DX Stories by Paul M. Dunphy, VE1DX

Top Band DXing

Last week we came across one of the local QRPers and we just had to ask him how he was doing on Top Band. We had seen his early evening spots on the packet cluster and knew he was looking for grey-line propagation. Maybe we should have talked of other things. For it was not joy that crossed the face of the QRPer as he glared at us with his beady little eyes. "There was no 9V there. no 9V at all!", he shouted, "I know because I was there listening! They are making it all up!" We had heard some chatter on the local DX repeater about a 9V working into the east coast on 160. We were properly sympathetic. "Maybe you just had a high noise level that evening." we suggested, "or maybe you were just far enough away from the other guys that the 10 or 15 minute difference in grey-line made the difference."

It was as if we had poured gasoline on a fire! "Listen buster," the QRPer yelled at us, "I've been there every night for the past three weeks and there is no 9V on 160. Nothing but band noise!" We thought this over for a bit. There was no consoling this one so we hauled him up the hill to the Old Timer. After listening to the wails of woes for a bit, the Old Timer finally spoke: "As Ralph Emerson would often say: For everything you have missed, you have gained something else; for everything you gain, you lost something." The QRPer mulled this over for a bit and we thought he had forgotten his troubles. We asked him what he thought. Maybe we shouldn't have. "Look!", the QRPer said, "Isn't it bad enough to lose a big piece of our DX hide without having to have someone tell us it's good for us because it's tanned so well? Spare me the kind words and just line up a 9V on Top Band that's really there!"

Son of a Gun! What does one say in the face of such insensitivity? Only that most DX comes around again, even a 9V on 160, though it may not come around for some years. And if one does work everything and has nothing to look forward to, would it be true happiness? The QRPer still did not understand and he beat his way angrily down the hill and off to the local DX club to tell his story of the 9V. What more could we say to all this? Only that there will always be winners and losers . . .

Best Regards, Paul

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