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Author Topic: An apology to my comment regarding HR  (Read 3029 times)
W6GX
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« on: April 04, 2013, 04:26:31 PM »

Hi All,

A while back I made a stupid comment that anyone could achieve HR given enough bum in the chair time.  It was a mistake and I regret making that comment.  The comment is disrespectful to those who are close to HR or have earned HR.  I know I can't take it back.  The most I could do now is to apologize publicly.

Recently a series of events led me to reflect on what ham radio is to me.  Like the post about 'what makes a great DX'er', the announcements of a few exciting dxpeditions, the passings of two great hams, my own progress towards HR, among others.  I have come to realize that I put a lot of my time and energy into this hobby and that the road to HR is never smooth and uneventful.  Therefore it was not appropriate to make that comment.  I would kindly ask those who think along the same line to rethink how much time and effort they put into their own quest to achieve HR.  Hopefully they will come to the same conclusion as me.  Thank you for reading this and best 73.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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W9KEY
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2013, 04:45:56 PM »

that is a classy move to apologize.  on my budget i don't think all the bum in a chair time in the world would help me attain HR , unless the sunspot cycle of all sunspot cycles comes before I die and every DX entity I work uses LoTW.  My hat is off to every one who has more than 250 confirmed entities...

I think the ability to recognize one has erred and apologize is a stellar quality for a DX'er to have.

73
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KY6R
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2013, 04:57:55 PM »

First of all - no apology needed. You are one of many I have had a blast kibutzing about DX with. We all have gone through these thoughts. I had one guy tell me in 2001 that I would never make HR, and other funny things.

I have seen others proclaim the same thing. I would then go look and see where these guys were on the DXCC standings and decided not to respond. And remember how I felt after about 320 or so.

Then, when I saw AA6YQ's response to one of them, I silently said,

Right On.

It took me 11 1/2 years, and it wasn't easy and took a lot more than bum in the chair time.

9000 others have made HR since its inception, and I now find myself - yet again - at the absolute bottom of the DX totem pole. So - no, HR doesn't make you a great DX-er, but it sure makes you an experienced DX-er.

The only thing that really matters is that I had so much fun, learned so much and met so many super nice people with a common interest. I think it is one of my biggest accomplishments, besides my career.

That's the real award, and I can't wait for Visalia to have a beer with all these great DX-ers Ive been in the pileups with.

The ARRL told me they just sent my HR Plaque today.

73,

Rich
KY6R

 
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 05:11:02 PM by KY6R » Logged
N2RJ
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2013, 05:42:51 PM »

You can't make HR without butt in chair time. It IS mostly a game of waiting it out.

Yes, you need skill and probably a good station, good location etc but the main component is waiting for entities to be activated, and being there to work them.

I don't see how something like this could be taken the wrong way. DX is a marathon, a journey, and not just a sprint. There's no instant gratification at all.
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W2IRT
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2013, 06:31:51 PM »

You can't make HR without butt in chair time. It IS mostly a game of waiting it out.

Yes, you need skill and probably a good station, good location etc but the main component is waiting for entities to be activated, and being there to work them.

I don't see how something like this could be taken the wrong way. DX is a marathon, a journey, and not just a sprint. There's no instant gratification at all.

What Ryan said. Period. You have nothing to apologize for, and if you retract it, I will say it in your place. Most major DXpeditions to ultra-rare places work typically 45,000-50,000 uniques. If you cannot make even one band, one mode, with sufficient BIC time then you must not have your antenna connected or your B is not in the C at the right times. Yes, an amp helps, to be sure. Some places, like S2 or A5 or 4W really do require a fair bit of power to work through the pileups but if you're willing to wait, get cluster spots sent to your phone/pager and be ready to work the DX whenever they show up I believe HR is really just a waiting game.
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Night gathers and now my watch begins. It shall not end until I reach Top of the Honor Roll.
N2RJ
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2013, 06:12:30 AM »

To be fair though, this is what separates the casual DXer from the serious one.

A casual DXer may get on the radio occasionally, may work a few major DXpeditions and be happy with 100 DXCC entities, basic DXCC cert.

A serious DXer lives, eats, drinks, breathes the DX bulletins and knows when entities are going to be activated.

I put myself in between the two. While I do follow the DX news, DX bulletins etc. I don't really "eat, sleep, breathe and drink" them.

I think these days it is a different game from days of olde. In the old days (pre packet, pre internet), you followed the magazines and waited for the day and maybe talked with your friends on the local repeater or at the club meetings about the latest DXpeditions. You looked for them on their announced frequencies or maybe tuned around. 

Today you set up some filters and alerts in DX cluster and wait. When you get that email you run to the radio.
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KE4YOG
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2013, 06:43:51 AM »

It is about BIC time. It is about the wait. For a person with a modest station like myself it takes time and effort. I am trying my darndest to get the 190 that I have worked confirmed. HR is not the goal. It just shows that at times all things went right. It shows that the earner was willing to take the time to listen for those signals that are very faint. It is about being willing to get up at strange times. It is about having fun with a great hobby. If you arent a DXer then it is hard to explain. I hunt a good amount. DXing is like hunting. It takes time to learn when and where you you need to be but nothing makes up for spending time in the woods or the chair
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KY6R
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2013, 07:52:54 AM »

This thread only reinforces my opinion that Cass, WA6AUD explained what DX-ing is better than anyone. He has a really good heir to the "DX IS" legacy, VE1DX.

Google either of these guys and look for VE1DX, and his excellent DX Stories page.

73,

Rich
KY6R



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K1ZJH
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2013, 08:05:04 AM »

You can't make HR without butt in chair time. It IS mostly a game of waiting it out. Yes, you need skill and probably a good station, good location etc but the main component is waiting for entities to be activated, and being there to work them. I don't see how something like this could be taken the wrong way. DX is a marathon, a journey, and not just a sprint. There's no instant gratification at all.

I don't agree with "butt in chair" time, per se... but being serious about chasing new ones over a span of a few sunspot cycles should get anyone with a modest station and decent antennas darn close to HR!  I don't have much patience for chasing DX, but being in the shack when the conditions are right usually yields the desired contact without much effort.

Pete
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KY6R
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2013, 08:16:43 AM »

If you guys mean that

Perserverence

Is the most important skill - both in operating skill and antenna skill, then I would agree.

Besides BIC time, I had to put in many hours of HFTA and EZNec time. The time spent on the tower was even more critical to success than BIC time.

The award pales in comparison to learning how to design a yagi stack given my terrain, figuring out how to build it mechanically, and then using it to make ATNOs towards HR.
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W9KEY
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2013, 08:33:32 AM »

If you guys mean that

Perserverence

Is the most important skill - both in operating skill and antenna skill, then I would agree.

I think that is a good way of putting it as BIC may connote a lackadaisical attitiude.  What amazes me are the old school HR recipients who did it without any PC or internet.  How much harder would that be? Also are there op.s with HR via QRP?
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W9KEY
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2013, 08:44:09 AM »

This thread only reinforces my opinion that Cass, WA6AUD explained what DX-ing is better than anyone. He has a really good heir to the "DX IS" legacy, VE1DX.

Google either of these guys and look for VE1DX, and his excellent DX Stories page.

73,

Rich
KY6R


Rich, thanks for that suggestion -- those are enjoyable stories: http://www.oocities.org/k2cddx/dxstories.html
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KY6R
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2013, 08:54:07 AM »

If you guys mean that

Perserverence

Is the most important skill - both in operating skill and antenna skill, then I would agree.

I think that is a good way of putting it as BIC may connote a lackadaisical attitiude.  What amazes me are the old school HR recipients who did it without any PC or internet.  How much harder would that be? Also are there op.s with HR via QRP?

Yes, there a few who have done it QRP, and those are my heros.

I don't think it was harder in the old days. I was licensed in 1973 with a crystal controlled HT-40 75 watt CW transmitter, and while not a DXer, I worked dx as a rag chewer.

There were far fewer entities on the list, fewer lids, smaller pileups, no stupid cluster to generate insanity, no stupid auto spotting mechanisms, etc. You had to be able to send CW by hand and the CW ops were so good, you aspired to be like them and you respected them.

It was easier to call CQ and have the DX come back to you. I worked Antarctica and Canal Zone that way. I never got the Canal Zone card, darn it.

I'm an old fart, but not stuck in the past. The old times weren't really better - but it was a whole different. Era.
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W9KEY
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2013, 09:02:04 AM »


Yes, there a few who have done [Honor Roll] QRP, and those are my heros.

I don't think it was harder in the old days. I was licensed in 1973 with a crystal controlled HT-40 75 watt CW transmitter, and while not a DXer, I worked dx as a rag chewer.

There were far fewer entities on the list, fewer lids, smaller pileups, no stupid cluster to generate insanity, no stupid auto spotting mechanisms, etc. You had to be able to send CW by hand and the CW ops were so good, you aspired to be like them and you respected them.

It was easier to call CQ and have the DX come back to you. I worked Antarctica and Canal Zone that way. I never got the Canal Zone card, darn it.

I'm an old fart, but not stuck in the past. The old times weren't really better - but it was a whole different. Era.

All my CW has been done with a straight key too (ok, my CW confirmed total is just 173, but it has been a fun adventure getting here).

ironically, I just read this DX story by Hugh Cassidy, WA6AUD http://www.oocities.org/k2cddx/lead11.html -- i guess all his DX stories take place in the pre internet era?
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KY6R
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2013, 09:15:30 AM »

Yes, pre-internet.

One of my Elmers was W2LV. He was just like the guru in these stories. I would have been the QRP-er. He was way up there and even the first DXCC Satellite recipient.

Bob lived in Sparta, NJ and he is featured in the book and documentary, "Empire of the Air". Bob worked for Marconi and others and put the first antennas on the Empire State Building.

I was 13 years old as WN2QHN,  and was always terrified that I would say something stupid.
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