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Re: [W8ZHO] Hard to the Right!

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  • Jon Plyler
    Full steam ahead! I think I ve read some of Paul s material before. The story is different, but the style sounds familiar. Thanks for passing it along, Bill!
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 29, 2008
      Full steam ahead!
      I think I've read some of Paul's material before.  The story is different, but the style sounds familiar.  Thanks for passing it along, Bill!
      Jon AB8RD

      Bill <bill_fries@...> wrote:

      Paul, VE1DX is a writer who's material I never miss a chance to read.
      He is an assistant moderator on another Yahoo list. He has adopted
      the writing style of a prominent but SK ham from a few decades ago.
      In the stories of his adopted character he discusses many aspects of
      DXing, sun spots, and such. I quote the latest installment:

      Hard to the right!

      One of the Local QRPers was by the other day, and he made his
      way up the hill. He was a little out of breath, so he sat down and
      looked at us with a puzzled look. We were going to ask what was
      going on, but we decided to wait him out. Finally he said, "You
      know, as a DXer, you don't find me rag-chewing very often, but since
      the bands are flat most days at the bottom of the cycle, I got on 20
      this morning and worked a few of the louder stations. Nothing new,
      but I was just in the mood for talking."

      We nodded and replied, "Nothing wrong with that. Every QSO
      doesn't have to be a machine gun speed 59 and a new one." "I know",
      he replied, "but this fellow I was talking to, he has me
      confused. He wanted me to run more power."

      "So you were hard to copy? That's a reasonable thing for him to
      ask. And with your new amp, you sure make the electricity company
      happy when they calculate your power bill!" we said with a
      grin. "That's the confusing part", he replied, "I was running about
      300 watts and he gave me a 20 dB over report. And when we got around
      to discussing our stations, I told him about my amp, and that I was
      running 300 watts to a yagi. You know, the usual stuff. Anyhow, he
      asked me if my amp was broken!"

      Son of a Gun! We were starting to get a glimpse of what was
      going on, but we needed to hear more. "This fellow you were working,
      was he also strong?" "Sure was", came the reply, "He was the loudest
      signal on the band. He said he had a big amplifier and stacked yagis
      at 110 feet. That's why I didn't bother to use very much
      power. Besides, we are only supposed to use the lowest amount of
      power to make the QSO. That's right in the rules. But that's not
      the point. If I was 20 dB over, why did he want me to run full smoke?"

      We thought we knew the answer, but so as not to give this QRPer
      poor advice, we hauled him further up the hill to see the Old
      Timer. We found him out back of the house, down in the field,
      soldering more wire on to the end of his Beverage. The QRPer
      repeated the story, ending with, "And if he was hearing me 20 dB
      over, why did he ask if my amp was broken? He must have known it
      wasn't." The Old Timer put down the soldering gear and turned to the
      QRPer. "Son", he said, "you found another DXer who decided to
      rag-chew today, that's all."

      "Yes, yes, I figured that out because he was talking about his
      DXCC totals and he was telling me all about how he was planning to
      work the upcoming Ducie operation on all the bands, even 160. How
      did you know he was a DXer?"

      The Old Timer looked at the QRPer for a moment and then said,
      "DXers don't run 300 watts when they can run full smoke. DXers don't
      use their towers at 30-feet when they can crank them up to 100
      feet. A DXer never gets on the air unless he has the antenna as high
      as it will go, and all knobs on everything turned hard to the
      right. If you want to be a true DXer, you have to learn
      this. Everything is always full bore! Mic gain hard over, never
      look at the ALC reading on the rig, and never hook the ALC line up
      between the rig and the amp. Most importantly, never, ever use the
      amp unless it is tuned to get out every last watt. Every DXer knows
      this!" And he turned around and started soldering his Beverage
      again. It was clear this was all we were going to hear on the subject.

      As we walked down the hill, the QRPer asked us, "Why did he say
      that? It doesn't make sense. The regulations are quite clear. You
      are only supposed to run the minimum amount of power necessary to
      make the QSO, and if you overdrive your mic, it will likely sound
      raspy and abrasive, and you likely will be wide and splatter over
      someone else. Why did he tell me to do that?"

      Son of a Gun! What could we say? It was clear this QRPer
      didn't get it. He was not quite ready to become a true blue
      DXer. So all we could do was repeat the same old refrain, and hope
      that someday he would attain enlightenment. "It's one of the
      Mysteries of the Ages and the Eternal Enigmas of DXing, son. Only
      the Deserving will work the DX." "But what about running excessive
      power and the regulations? " he repeated. We just looked at him and
      shrugged. Sooner or later he'd figure it out. Meanwhile we had to
      put that new tube in our own amp, because we sure didn't want to be
      in the third tier when the VP6DX operation opened up. DX IS!

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