ZS6EZ Web Site: G3IOR's Narrative on the Satellite DXCC Chase

Last updated 2009-03-07

This narrative came from G3IOR in private correspondence during 2009-02. It is published with his permission, as I decided that others might find it as interesting as I did! The narrative starts abruptly, so some context is required. I had asked Pat for information about the first DXCC certificate, specifically the callsign of the first winner and the date. Pat could not lay his hands on the required information, but provided me with the narrative below.

Whilst I can recall the event well, when ARRL Chief specially came to the AMSAT Meeting at the Goddard Space Flight Center (when I was a Director of AMSAT) to present the certificates for first and second Satellite DXCC's to Nick Laub W0CA and myself, I'm dammned if I can remember the date.

It was quite a race, as there were only LEO's (Low Earth Orbiters) and no high flyers in those days. Hence no-one had 100 DXCC countries within their satellite footprint. We had to do it by using the marginal reangulation of the uplink to the satellite by both tropo and by Sporadic E, which Bob G6RH and I had got down to a fine art. We could hear the ten metre downlink when the bird was all over the world for lots of the time of course, but getting one's 2 m uplink into it was only possible for very short periods on a few rare occasions.

Both Bob and I were just about level pegging with some 105 DXCC countries worked each, but we could not get all the QSLs. Then he got one from 5X5 which I didn't, so he was at 99 confirmed and me at 98, but, within a month I got cards from UO5 and one other which he didn't, so I just pipped him to the post. But in the interim Nick W0CA had got 99 QSLs, and then managed to work Hawaii KH6 with instant QSL sent, so he got the first world Satellite DXCC, me the second and Bob the third.

I think you had best ask ARRL when the award was announced, which was immediately (within a few days) after they discovered that two of us (Nick and I) had worked and had confirmed the magic 100. Alternatively, I feel sure that Nick W0CA will know.

Many 73,

Pat, G3IOR

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