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Re: Topband: Top Band and JT65

Subject: Re: Topband: Top Band and JT65
From: "" <>
Date: Sat, 20 May 2017 23:47:54 -0400
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Promised myself I'd stay out of this, but it's getting ridiculous....Comments like "I worked 20 new ones on 160, and I never heard any of them!". Wow! That's amazing...I personally can't find any satisfaction in claiming a contact I never heard. I never have...Yes, the digi modes allow easier qso's that would never have been made, but let's face it, you never made those contacts, your computer & it's software did. Any resulting "Awards" should be made out to your computer. Meteor scatter used to be very popular, actually getting to hear the excited voices of those you worked was thrilling. One m/s qso of mine was with a yl from the Carolinas with a most delightful Southern accent...hard to duplicate with digi modes. I don't know anyone who works or talks about rocks challenge. Same with eme, which I pulled the plug on when it was no longer a challenge. How many new eme operators have heard their own voices coming back from the moon? I migrated to TopBand as one of the last real challenges left....

I find the litany of excuses about why one has to go to digital means on 160 to be feeble at best." My rig can't cut it, I don't have the antennas, I can't copy code (one of the real elephants in the room!), my location isn't on the coast where it's easy, etc, etc". There are MANY dxers operating successfully on small lots, and there are a myriad of clever, small receiving antennas out there. How about the gentleman on the left coast who worked DXCC on 160 from his mobile!! (without digital modes).

My TopBand rig is quite modest, no towers or rotors. The TX antennas are wires hanging from trees with no more than 50' vertical rise. The 16 radials under each are only 48' long. Desperately needing a new rig, I bought the very cheapest HF transceiver on the market (no DSP, keyer, antenna tuner, etc). My location in Upper Michigan is not near either coast for "easy" dx, but is unfortunately close to the auroral oval. My amp was a non-working "gift" that doesn't run full power. However, I have 233 countries & 37 zones confirmed on 160. I have personally HEARD every qso made & have decoded them as necessary, in my HEAD. I don't spot myself or arrange skeds....I don't have a computer in the shack.

If ham radio was to go all digital, I would walk away from it....Not because I'm a curmudgeon, but simply because the challenge and resulting thrills would be gone.

Lest you think I am a ignorant technophobe, I am a degreed electrical engineer and have been a ham for over 60 years. I have a fine computer & am on it actively every day....but I never pretend that it's ham radio.

I realize from the comment below that it's rather boring to work digi modes, but I suspect that help is on the way....I am truly surprised that no one has produced an "app" that will take the remaining work out of it. You would simply download the app, check the appropriate boxes (DXCC, WAS, WAZ), select the desired bands, and turn it loose 24 hours a day. It would make all the contacts for you (with similar robo-stations) and send you a text or email when it's through. Heck, it could even apply for your desired awards, and then wake up your printer to print your award certificate out! It would then send another message to pick up your award....How truly exciting that would be.

Brian K8BHZ

2017 12:39 AM, DXer wrote:
>>>To me, just not the challenge of dxing mostly cw and ssb.

Fair enough. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Another angle. I find JT65 to be a very relaxing mode. Which other mode allows one to read and write emails, go get a coffee, answer 'nature's call', etc. while making contacts? Timing is important, but doable. :^)

73 de Vince, VA3VF
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