Friday, August 15, 2014

Patience pays off

How many times have you heard that? How many times have you been able to practice it? If you're like me, you know it .... you believe it ..... but find it oh, so hard to put into practice. Last night was a case in point where I toughed it out (yeah, like it was really tough) and was rewarded.

In particular, I am talking about the 20 Meter QRP Foxhunt.  The two Foxes were Jim N0UR in Minnesota and Dave N1IX in New Hampshire.  I managed to work Jim N0UR rather quickly and easily, pretty early into the 90 minute hunt.  Minnesota has always been a pretty easy hop from New Jersey. The challenge on the other hand would be working Dave N1IX. The distance between New Jersey and New Hampshire is rather short for 20 Meters, especially when you can hear European Hams coming in rather loudly on the same band. One one shoulder sat the little devil, telling me "You're never going to work him. New Hampshire is too close".

The angel on the other shoulder was saying "Have patience, you'll work him".

The little devil countered, "You've had a long day, you're tired, it's late. Go to bed."

The little angel whispered, "Good things come to those who wait".

With about 11 minutes remaining in the hunt, I was finally able to hear Dave. I knew where he was (from locating the pack trying to work him) and I could JUST BARELY make him out, calling "CQ FOX". But he was ESP, maybe sub-ESP. I thought for sure it was going to be a one-fer for the night. The mattress and pillow were calling my name. However, it seems the angel won the war.

Then with about four minutes to go, and my butt still in the chair, Dave became about 579. I could not believe my ears!  For 86 minutes, almost nothing and now he was as clear as a bell!  With two minutes to go, he got up to 599 and we made the exchange and I bagged both pelts for the night.

There must have been a nice, big airplane in the sky on the way to, or out of Boston; half way between NH and NJ that must have re-directed our radio waves to each other!  :-)

It's so easy to give up and succumb to the temptation of going to bed, or watching TV, or perhaps reading a book instead of staying in the chair, waiting, and getting the QSO done and in the log.  I wonder if this experience will remain in my memory banks long enough for the next time I'm in a pileup and I'm tempted to cave in and call it quits early.

Knowing human nature and knowing me ...... I'm not so sure!    ;-)

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

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