Wow, great responses! I got the blood pumping to help you guys through the
cold winter nights. About 85% of the responses were supportive.
Of course, there is no one answer that accounts for all the various
permutations of how much equity a hired gun has in the SO's station or how
inconvenient it is to get there and set up shop, etc., etc. It's just an
interesting exercise in rhetorical logic.
For those of you who think I may be bordering on sour grapes, we spent 4
years finding our ridge-top QTH (that drops off 300' to the West and 400' to
the East). We usually have 3 towers and an SO2R setup. I haven't felt
inferior since before I won the 76 SS CW with a Classic 33, 2 el 40, KWM2,
75A4 and an SB220.
Just for sake of argument, my definition of an owner/operator is that it's
your $$$, your insurance and you do the maintenance. We hired a professional
tower crew to build the K5XI station, including the 250' Rohn 55 with stacked
20m beams. It was his money, his dream and it was his station. Even though I
put months of sweat equity into the construction, I was always a guest op.
Oh, yes. I lost 13 towers in hurricane Alicia in Texas in 1983. That's my
benchmark of commitment as an owner/operator.
Someone should collate all the responses and compare them to the same debates
we have had in the NCJ every few years, back when we dialogued in that
publication instead of on the Internet.
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