QRX - Never!
One of the local QRPers was by the other day, and it was clear he had something on his mind. “I just came from the DX club meeting, and I’m confused,” he said, “completely confused with the attitude of some of the DXers. In fact, I don’t understand any of them! They are the most inconsistent bunch of Hams I ever met!” He glared at us and pounded his fist into the palm of his hand to drive home his point, although we really couldn’t see the direction he was heading.
“What do you mean?” we asked, “All DXers have the same goal, and all DXers think alike. That’s why we are different from your ordinary Ham. We’ve told you this a dozen times. DXers are taller, smarter, better looking and generally the top echelon of the Amateur fraternity! And we have one common goal. We want to work all the DX there is.”
“That’s the problem,” the QRPer said, glaring at us, “they are not all the same. The topic of duping the DXpeditions came up again. Half of the Big Guns, the ones who I’ve known since I first got on the air, are saying it’s OK to work the same station as many times as you can, and even on the same band and mode! They don’t see anything wrong with it. And the other group, they think it’s wrong, and that you shouldn’t work the DX if you already have it confirmed. What is wrong with them?” he asked, staring straight at us and expecting enlightenment. “Which half?” we inquired.
“The guys who say it’s OK to work them as many times as you can!” he bellowed, “Why would they say that? How are the rest of us going to get through if they are in there yelling with the rest of us? It isn’t fair! Not one little bit. At least about half the guys in the club seem to understand. But a lot of the guys I always looked up to have me confused.” We were starting to understand the problem. “These fellows who say it’s OK to work them as many times as you want”, we asked, “are they near the top in their DXCC totals?”
The QRPer thought for a moment and then replied, “Yes. Yes they are. Most of them have them all worked. They are mostly the guys I met when I first got serious about DXing. They taught me a lot about DXing. About how to break pileups and how to get QSLs from places where the mail wasn’t the best. They shared a lot of tips with me. And now they are saying things that don’t make sense! They want to make it harder for me to get a new one! Why?”
We looked at him for a little while and then said, “When a rare one comes on, doesn’t it get your blood rushing? And don’t you schedule your meals and sleep patterns around the times given by the propagation charts? When the band opens and you can hear the new one rattling off the 59’s and he’s building, and you know in a little while you will have a good shot at hearing your call come back . . . isn’t that the exciting part of DXing? Isn’t that why you are up the tower in the middle of the night replacing a balun or cleaning a coax fitting with a flashlight? So you can get that 10-second thrill of breaking the pileup?”
“It sure is! That’s why I’m a DXer! If I’ve learned nothing else over the years, I know there is no thrill greater that busting a pileup!” We leaned back in our chair and asked another question, “And isn’t the thrill a lot better, and doesn’t it last a lot longer if the pileup is huge and the DX is extremely rare?” “Of course it is!” the QRPer replied, “there is nothing better.”
“Tell us,” we asked slowly, “what are you going to do when you get them all worked? What then? When a really rare one comes on and the pileups are bigger than ever, and DX Cluster spots are flying back and forth with words of a triumph or frustration in the comment field, what are you going to do?”
“I’ll be in there trying to work them just like . . . “ His voice trailed off slowly and he stopped in mid-sentence and looked at us with a blank stare. “Just like the Big Guns at the DX club,” we finished for him, “For even if you have them all worked, the thrill never goes away! That’s one of the Mysteries of the Ages and the Inevitable Truths of DXing. Remember, son, you will never get enough DX.” He stood up and scratched his head. “I guess you are right,” he said, “but don’t you think those Big Guns at the club could wait a few days for us guys who need them for a brand new one to get through?”
We didn’t answer and he headed for the door, stopped midway and turned around, “No,” he said slowly, “no, I don’t want them to wait. Why should they? They have the gear and the know how to break the pileups and work the DX the same as I do. I guess they have just as much right to be in there as me. It wouldn’t be very much fun if only the ones who needed it for a new one called. I think I understand.” And with that he was out the door and off down the hill to check out his amp, because there were rumours that BS7 was around the corner.
We had hope for this one. While he was still young and had a long way to go to achieve full DX enlightenment, he was on the right road. Some never understand, and some understand partially, and by the time you have them all worked, you will realise that it is not the destination that is the goal, but rather the journey. Believe this, for it is one of the Eternal Enigmas of DXing. Be a Believer and you will become one of the Deserving. And only the Deserving will work the DX. That’s the way it always has been, and the way it always will be. DX IS!
This story is in the public domain and may be reproduced in any format. - VE1DX
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Last updated on Sunday, 11 February 2007