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Stopping the "big guns" is unlikely



     Several people have voiced the opinion that the high powered, 
sophisticated stations should not work the ISS more than once.  I too share 
that opinion, but I am not optimistic we will see it happen.

     As a long time HF DXer (worked'em all, and have DXCC on 160-10, etc.), 
I have observed this sort of thing for many years.  It is a truism of DXing 
that many of those with kilowatts and monobanders at 100+ feet can and do 
work DXpeditions multiple times on the same band/mode.  They did this in 
the 1970's, 1980's 1990's, and they continue to do it today.  No amount of 
pleading, asking, begging, threatening or hoping has ever stopped them.

     I am fairly new to VHF.  It took me 2 years with 50 watts and a 
144/440 MHz vertical to work the ISS once.  I do not intend to try again, 
but early on it was clear to me that those with computer controlled 
azimuth/elevation rotators that track the ISS and other satellites with 
multiple multi-element beams and maximum legal power were going to make the 
QSOs first.  I also concluded that they would work them at every 
opportunity.  They are no different than the DXers I mentioned in the first 
paragraph.  It's ego and human nature, and it isn't going to change.  Why 
do they put "3rd QSO" in the comment field other than to tell the rest of 
us they are really good at getting what we can't have.

     There are two schools of thought on this.  The first is that they 
should work the rare "thing", be it the ISS or some group of HF DXers 
camped out on a desolate reef in the middle of nowhere, and than let the 
more modest stations have their turn.  The other school of thought is they 
paid high sums of money for their mega-stations, and they shouldn't be 
expected to get through on the first day and then turn everything off for 
six months.  As WA6AUD, Hugh Cassidy wrote so often in the West Coast DX 
Bulletin during the 1970's, "Only the Deserving shall work the DX, and for 
some there will be more than for others."

     So while I sympathize with the comments made regarding the multiple 
QSOs, and how hard it makes it for the rest of us, all I can say is that 
WA6AUD was right . . . and that VHF ISS QSOs are no different than those 
with rare locations on HF.  The reality is the QRPers will have to wait 
longer, and work harder than the big guns, whether it is perceived to be 
fair or not.  That is why I drove in my heels and didn't give up.  It took 
two years.  I could have bought myself a mega-station and did it in a month 
or less, but I chose not to.

73, Paul VE1DX  

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