DX Stories by Paul M. Dunphy, VE1DX

F-18 Hornets

One of the Local QRPers was up the hill the other day, this one puffing and bent out of shape. "What's the problem? , we asked, "you don't look very happy. The QRPer sat down and stared at us with his beady little eyes. "Well, I was down in Palos Verdes country yesterday to see the Leader of the Palos Verdes Sundancers", he replied. "And you know, I think we have a problem."

At this point we were almost afraid to ask, but since we'd started it, we pushed ahead. "Tell us what's up", we said. "Well, it's the Navy! The sunspots aren't going to return for years and it all the military's fault! We aren't going to work any DX until they get this mess sorted out." , he replied in an exasperated tone. "The flux has been stuck in the low 70 s and that's where it's going to stay until someone does something drastic."

Son of a Gun! We'd thought we heard everything, but this was becoming as confusing we ever heard it. "What has the Air Force got to do with DX?", we asked, our curiosity fully aroused by now. "It's those F-18 jets", he replied, as if that explained the whole story. "What do F-18 Hornets have to do with the solar cycle?", we asked, becoming a bit annoyed that the QRPer was wasting our time. "Well,", he replied, narrowing his gaze and raising his voice ever so slightly, "you know that it isn't till the very bottom of the cycle that The Leader of the Palos Verdes Sundancers brings out Big DX, the massive bass bongo that brings on the new cycle?" We had to admit that any true blue DXer knew this. And we knew the Plaos Verdes crowd had dusted off Big DX because we heard a few distant booms from down in the barrancas.

"Those F-18s are flying at supersonic speeds over Palos Verdes country", the QRPer shouted at us. "They are hitting mach 1.2 to mach 1.8 and generating sonic booms!" He was starting to break out in a sweat as he continued. "When they go supersonic, they combine with the third harmonic of Big DX and create a distortion that disrupts the creation of new sunspots!" Unless we can stop these planes, there will never be any DX. And what do you think will happen if they move any of the test flights of those Stealths near Palos Verdes?" He jumped up, gave a loud scream and ran down the hill ranting about Boeing and McDonnell-Douglas stealing the DX!

Son of a Gun! What could we say in the face of such foolishness? We'd always tried to be understand of the QRPers, in keeping with the Amateur's code. But there comes a limit that tries the patience of even the most patient DXer! Clearly this QRPer was never going to grasp the Mysteries of the Ages or understand any of the Eternal Enigmas. So we just gave up, confident that there are some amateurs who are simply not born to be DXers. About then, we heard the afterburners of a F-18 cut in just over the horizon . . . and for a split second we were considering selling our stock in McDonnell-Douglas! We quickly came to our senses, but it was an indication that in a weak moment at the bottom of the cycle, even a QRPer preaching nonsense can be persuasive! Be a Believer! The Great Days of DXing are near. The signs are everywhere. Only the Deserving will work the DX! DX IS!

Best Regards, Paul

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