New DX Club attracts over 250 members during first week

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by MM0TWX, Jun 8, 2018.

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  1. MM0TWX

    MM0TWX Ham Member QRZ Page

    On Friday, June 1st, the website went online; since then, over 250 people have taken up membership in the newly created True Blue DXers Club (TBDXC). This, by any standard, can be seen as an almost extraordinary success.

    The Club was created to bring together like-minded Amateurs who may feel that their ethos and approach to DX communication is dying off in the wake of the “digital revolution” brought about by FT8. Given the level of enthusiasm the Club has triggered in only its first week of existence, this is obviously not the case. Practically, the aim of the Club is to a) to promote the use of radiotelegraphy (CW) and radiotelephony (SSB) in long-distance communications on the amateur bands; and b) to encourage the continuous improvement and refinement of the human, personal skills needed to do so.

    Together with such warm reception by DX enthusiasts, this initiative has triggered some controversy. This is somewhat puzzling, as the “about” section of the website states, right at the beginning, that:

    “We are not against anything, or anybody. We at True Blue DXers Club (TBDXC) applaud technical innovation, and we are glad that so many people have found a new avenue for their amateur radio passion. We wish digital operators every success and lots of enjoyment.”

    It would seem difficult to misinterpret such a clear statement, and yet, in some public comments this initiative has been labelled as a campaign against digital operators and – even more incredibly – a personal attack on FT8 creator Joe Taylor. In this respect, the TBDXC reaffirms that:

    “This is not some sort of “crusade” against digital modes, their developers and users. We simply express support for a certain type of ham radio activity.”

    What kind of activity? Essentially, long-distance communication on the Ham bands that relies on people – rather that machines – exchanging information. This, obviously, applies to the competitive side of DXing, which the Club intends as pushing the limits, both the operators’ and the station’s. People who have spent a lifetime improving their skills and knowledge, people who have shown incredible determination, patience and endurance in the pursuit of their hobby do not recognise themselves in a modality of communication that essentially involves watching a computer making contacts for them.

    However, there is more to DXing that competing in furious pileups, waiting for that elusive 6m opening or spending sleepless nights trying to dig a signal out of the noise on Top Band. Simply communicating with a fellow ham thousands of miles away remains, for many people, an exquisite pleasure. They love the sound of DX - the auroral flutter on Polar paths, the slow fading over the oceans, the slapback delay on multipaths. They like to hear that there is a fellow ham behind the key or the microphone, in a faraway place.

    To learn more about the TBDXC and possibly consider the – entirely free – membership, visit
  2. VA3VF

    VA3VF Guest

    I was happy to visit the page, and considered joining, until I read the following:

    "Therefore, if you enjoy FT8, we wish you all the very best in your ham radio activity, but the TBDXC is probably not for you."

    Thank you for being honest, and upfront about it.

    I wish the TBDXC much success.
    NN4RH likes this.
  3. MM0TWX

    MM0TWX Ham Member QRZ Page

    VA3VF, thanks very much for your interest. As the person who has written the above article and agonised on each single word on the website, I find it difficult to understand how anybody could be surprised by us saying that "if you enjoy FT8, the TBDXC is probably not for you." This is a honest question - did we not make ourselves clear enough in the "about" section, or in the article? Thanks for your inputs.
    K8PG likes this.
  4. KD2NOM

    KD2NOM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't see anywhere where VA3VF said they were surprised. I too considered joining until I say the quoted line - and I too, unsurprisingly, moved on.
    NN4RH likes this.
  5. VA3VF

    VA3VF Guest

    Hi Pete,

    The article was not as direct. It did explain the reasons behind the Club's creation, but not as clearly as the web page. Some of the member's comments are also very clear in what they are seeking in joining the club. I won't malign the Club, its members or modes favored! I'm a little pistol DXer, and a user of FT8, among other legal modes.

    My best wishes are sincere! Enjoy this great hobby of ours any legal and ethical way you see fit.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2018
    KD2NOM likes this.
  6. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Aren't keys, paddles, bugs, keyers, memory keyers, etc "machines" ? What about rotators ?

    Or is that by "machines" do you only mean computers ? But would that mean that DX spotting also is frowned upon ?

    Can someone join the club AND use digital modes too?

    Is RTTY OK ? Olivia? Or is it just FT8?
    AG5DB and KD2NOM like this.
  7. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I guess I just don't understand how folks using memory keyers or paddles/keyers, radios with SDR & DSP, auto-tuners, towers & beams, rotators, amplifiers, DX spotting networks, and so on, can possibly feel so threatened that they have to put up a web page full of anti-FT8 innuendo.

    If CW is "true blue" then it should be easy to make that case, without anti-FT8 innuendo. You should re-write your About page. Otherwise it comes across as merely a troll.
    AG5DB and KD2NOM like this.
  8. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree: I am alarmed at the huge shift to FT8 'machine 2 machine' mode at the expense of other modes. For example, FT8 hit the 6m Es season last year, early on. By July, there was virtually no QSO's to be had on SSB or CW.

    FT8 has become 'mode meth' or 'mode crack' for hams!

    But I do NOT think we should isolate those who use it, or CW, or SSB for that matter. I can't join the club if it means excluding my right to use FT8, if --I-- choose..
  9. N1OOQ

    N1OOQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    We are FT8. You will be assimilated.
    K7KBN, K5URU, K8PG and 1 other person like this.
  10. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

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