Last updated: 2014-01-29
Notice: © 1994 to 2014, Chris R. Burger. This document may be reproduced as required for personal use, and may be freely referenced from other Web sites. However, publication elsewhere requires express prior written permission from the author.
Chris R. Burger ZS6EZ
0001 South Africa
This list reflects the final standings at the end of 2013. It will not be updated again, unless corrections or additions to 2013 scores come to light.
98 Z22JE ++
93 ZS6AVP ++
88 ZS6XL ++
82 ZS6LW ++
291 ZS6YQ ++
272 ZS6AOO ==
269 ZS6AJD ==
268 ZS5LB ==
212 ZS5LB ==
151 3DA0CA ==
139 ZS6AVM ++
176 ZS5LB ==
76 ZS5K ==
56 V5/W8UVZ ==
55 ZS2LL ++
266 ZS6AOO ==
256 ZS5LB ==
244 ZS6AJD ==
260 ZS6AVM ++
247 ZS6AJD ==
234 ZS5LB ==
226 ZS6AOO ==
1306 ZS5LB ==
1118 ZS6AOO ==
1106 ZS6AJD ==
259 ZS6AVM ++
225 ZS6AJD ==
181 ZS5LB ==
330 ZS6YQ ++
312 ZS6AJD ==
307 ZS6AOO ==
297 ZS5LB ==
251 ZS5LB ==
122 ZS6IR ==
120 Z22JE ++
2066 ZS5LB ==
1698 ZS6AJD ==
Key: "++" indicates Silent Key (ZS6AVM, ZS6YQ). "==" indicates inactive operators whose totals are unlikely to change. Some do not have access to antennas (ZS5LB, ZS6AJD). Some have emigrated (ZS5K, ZS6AOO, ZS6IR).
Here is the editorial policy as it was published on my Web site:
Basic policy: I want current, worked DXCC scores by band. All bands from 1,8 to 54 MHz are included.
To expand on this policy:
The decision to exclude deleted countries was taken to ensure that Old Timers did not enjoy an irretrievable advantage. They would mostly already have accumulated scores simply by virtue of longevity, but the idea was to encourage new participants to challenge those totals. The inclusion of deleted countries would have made the old-time scores unreachable (much like they are on the Mixed and Phone DXCCs). The total number of possible countries for the list was initially around 330. With the ongoing addition and deletion of entities, the total gradually grew to a figure of 340 in 2012.
Apart from single band totals, I also listed a five band total and a ten band total. The five band totals are for 28, 21, 14, 7 and 3,5 MHz. These are the bands that are valid for the major five-band awards like 5BWAC, 5BDXCC, 5BWAZ and 5BWAS. From the tables, it's obvious that the level of competition is much higher on these bands than on the remaining five.
The ten band totals also included 50, 25, 18, 10 and 1,8 MHz.
Because these totals were based only on current DXCC entities, I had to find a way to deal with deletions. All totals above 150 were reduced by one whenever a current entity was deleted. The last deletion was M-V Island (R1M). This policy may have introduced an error or two, but the resulting errors were lower than what would have resulted if no corrections were made.
During the Eighties, single-band DXing was an exotic pastime. Most DXers simply tried to work all countries, while some pursued both Phone and CW. A few hardy individuals even tried to chase DX on RTTY.
There were always individuals who were interested in DXing on different bands. Some were specialists on one particular band. The "fringe" bands (VHF and Top Band) particularly attracted die-hard specialists. However, a growing number of individuals started pursuing single-band scores on all HF bands. The prime award recognising multi-band DXing was the 5 Band DXCC, awarded for working at least 100 countries on each of the main HF bands (3,5, 7, 14, 21 and 28 MHz). However, 5BDXCC was not endorsable, so there was no recognition once the entry level had been surpassed. Many DXers kept going after 5BDXCC, though, pursuing the highest possible scores on each band. With the introduction of three new bands after WARC 79, multi-band DXers had their jobs cut out for them, with up to 10 bands on which to chase DX.
The ARRL responded by introducing a series of single-band DXCCs, starting in the Eighties and completing the process around 2002. These awards did a lot to encourage multi-band DXing. Almost every twenty-first century DXpedition now makes a serious effort to operate on all bands, including VHF and the low bands.
The advent of ClubLog, skimmers and spotting networks changed multi-band DXing forever. It is now possible to work a station on nine bands and three modes without ever having to tune the band. Just read the spot, go to the frequency, watch the skimmer screen and press a few buttons and hey-presto, you're in the log! Those of us who used to tune the bands looking for watery trans-polar signals don't much see the point, but that's the way the world is going! And, of course, with ClubLog's standings tables for most major DXpeditions, you absolutely have to work them on every band on three modes. Yawn...
I started the Band Country Survey around 1990. It was initially mostly for my own interest, but the coming of the Internet made it possible to publish these scores easily and cheaply. Around 1995, I started publishing scores with continuous revisions and with approximately annual summaries. Not all of them have survived, but this document provides links to the ones that have.
It's hard to tell whether the Survey actually influenced anything. I'd like to think that it did. In the Eighties, long before the Survey started, I personally certainly benefited from role models who showed me what was achievable. ZS5LB, ZS1/DK3GI and ZS6BPL (later ZS5K and ZL3IX) alerted me to possibilities that I never knew existed. I probably would not have pursued my own operating goals, were it not for this inspiration. Maybe this Survey similarly inspired some DXers. Either way, the progress has been startling. On most bands, only the top handful of scores from 1996 would have made it into today's Top Ten. Scores will continue to climb. However, the early pioneers set goals that are by no means trivial to achieve, and will remain competitive for decades.
Several older versions of this document can be found on this Web site:
These tables make good reading for those who think that the recent totals are out of reach. The leading scores were not all that spectacular when this list was first published. You could make the list on one band with 27 countries, and there were four bands with entry levels of less than 60. The leading 10 band score was less than 2000. Only three stations had single band scores over 300, and they were all on 14 MHz. The leading station on 50 MHz had 92 countries. In fact, there are two bands on which five of the top six scores would not have survived to the present day!
Bottom line: Most of the leading scores on the 2013 table were made in one solar cycle. You can do it too.
As you can imagine, keeping this list up to date was a major chore. Updating totals as they arrived was the easy part. The hard part was nagging people to submit updates on a semi-regular basis.
The list's biggest drawback was that it relied on claims. Claims are subject to bad bookkeeping (such as when an HA callsign in fast Morse becomes a 5A callsign in the logbook), wishful thinking (such as that contact that you're not really certain about, but it's worth a try) and even perhaps some deception (although I should hope not!).
DXCC gets past all of these drawbacks through objective scrutiny. They have a fairly secure process and they apply rules fairly uniformly. In years past, publishing only DXCC lists was not a great idea, because they did not have DXCCs on every band, fees were expensive and QSLing was also expensive. As a result, one could not reasonably expect a ZS DXer to obtain DXCC credits for every QSO.
Fortunately, times have changed for the better. There is now a specialised DXCC on every band and every mode. Confirmations have become far quicker, easier and cheaper with the arrival of LotW. Even DXCC itself has become cheaper with the arrival of Online DXCC. As a result, there is no excuse not to submit scores to DXCC, which in turn means that there is no longer a need to publish claimed scores. We might just as well publish only the DXCC scores. They possibly lag behind worked scores by a bit, but they are verified and do not require direct reporting to the compiler. All I'll have to do is to periodically check the ARRL lists, as I have been doing for more than a decade.
During 2012, I finally managed to get the DXCC list for South Africans to a fairly complete state, going back to 1947. I therefore took a policy decision to discontinue the Band Country Survey at the end of 2013.
Unfortunately, historic scores such as those of ZS5LB, ZS6AJD, ZS6AOO, ZS6AVM and ZS6YQ will no longer be included in the records, as the single band DXCC awards were not available when they were active. However, as this list and the archive of older versions will remain accessible on the Web, their achievements will not be forgotten.
The transition to DXCC reporting will result in some reshuffling on each band, and on bands where not all Top 10 members have reached the 100 threshold some callsigns will disappear, but the leading stations will not be severely affected. Perhaps the change will encourage the stragglers to get their paperwork up to date!
I once wrote a short article, describing how one can assess DX achievement a little more accurately than just comparing the numbers. For example, how much better is 280 than 240? How much effort is required to get onto the DXCC Honour Roll once you've passed the 300 mark? How much effort does it take to catch the remaining nine countries once you're on the Honour Roll? How does your score on a specific band really stack up? The answers may astound you.
In the hot air that accompanied the Survey, I often mentioned that I felt that ZS DXers were under-achieving. I received some criticism about this opinion. To impart a notion of why I feel this way, I included results from a comparable survey in Britain in 2001 on the Web site. Compare them with our list for 2001, and see what you think!
The tables can be very impersonal. I therefore wrote a short profile on each of the operators. The intention was not only to put some "faces" to the callsigns, but also to give the reader an indication of how active each of these operators is. Clearly, while a few are retired and have enough time to play radio, the majority hold down jobs, raise families and generally spend time pursuing other interests. The odd spell of DXing certainly doesn't preclude balance!
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