DX Stories by Paul M. Dunphy, VE1DX

Where's the P5?

Last week one of the Local QRPers was up the hill, this one to throw himself in a chair and weakly complain that he was tired. "I've had it", he advised us, "I've had it with DXing and and with all this rushing to catch something just beyond reach. I'm tired of DXing. I've worked them all and there is nothing left in it for me. Just nothing at all." We had to listen carefully to all of this for we know that even the most enthusiastic DXer can weary and turn from DX, but usually only for a short time.

"You really mean it", we asked and the QRPer nodded. "I sure do. I just don't understand these new type DXers. Years ago all DXers were gentlemen, all of us, and always we were trying to improve our stations and DXCC score. It took me years to get all those monobanders up on their towers for ten, twelve, fifteen, seventeen, twenty and forty. And even longer to get those loops up for thirty and eighty. And when I was running my station I was always careful not to push too hard so I would not go over the legal power limit. Always! It took years to get all of it together and then along comes these new appliance operators who would have trouble recognizing a 3-500Z but who run right over you in a pileup without regard for even the most common courtesies. There's not one of them that's a gentleman like there used to be. Back then every DXer was courteous and more than once they would stand aside to let me work them first because they knew that with my high power and big antennas I was the one to do it. But things sure have changed."

We had to think this one over for a bit. We were pretty sure we knew what was really at the bottom of all for we had been listening to the QRPer talking to one of the Big Guns on the DX spotting repeater the other evening. "No propagation when the P5 showed up on 15 meters?", we asked. "Of course not", the QRPer replied, "I knew there wouldn't be so I went back to watching television. And anyhow, it had to be Slim." We were silent for a moment for knew several of the Big Guns had sat on the the P5's frequency and worked him on one of the QSB peaks. And we knew there was talk the league had pre-approved the paper work for the one day operation by the Czechoslovakian operator who had been in Pyongyang.

We were wondering how we would could find the words to console the hurts of one who worries because he may no longer be secure as the local top DX dog. "We heard that some of these new DXers say they worked the P5 and that it will count", we said carefully, "but maybe it won't. Anyway, we are sure you could have worked him if you hadn't went back to the TV. They all come around again." The QRPer glared at us with his beady little eyes. "It was Red-Eyed Louie! He never sleeps! He kept checking the P5's frequency for hours. When we finally got an opening he told the new DXers but he never called me!" Son of a Gun! We knew the QRPer had been asleep for hours when the P5 re- appeared. What could we say in a situation like this?

"Look at it this way.", we said, "What is wrong with some of the new ones topping our scores? We've been at the top for a long time and enjoyed it. Why not let those who don't park in front of the TV have their turn?" We had missed our pitch. The QRPer was standing with his hands clenched. "The longer I know you, the harder it is to understand you", and with that he was off down the hill, unrepentant and unconvinced. Son of a Gun! We knew the P5 would come along again, but we also knew it might be ten years. Only the Deserving! DX is war!

Best Regards, Paul

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