The Real Cost of 5BDXCC

  Does it Really Take $500,000 to Achieve Five Band DXCC?   

This tongue-in-cheek article was originally written for QUA DX, the official newsletter of the Central California DX Club. It was later published in the July/August 1994 issue of The DX Magazine. Just for a lark, in the shopping list below, try changing the amounts to today's dollars!

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The Real Cost of 5BDXCC

Does it Really Take $500,000 to Achieve Five Band DXCC?b

I address this issue with the intention of dispelling some of the popular misconceptions I hear bandied about these days among hams. I won't purport to be an "expert," but I've been around long enough to know the smell of a rat in the corn crib! I would hate to think that this bad information, left unchallenged, might actually be a stumbling block to an aspiring 5B DXCC chaser. So here goes — right to the heart of the matter!

The smelly gossip to which I refer is the allegation that a ham of average means can't afford the 5B DXCC award, and by implication, to be a Big-Gun DXer. I've even been told (with a very authoritative tone) that to be a Big-Gun on five bands, it would take at least $500,000.00! Hogwash and malice, I say! Who starts these distortions, and for what purpose? (I have a theory — I won't get into it in this article — about a conspiracy to keep new-comers out of that sacred real-estate that insiders call "The DX Window.") Below is an item-by-item listing of the true costs of Big-Gun DXing. You can substitute your own choices, but I'm sure you too, will discover that these gossip gems are far from the truth!


- 120' Tri-X Sky Needle (economy package) 18995.00
- Truck freight for delivery of above 897.45
- 3 TIC General ring rotators (one with 3 motors) 2712.75
- 9 yards of concrete, excavation, concrete pump rental dirt removal 1390.00
- 2-Element 80M beam, with relays (mounted at 120') 3876.42
- 3-Element 40M beam (mounted at 105') 1249.585
- KT-34XA (mounted at 90') 997.67
- Remote coax switch, 500' RG-213 300.00
- 4 hours crane rental (150' boom, $125 per hour) 500.00
- Building permit (at new proposed rate, $1 per foot) 120.00
- Coffee & doughnuts, 3 six-packs, chips & pretzels (had to bribe the help) 29.34
- Three-month physical therapy (strained back, pulled muscles) 200.00
- Primary radio - TS-950SDX 3995.00
- Backup radio - TS-850S 1849.95
- Primary linear (life is too short for QRP) Alpha 87 5396.95
- Backup linear, Ameritron AL-1500 2625.00
- Station accessories - tuners, keyers, switches, etc. 1669.00
- Full-blown 486DX2 computer, LOGic 3, Miniprop, Greyline, KAM, etc. 5634.68
- 48' tower, Cushcraft 13B2, TS790S, acces. (DX Packet connection) 2,598.00
- Filter kits for all the neighbors' telephones, VCR's, etc. 438.00
- Airfare to fly W6UMB to Fresno, 6 hours consultation
  (Couldn't solve RFI problems, neighbors threatening law-suits)
- Airmail postage for 500 QSL's, greenstamps, IRC's, envelopes, etc. 1810.00
- Three years subscription to DX bulletin, GO list, foreign Callbook 282.00
- Three years membership NCDXF, trips to DX conventions in Visalia and Dayton,
  donations to Peter I and Bouvet
- Yamaha 7' 6" Grand Piano - Deluxe ebony lustre finish (placate wife) 17679.00
- Three years additional property taxes, insurance on the equip (and piano) 2235.00
- Three years Dr. bills (ENT specialist, audiologist, MRI) diagnosis; Meniere's disease,    tinnitus. Probable cause; prolonged exposure to loud heterodynes, 80M static
   (before the JPS NIR-10), and foul language on 75M SSB. 2460.00
- JPS NIR-10 automatic notch and noise filter 389.00
- New 8877 tube - fell asleep on the key; 1:00AM, 3.506 kHz 895.00
- 5B DXCC plaque from ARRL! 30.00
GRAND TOTAL! $82,200.79

Well, what do you think of that? Like I told you; $500,000... no way! As you can clearly see, almost everyone, even those with only modest incomes, should be able to hack that small amount of cash. (Maybe you should consider sending your wife back to work.)

Oh, I almost forgot. There is one small detail I failed to mention. You will probably need a property of at least 2.5 acres to accomodate all that aluminum. (The larger the property, the more the isolation, the more you will save on RFI filters for the neighbors!) Causually browsing through the real-estate section of Sunday's paper, I found many appropriate listings. Many started at a measly $275,000. Hhmmmmn. Well, that still doesn't equal $500,000!

See you in the static on 80 meters!


Copyright © 2006-2020, Jim Clymer, Jr.