EIDXA History
by Jim Spencer, WØSR

Band conditions were good in early 1975. Several of us had just put up new antennas, the TH6 on a 48 foot tower being the one of choice. DX was all over the place and it was almost all new. Contests were fun and a good source of new DXCC countries for those less interested in the competition. Attempts to get the Cedar Valley Amateur Radio Club involved in contesting were not successful and we started discussing the idea of forming a new club.

After doing some homework looking at some of the well established DX clubs on the East coast, we collected some names of locals who we thought might be interested. Dave Jaksa, WAØVDX and Jim Spencer, WØFHE, chose a name and prepared a draft constitution and bylaws.

A meeting was called for October 6, 1975 at Joe Finkstein's (WØMJN) house for the purpose of starting the club. Those in attendance were:

Vern Garman KØEGA
Jim Spencer WØFHE (now WØSR)
Gayle Lawson KØFLY
Mike Nowack WBØHOG (now NA9Q)
Jim Maccani, WØHUP
Joe Finkstein WØMJN
Art Goddard, WØMOQ (now W6XD)
Fred Benson WØMUH (now KØAT)
Lynn Schriner WØPCO (now W5FO)
Doug Byal WØSML
Steve Towle KØSVW (now WØHT)
Dave Jaksa WAØVDX (now WØVX)
Dave Wilson, WAØVUY (now KØRN)
Tom Lindgren WAØWCR (now WØWP)


During this meeting the name "Eastern Iowa DX Association," the constitution and bylaws were approved. The first officers were also elected: President WAØVDX, Vice President WØPCO, and Secretary-Treasurer WØFHE.

The club began to grow. By August 1976 we were up to 19 members. In the beginning we met in members’ homes but we soon outgrew that being an option. The REA office in Marion had a large room they would loan to community organizations and we started meeting there. That location worked great for many years until the REA needed the space and we moved to our present venue at Kirkwood College.

In the early days we communicated on 2 meters simplex. Before Internet and Packet Cluster DX spotting, we did it on 2 meters. We had lists of needed countries and a phone call alerting the presence of some rare DX was not uncommon, often in the form of "one-ringers". Helping a fellow member break a big pile up was great sport and it was a social event celebrating after everyone had them in the log.

The EIDXA's 145.19 repeater went on the air in 1981 with the call WØMJN. During the 1980's we held a Monday night net on the repeater starting at 9:00 PM where we exchanged DX tips, bragged about the stations worked and those who got away, and just chatted. At some point we attempted to hold net on 75 meters to better cover our members some distance away from Cedar Rapids.

The initial bylaws included the requirement "Participation in at least two contests per year with a serious effort and a score submitted for club aggregate score." This led to a lot of discussion of the words "a serious effort and," which was finally dropped. In the beginning it did get us all in the DX contests to help the EIDXA. In the 1976 ARRL Phone contest 15 club members participated, four in a multi-op from WØPCO.

Initial EIDXA dues were just $2.00 a year -- and for that we mailed the newsletter to all members.

Over the years the EIDXA has continued to grow thanks to a lot of interest on the part of the many who have been or still are members. And also thanks to those who have stepped up to be officers and to provide many interesting programs.