“CQ, CQ, Panama Canal.”
What? Is he kidding? Is that some kind of special event station?
You might hear some strange QSO’s on the air this year as hams work to earn the DXCC Diamond Challenge, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the DXCC award. To earn the award you have to contact 100 or more of the countries that were on the first DXCC list 75 years ago.
Many of the countries from 1937 no longer in exist. That creates some interesting challenges when pursuing this award. The ARRL has a list of current entities to represent former countries from 1937 on their website. Work Ethiopia to get credit for Abyssinia. For the former Belgian Congo, you can work Democratic Republic of the Congo (9Q), Burundi (9U) or Rwanda (9X). How easy is that! The city of Kaliningrad (RF2), which is its own DXCC entity today but politically part of Russia, gives you credit for 1937 Germany, when it was known as Konigsberg. There are some oddities in the list.
My personal favorite is the Canal Zone (KZ5), which of course is now part of Panama. To qualify for the CZ credit, you have to work an Panamanian (HP) station that is within 8 kilometers of the canal.
How would that work? Let’s You might try . . .”CQ, CQ, Panama Canal within 8 KM”…. Or “CQ HP
This is one recent phone contact
ME: QRZ, QRZ HP only.
[I’m thinking. Maybe I’ll get lucky.]
HP Station: HI OM UR 59 here, Name is Ralf. BTU.
[ Hmm…So far, so good…]
ME: Thanks for coming back to me Ralf. What is your exact QTH? Are you within 8 KM of the canal? Over
HP Ralf: What canal? UR 59 hr too. Over.
[I’m thinking maybe Ralf is really in Honduras(HR) or he needs a map.]
ME: The Panama Canal, You know, the big ditch where all the boats go. BTU Ralf
HP Ralf: Oh that canal. I don’t know. I haven’t looked lately. Does that matter? BTW, WX is blah, blah, blah. Rig here is . . .blah, blah, blah. Antenna is blah, blah, blah. Do you want my Grid Square? How about you? Over.
(Obviously Ralf missed the e-mail. Let’s cut to the chase Ralf]
ME: That’s great Ralf. Yes its for a new DXCC award.
HP Ralf: Man, I never heard of that one! That’s some crazy award. I don’t do kilometers, how many feet is that?
[ARGHH! OK, maybe we are getting somewhere at last.]
ME: Its about 26,200 feet. Over
HP Ralf: Sorry OM, there was some bad QRM that time. A lot of guys are calling me like I’m some rare DX all of a sudden. Say again, how many feet is that?
[Panic is setting in.]
ME: 26,200. 26 Two zero zero.
HP Ralf: That is a lot of feet dude. Don’t think I have a tape measure that long. Do you mean from the center of the canal?
ME: Can you just estimate?
HP Ralf You mean guess? I guess so.
ME: Cool, Good enough for me. Got you in the log. Thanks Ralf. 73
You don’t need confirmations, its on the honor system. You can find the rules at
A list of the entities and the corresponding countries today is available on the ARRL web site at:
Good Luck and have fun.
Hearty crntoagulations & best wishes to Gerlinde Kalenbrunner for her heroic & astonishing feat of climbing k2 without oxygen & earning the distinction of being the first woman climber to have climbed all 14 8000ers without oxygen.