DX Stories by Paul M. Dunphy, VE1DX

Packet Clusters

One of the local QRPers came up the hill last week and he was not happy. "DX sure is scarce these days", the QRPer said, "and what little there is has everyone in there screaming and clawing whether they need it or not. It's all these packet clusters." We were properly sympathetic. "Too bad", we said, hoping to ease the grief with some small talk, "we heard you in most of the pileups calling and figured you'd worked some of them."

"Not a chance", the QRPer shrugged. "By the time I find them the pileup is seven layers deep with power house stations running full bore linears and monobanders. You'd think they'd be satisfied having worked everything twice anyway, now they've computerized their stations with packet clusters so they can work the DX ten more times! What chance do we Forth-Level DXers have in these rough times?"

We thought this over for a bit and could come up with no answer. So we asked the Old Timer who has been around the track a couple of times. The Old Timer was not long in answering. "In any activity there will always be the top echelon," the Old Timer lectured, "and in Amateur Radio it is the DXers who have them all worked." The QRPer was not impressed. "Why do they need packet clusters if they have them all?" he persisted. The Old Timer replied, "True blue DXers are smarter, more technically proficient, more innovative, better looking and richer. They have most of the tall towers and big linears. They are also more understanding, fairer and have no need to use computers. A true blue DXer would never be caught on a packet cluster!"

Son of a Gun! Everytime we hear the Old Timer speak, it is to us like the words were engraved on a tablet of stone. When the Old Timer speaks, you are a Believer!

The QRPer smiled and skipped happily down the hill. And we sat with the Old Timer for a while, contemplating the Mysteries of the Ages. And though we were tempted, we thought better than to ask about the keyboard we saw pushed behind the AL-1500. For as Albert often said, "All things are relative, some more so!"

Best Regards, Paul

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