PODXS 070 Club
The beginning as written by Jay N3DQU #0010 around September 2010:
Before the history of this very active group can be examined, one must first look at the roots of the sponsoring organization, the Penn-Ohio DX Society. The birth of the Penn-Ohio DX Society (PODXS) is an interesting story in itself, perhaps a subject for another time. What follows is a short synopsis, so the reader can understand the driving force behind the Ø7Ø Club and how it came to be.
More commonly known to its members as PODXS (pronounced PO-dix), the Penn-Ohio DX Society is a somewhat obscure independent amateur radio club based in New Castle, Pennsylvania. What some might call a renegade group, PODXS was formed in July 1996 by N3DQU, AA8QQ, KA3X and N3XC, with membership being restricted to those licensed General Class and above. Perhaps "renegade" is too strong a term when talking about PODXS, suffice to say that the Penn-Ohio DX Society was formed in response to a very strong, local club environment which supported VHF while virtually ignoring the HF side of amateur radio.
A short time after PODXS was formed, KA3X joined as the fifth member of the group, to bring the total regular membership to five. The regular membership of PODXS has never numbered more than 5 members and currently stands at three: N3DQU, AA8QQ and N3XC. Over time however, a number of honorary members have been privileged to join the PODXS ranks. Except for a yearly meeting and a "changing of the hats", PODXS remained a loose-knit group, putting their efforts into enjoying this great hobby of ours, rather than getting caught up in the mundane organizational aspects that tend to be a drag on what an amateur radio club should be all about.
In the original bylaws, the stated purpose of PODXS was "...to enjoy the traditional aspects of amateur radio and to maintain an active ARRL-VEC testing team in the New Castle, PA area." The phrase "traditional aspects" refers to all those activities that one normally associates with HF operating: sky wires, chasing DX, contests, wallpaper and QSL cards, sunspots, propagation, etc. Not long after the inception of the club, the VEC testing team was dropped for certain reasons, leaving the stated purpose to stand as it has been ever since, "The Penn-Ohio DX Society exists to to enjoy the traditional aspects of amateur radio."
Fast forward to the year 2000. Something new has been happening in the amateur radio world and it is significant in a hobby, where numbers are beginning to be negatively affected as the advance of the internet threatens the hobby's membership base. The "soundcard modes" have emerged, bringing new and old blood back into amateur radio and it looks like PSK31 is leading the pack. But something is missing. There are amateurs out there putting PSK31 on the air to be sure, but except for one-on-one QSO's, there is not much out there for them to do, no base of operations, no flame to congregate around. Enter the Penn-Ohio DX Society.
Jay Hudak, KA3X, affectionately known as the "Old Dood", was the first PODXS member to experiment with the new soundcard mode, PSK31. Once the other members got involved, it became obvious that here was an opportunity for "The PODXS Boys" to give something back to the amateur radio hobby, in a sense to become part of amateur radio history. KA3X and N3DQU decide to form a support group for PSK31, called the Ø7Ø Club, a reference to some of the operating frequencies where PSK31 can be found, with KA3X as the Club Manager and N3DQU doing yeoman service as webmaster, awards boss, et al. On September 21, 2000, the Old Dood, Jay Hudak, KA3X, officially becomes the very first member of the Ø7Ø Club, as Ø7Ø #001. The first four members were: KA3X, N3DQU, AA8QQ, and N3XC. The first club endorsement offered was a challenge to work all 4 of them. By the end of 2000, the Ø7Ø Club boasted a membership of 25 members, and now at the time of this writing, September 2010, stands at over 800 members worldwide.
Except for a very short period, the Ø7Ø Club has always offered membership free of charge to all amateurs licensed to operate on the HF bands. The Ø7Ø Club is very proud of the fact that all operating costs have been paid by donations of time and money from the members of PODXS and the Ø7Ø Club.
Of course, the Ø7Ø Club did not blossom to over 800 members over night and there is still quite a bit yet to tell...of endorsements, the TDW, PSKFest, Dayton eyeball QSO's, Honorary PODXS members, APE, LONP and the Low Band Sprints, Rollo, Mona and her cat...all parts of Ø7Ø Club history. But this article is long enough. For now, let me tell you something you probably didn't know. Back in 2001, the Old Dood and I talked about just how far we were going to take the Ø7Ø Club project. After all, it looked like PSK31 was starting to take off on its own and there were other outfits out there that were offering contests and awards for the fledgling mode. We had accomplished what we set out to do, to give something back to the hobby, maybe even make our mark in amateur radio history. So it was decided that, once we hit member #100, we would pull the plug on the Ø7Ø Club and move on to other things!
Little did we realize... 73 de Jay, N3DQU, Ø7Ø #010 September 2010
W3HF had a blog entry written on 12 September 2008:
The following is an excerpt from a blog posting by Steve – W3HF – 070 #025, on 12 September 2008.
In Memory of Jay Hudak
Jay Hudak – KA3X was one of the founders of the 070 Club. Although I wasn’t around at its creation – I joined about six months later – I’m told that he was the one with the original vision for the club. He was the first to meet the membership requirement and thus held membership certificate #001. He also served as the first membership manager and my membership certificate bears his signature. Unfortunately I never met him face-to –face – we exchanged emails and had a few PSK QSOs though. Over the years, his level of activity with the club started to trail off, and others took on the leadership roles he held. Jay passed away last month at the age of 68.
The 070 Club decided to rename its annual fall 80m contest in Jay’s honor, the Jay Hudak Memorial 80m Sprint. This contest had existed for five years previously, but now and in the future will serve as a remembrance to the man whose ideas and efforts resulted in the club we now enjoy. It was wonderful to see all the activity on that band last Saturday night. My waterfall was full, in spite of the usual evening QRM from W1AW’s CW practice. I sure most of the contestants weren’t thinking about Jay; most were just calling “CQ Contest” or “CQ 070 Sprint” as the rules suggested. But my CQ was different. I called “CQ Hudak Sprint” in his memory.
Update August 2021
The 070 Club has become more than any of the founders could have ever imagined. As of this writing, there are over 2850 members worldwide! The concept as written above by N3DQU of moving on after hitting member number 100 has disappeared into the ionosphere like a refracted radio wave. (see chart below for growth progression of the club) Lucky members can still catch Jay #0010 on the bands, and Steve W3HF #0025 is very active in all the club activities (and he is the one that ensures that we still follow the core values of the founding members in our activities and operations).
Over the years, leadership has changed (check the Staff Directory for the current list of volunteers) and the club has continued to develop contests and events to further the use of PSK31 throughout the world.
Virtually every month has a contest, and there are continous opportunities to receive endorsements and recognition for operation. Besides the coveted LONP, we have added some very difficult achievements such as Work The World (WTW), 365/366, 24/7, APE, Chimp, Endorsement Daze, for which information about each can be found on the website.
One of the memorable contests was when we achieved member #500, and we had a 500 mile race with points being awarded for contacts. The first to reach 500 points was declared the winner!
The club has added the Rollo Cup Championship, RC3, which spans the entire year. Members accumulate points for this coveted Revere cup trophy by operating and scoring in all of the contests spanning the year. The first ever RC3 cup was awarded to Lee, N5SLY for accumulating the most points in 2019, with the most recent being John KC3FL for 2020.
We are looking forward to achieving membership level 3000, for which you can be sure there will be a huge celebration, and a contest that will challenge each and every one of us.
Until the next update,
73 de Jim K5SP #483
Member #1: 9/21/2000 25 members by the end of 2000
Member #100: June 2001
Member #200: March 2002
Member #300: July 2003
Member #400: Feb 2005
Member #500: Oct 2006
Member #1000: Aug 2009
Member #1500: March 2012
Member #2000: March 2015
Member #2500: March 2018