January 14, 2024

2100 US Counties Confirmed on QRZ.com

Tonight (January 13, 2024), I completed and confirmed my 2100th unique US County contact with Shaun (KQ4HUU) located in Carlisle County, Kentucky.  Thank you, Shaun, for Carlisle County and the new milestone on my journey to completing and confirming contacts with all 3,007 US Counties on QRZ.com.

My Q-rate for new county contacts has steadily and noticeably declined.  Gone are the days where I could make new county contacts all day and night long.  I am lucky if I can make a couple of new ones each week.  This certainly makes the hunt more interesting.

Accelerating my Q-rate with new county contacts means doing something different than randomly listening and pouncing.  At my present declining rate, it is apparent that I simply won't make contact with all US counties in my lifetime.

To increase the possibility of receiving help from hams operating in counties that I need, I signed up on The County Hunter Web.  The site has a "Special Needs" page where hams can advertise the specific counties that they are chasing.  The idea is that hams will read these pages and offer help when they are able.  I decided to only add the states where I need a critical few rare-DX counties.  I haven't received any offers for help yet for the few states and counties I added.  It would be wonderful if I do.

I have tried directly contacting hams in counties that I need to inquire if they would be interested in setting up a sked.  So far, this approach hasn't borne fruit.  I have had no success in arranging skeds with this method in spite of many hours of research and sending emails. Nevertheless, the idea is sound and likely required.  Eventually, I will need to arrange help to make contacts with some of the more rare-DX US counties (e.g., Greenlee County, AZ).

A variant I have tried is to join various repeaters in counties I need using Allstar Net or EchoLink and make a call to ask for help on HF.  This approach actually has worked, and I was able to schedule and log HF contacts this way.  Unfortunately, most of the time when I drop my call on a repeater in this way, I receive no response - silence.  I have concluded that repeaters in rare-DX counties are rarely used.  In general, I enjoy this approach since it involves radio and also for the random fun factor.

Another possibility is to travel (or near) the counties I need to log contacts that way.  This is a rather expensive proposition in terms of time, money, and effort.  However, it worth considering when incidentally travelling.  The obvious mode and band choice in this scenario would be FM on UHF or VFH for portability and making local line-of-sight contacts.

I have accumulated several states where I only need one or two more county contacts to complete the state.  If you happen to live in one these counties or nearby and would be willing to help me out, please send me an email to set up a sked with me.  I would greatly appreciate the help.
  • Maine - Somerset County
  • Vermont - Grand Isle County
  • New Jersey - Hudson County
  • Maryland - Kent County, Worchester County
  • Arizona - Greenlee County
  • Virgin Islands - Saint John County
If you are an amateur radio County hunter, please leave a comment with what you have found to work well for you.  It would be wonderful to learn from you.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

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