Down in the village the other day we ran across one of the local QRPers, joy in his stride and happiness everywhere. "I did it!", the QRPer was shouting, "I did it! I did it!" So we calmed him down a bit and tried to get the story. "That G4 checked back into the packet cluster again", he explained, "and his name is Brian!" We recalled the excitement amoung the QRPers a few days ago when the G4 had first figured out the node routing. We inquired further. "We remember you telling us about it. Hasn't he been back almost every day? Why the excitement?"
"Don't you understand anything?" the QRPer replied. "I sent him a talk message and asked if he would send me his QSL card. And he said yes! And he said he would put FSK on as the mode! Now I have my first RTTY conformation on the way!" We had the uncomfortable feeling we had been down this road before . . . and we were starting to wish we had ducked for cover when we first saw that beady-eyed grin. We were in waist deep by now so we plowed ahead. "But it won't count with the ARRL because it was done through a repeater", we explained again.
The QRPer was not to be deterred. "I checked the DXCC rules", he retorted, "and the repeater clause is there for phone and satellite QSOs, but not for RTTY! The G4 used 20 meters for 99 percent of the distance so of course he'll put down 14 MHz.! I did it! I did it! I got my first HF RTTY QSO and I don't even have a TNC that works on HF!"
Son of a Gun! What could one say to this on such a nice fall day with the leaves falling and a brisk feeling in the air. So we just smiled and said, "Congratulations!" The QRPer was beaming as he ran off, and we were silent for some time. One of the Big Guns who was sitting beside us asked, "Why didn't you tell him? The G4 is going to put 2 meters on the card and the league won't buy it, anyhow." We were a long time answering for there are enough of the dark days and this, for now, was a happy one for the QRPer. In the end we said "Take from no man his dream."
Best Regards, Paul
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