RTTY DX IS!
Last week we were relaxing in front of the house when one of the QRPers rolled into sight and beat his way up the hill. "Why can't they leave me alone", he asked, "I just get things figured out and they're at me again. I thought I was doing a good job and they want me to do more!" Although we thought better of it, we took the polite road and asked for the details. "Don't you remember", he asked, "they made me a SYSOP on the local packet cluster?" We had to admit we had heard about this. "And don't you remember all the flak I've been taking when the remote nodes go down? They call me names like Digital and keep saying I'm a packet wizard and RTTY is next!" We had heard this chatter on the DX repeater but decided this was not the time to admit it. Up to now it had been a good day and we just could not crank up our energies to the arguing level.
"I don't want to work RTTY!", the QRPer continued, "and I wish they would leave me alone. Just because I'm good at packet doesn't mean I want to get on HF and participate in all that chirping noise. It's not real radio, anyhow!" We were starting to see where this was going and it was clear that on this day there would be no rest for the deserving weary. "Why do you work DX at all?", we asked. "Because it's fun. Because I'm a DXer! Because I'm on the Honor Roll! DX IS! The longer I know you the less I understand you. Haven't you spent years preaching these reasons to me? What's DXing got to do with RTTY?"
We were silent for a moment. "The G4 put 2 meters on the QSL card right? And he wrote on the back how surprised he was at the reliability of the digital repeater system, right?" Son of a Gun! It was as if we had thrown gasoline on a fire. "You're darn right, Buster!", the QRPer shouted, "and I never wanted his card anyway! I don't like RTTY and I never will. When the traffic types at the club heard this they were rolling on the floor! I expected as much from them, but even Red-Eyed Louie was snickering at me!" We had to ponder this for a bit. Maybe the Big Gun had been right. Maybe we were wrong not to tell the QRPer the QSL wouldn't be accepted by the ARRL. "Who's stupid idea was it to ask the G4 for a RTTY QSL in the first place?", the QRPer bellowed as he stormed red-faced down the hill.
Son of a Gun! What could we say? Albert was right when he said "All DX is relative, some more so. And DX is what you have not worked." There was no escape and we knew the QRPer would be back. We were sure for we had seen his request to buy a HF TNC on the local Swap Shop!
This story is in the public domain and may be reproduced in any format. - VE1DX
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Last updated on Thursday, 12 April 2007