The following is an open-letter type discussion by guest writer, Chris AA8CH. Views from both sides are welcome; as always please keep replies civil.
If you take a look at the recently concluded XZ1J operation, the leaderboards on Club Log read much the same as they did for XZ1Z, which occurred earlier in this same year. Stations worked the XZ1J on the same bands and modes as they did XZ1Z. I can understand hams working toward the DX marathon, wanting new QSOs for a new year, but this was the same year, and same rare DX location. I can understand wanting to fill band/mode slots (although they do not count towards anything except Club Log status). One QSO per band, and one QSO per mode are sufficient for DXCC.
But why work the rare DX again on all the same bands/modes in the same year?
Others are obviously deprived of even one solitary QSO because the same big guns are in every pileup everywhere all the time. And what is the point for the JH1AJT team to go back to Myanmar to work all the same folks they just did 3 months earlier? How does that even begin to satisfy the demand for Myanmar?
Well, the big guns paid a lot for their stations, so they can use them however they want and work whoever, whenever. That’s fine I guess. It does lead to a larger point, relating to the FT5ZM and the fundraising they are trying to accomplish. I don’t have a lot to spare, but typically throw in an extra buck or few bucks with my QSL if I got an all time new one or worked multiple bands. There is no way I would even consider donating to an expedition ahead of time so that I can watch the same people ratchet up the leaderboards and make 26 QSOs to possibly my none. There is no part of that even remotely fun, plain and simple.
If the DXpeditions want financial support from more than just the top 500 DXers, they are going to have to consider not using the clublog leaderboards, and making a better effort to work more unique stations on one band than the same stations on different bands.
Gone are the days where the DXpedition would stay on 20 and 15 CW and SSB 24/7 until the very end, working all the little pistols. The demand from the big guns for 12 CW and 40 RTTY is too overwhelming and after the first week, they are QSY to obscure bands and modes to work the big guys.
I didn’t need XZ for an all time new one thankfully, as my one QSO on what would be a new band is apparently not in the log. But this is a problem that is not going away in my opinion. Maybe I should save money and buy better equipment and a bigger antenna. Maybe my situation, or other little pistols’, is such that they can’t. The public leaderboards and resulting band slot hunting take all the fun away from the small guys who are looking for just one or two contacts, because the pileups are always immense, every time. The game is the game, but if that’s how the game is played now, I’m going to get out.
What are your thoughts?