First and foremost…Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all your families. A special Thanksgiving along with our prayers to our veterans serving this country here and on station.
November was/is a very wonderful month for those of us who love the thrill (sometimes the defeat) of working that ATNO or just working that rare DX even though we’ve already have them in our logs. So it was with the Ducie Island DXpedition (VP6D) that went QRV during some of the South Pacific’s worst weather conditions. Those of us that served in the Pacific theater of operations are aware of just how bad and how unpredictable the weather can be in October when Pacific typhoons break loose with their treacherous seas along with destructive landfall conditions. During those stressful conditions, the DXpedition operators on Ducie Island set up operations.
I’ve worked a lot of DXpeditions along with some of the worlds finest operators or so I thought until I worked VP6D, these dedicated radio guys were absolutely the crème de la crème. They made the pileups so enjoyable that nobody that had to wait to work them was disappointed. They diligently worked 121,000 total Q’s with the following breakdown by mode (rounded off) CW 68,000. SSB 29,000. Digital modes 25,000. You’re reading the numbers correctly…over 50% of their contacts were on CW and so I can tell you with pride, that one of them was mine.
Continued enthusiasm for the CW mode is not the technology, it’s the legacy. As for the digital modes…all that can be said is that digital modes are the future of our great hobby. Gerald Youngblood (K5SDR) CEO of Flex Radio wrote regarding digital modes on HF operations “FT8 et al is an example of the technology that will keep Ham Radio alive and relevant for the future” What will kill Amateur Radio, he continued, “is if we cease to innovate, become old and grumpy, and no longer bring new blood into the hobby” There’s no doubt that Digi-modes will be the vehicle that brings the young technically oriented talent into the hobby and so keeping the hobby alive and well. Us old grumpy dudes operating CW and phone will eventually hand over the reins to the newbies but in the meantime…sit down at your station, check out all those lighted up dials, twist some knobs then call CQ because there’s another grumpy old dude listening for your call so don’t disappoint him/her. So long from my station in Huntersville to your station wherever it may be.
Best 73 es gud DX de Bob/WØZPE