelized" operating technique, and was one of the original driving forces for split-frequency
operation. His record for activating rare island countries during his 1982 Transpacific DXpedition will endure for many years.
Erik Sjölund was deservedly inducted into the DX Hall of Fame in 1981.
OH2BH - What can I say about Martti Laine that hasn't already been said?!
He has personally been responsible for opening the door to Amateur Radio activity in countries where it had long been dormant or banned. OH2BH continues to
this day as a spokesman for the hobby, as well as a skillful contester, DXer and DXpeditioner.
The DXer / Contester
These people are a special breed. There are basically two categories:
- DXers that operate contests. These people take DXing seriously, but contesting for them is only a means to an end (e.g.,
to work band-countries or an all-time new one).
- DXers that are also contesters. They will devote an entire weekend to a contest, and if they happen to work a "new
one," so much the better.
Category-1 DXers make effective use of their time. By taking advantage of the intense radio activity typical during an international
contest, they are highly likely to meet their goal of working a new one or adding a new band-country. They also benefit by sharpening their timing skills and
knowledge of propagation. The contesting community benefits as well. After all, if it weren't for these part-time contesters, we'd have no one to work but each
other! They add variety, and their check-logs keep things honest.
Category-2 DXers, although they have the benefit of being experienced contesters, can also fall prey to the "DX trap." That is, they are likely to slug
it out in a contest pileup for a "rare" one, forgetting that they are all rare in a contest if you haven't worked them yet!