What do a local groups of amateur radio operators that have a common interested in DXing do? They start a club.
After years of bumping into each other in pile-ups, competing for the DX’s attention, chatting and helping each other on a 2 meter simplex frequency, or even a backyard BBQ. W9QQN, W9JJF, W9ARV, W9JUV, W9NZM, W9WYB, W9LKJ, K9VLE, W9GXH, K9LUI, K9KYF, W9GFF, W9EXY, W9OHH, K9WEH, W9EXE, W9FKC, W9EVI, as well as others, built comradery and helped each other work the DX. Gathering at the Dayton Hamvention, W9DXCC convention, and hospitality suites contributed to the idea of forming a local DX club.
While not all of them became members of NIDXA, they did attend the W9DXCC convention. The period of 1963-1967 was a formative period for the idea of the club. Some of the group members were striving to earn DXCC, others were near the top of the DXCC pile. The elusive country at the time being Albania (ZA). Wally W9JJF even attempted entry a couple of times … unsuccessfully. it was also the days of Don Miller, Ted Thorp, Chuck Swain, Gus Browning , W0MLY (Womley in Africa), Dan Weil, Lloyd & Iris of The Yasme Foundation.
The Dayton trips and a DXers must go to place was the Sheridan Hotel hospitality suite, organized by the New Jersey DX Association (NJDXA). DX, DXers and DX-peditioners could be found there with a beer, a drink and swapping great stories of conquests, mishaps, challenges and victories. An informally organized DX Dinner could attract dozens of DXers, often all returning to the hospitality suite for another round and well into the wee hours.
The dominant characteristic of the DXers noted above was they were “Operators”! They Listened, they called, and they worked DX. This attribute became a key element of the NIDXA architecture.
The above was the ‘primordial soup’ that gave birth to the NIDXA in 1967. Norm (W9QQN) had returned from a work assignment in the UK (G5ABA) and returned in time for Dayton in ’67. The idea was spawned upon returning to his QTH, now in Arlington Heights. George W9BZW, Bob W9ARV and Norm met to outline an organization plan. The club name? A simple change and NJDXA became NIDXA. Other members of our active, informal DX group became involved, bylaws modeled after North Jersey (and others), membership criteria, meeting plan, and club logo design became the major to do items.
Also included in this informal group were members involved in W9DXCC and the Ninth District QSL Bureau. These activities became an element of the organizations architecture and planned responsibility. The Logo major contributor was Ralph K9VLE, being part of Marshall Fields advertising he had access to their art department where the NIDXA Globe was created. Contrary to current belief, it never was green.
It is admitted that a somewhat ‘elitist’ posture was taken when establishing the membership criteria, elements like 200 countries to qualify, membership limited to twenty-five, and the 2m radio requirement. But we wanted DX Operators, and 200 countries established that. Limited size was primarily because we wanted to meet in member’s QTH, to learn about their station and equipment (the famed “ Purple Paralyzer ”). In addition we wanted to involve the XYL, so that hopefully she would realize that one, there were other ‘nuts’ like her OM, and two, they were nice guys. Our member rosters always included the XYL’s name to recognize and reflect appreciation for their ‘endurance’ that often goes unsaid.
As some of the original members began heading south, the model of the NIDXA was used again in the early 1970s. The Miami hamfest was the place to go then, and the South Florida DX Association (SFDXA), was formed in 1974, with similar architecture, and continues to thrive.
Many years later and the NIDXA, still holds these beliefs at its core. The membership is still comprised of operators that work DX. The club still manages the Ninth District QSL Bureau and the W9DXCC convention.
From the early beginnings, to current day, the club has been led by groups of individuals that have strove to continue down the path set forth by the founders so many years ago.