Sometimes It Doesn’t Sink In
It happens to all DXers at times. We were hit with a bit of skepticism last week, and perhaps took some action that may not have been in keeping with the Amateur's Code. One of the local QRPers was by, and he had a question. "Look", he said, getting right down to things important, like DX, "I'm subscribed to an Internet DX list, and there is this fellow on there who insists that a D-104 adds 10-15 dB gain to his signal. Is this true?" This was a newly minted QRPer, so what could we say to that? Besides, when someone mentions an extra 10-15 dB gain, even the most seasoned DXer's interest is tweaked. We were torn between skepticism and curiosity.
In the end, curiosity got the best of the skepticism, as it always does. "How does he know that is true?" we asked. The QRPer shrugged and said, "He really didn't explain the theory in detail. He just said the audio was so much better that it sounded like you had another 500-700 watts. I think he said something about it increasing your average talk power, but I don't know what he meant by that. I thought those things were old CB microphones, anyhow."
We were starting to lose the curiosity, for it was clear the QRPer has stumbled across one of his first encounters with the Mysteries of the Ages. The signs had been there and we should have paid more attention. If he had, we would have ducked out the back door instead of being trapped.
"In cases like this", we began, "you have to be a Believer. This fellow probably worked more DX than the both of us put together, and if that's what he said, then Believe! This is just another one of the Eternal Enigmas that form the foundation of DX IS! It's one of the Mysteries of the Ages that tend to be a puzzle to the un-anointed ones. Be a Believer and you will become one of the Deserving. Always believe."
"What does that have to do with a D-104 increasing your signal?" the QRPer asked, with a bit of anxiety starting to show in his voice. "You fellows always quote DX IS! and tell me I have to believe. But you always talk in riddles."
We tried again, "You have to realize that understanding must come from within and all true-blue DXers spend a lifetime gathering the necessary knowledge to understand the Eternal Truths. Once you reach this level, you will never again have to wonder. The Great Days of DXing are here, and they have been for a few years. You must accept that "DX IS!" and even more so with the right microphone. And while Albert so often said that all things are relative, it was Yogi who said that if you come to a fork in the road, take it. Understand?"
For a moment the QRPer seemed impressed, probably not by our words, but by our tone. Then the look of confusion returned and he mumbled with a puzzled expression: "Yogi who?" The QRPer looked at us but his eyes were only half focused. It was obvious that he was as confused as ever after listening to such a lucid explanation. And while we had a lot of patience, there was only so much we could stand. So we took the only logical course of action to add emphasis to our words. When the QRPer sat down, we swiftly kicked the chair out from under him!
This story is in the public domain and may be reproduced in any format. - VE1DX
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Last updated 15 December 2020