An ordinary but still irreplaceable QSO

Last week end, a guy in W6 has let me know JIDXC started. It was on 40m at 0705Z. Investigating the current rule, I knew it had undergone a big change. It lasts only for 30 hours. It is for the participants who are getting older. It may be to activate the contest as well.  I have watched it when the bands are open. Except for the beginning and the ending, it could hardly be regarded as active as it used to be. I was a keen joiner of this contest for 40m category around 1990. Even compared with that in those days, it seemed to have lost participants on any band this time.

I tried to work JAs on 40m for regular ordinary QSO. I have called CQ for several times in the daytime when the band was open only for JA. There have, however, been no callers to me at all. I realized again there were much less CW operators enjoying ordinary QSOs in JA for now. I have known of that for the past years and was not surprised at that at all.

This afternoon, between gardening works, I have called CQ on 20m, where Martin AE5KC/M has given me a call. He was originally from Mexico and has been to homeland. He was on the way back home. He told me it would take him 3 hours to drive back to Dallas. He has pulled over his car and was going to take a rest for a while.

I didn't want to bother him taking a rest and was saying goodbye to him. He interrupted it and asked what time it was in our local. I answered it was 3PM bright afternoon. It was 1AM at his place. He sounded to be reluctant to quit the QSO. I could imagine, while taking a break, he was relaxing with radio. The surrounding was quiet and dark. He could hear a JA on the radio. He was running only a barefoot with a whip. It might not be common for him to catch a JA with his mobile set up. That has made him not willing to leave there so soon. As it is often said, treasure every meeting for it will never recur. I have imagined what he thought then in this way.

Wishing him a good rest for a while and a safe trip back to office, I gave the final message to him. It was not a fabulous exciting QSO at all. It might be an ordinary QSO. It must be regarded as a trivial one to most hams. But I was pleased to have met him in this way. It could not be replaced to any other QSOs. I still would look for such a QSO from now on. I won't try to persuade the others to do the same way. I just would go on this style of enjoyment in ham radio.   


  1. Good evening Shin,
    I was listening to your QSO with Martin and was pleased to be able to chat a bit with you after you finished with him.

    Many years ago (1963-1966) I had the pleasure of living in Japan and learning a bit of the Japanese culture courtesy of the United States Army. I was stationed in Chitose on Hokkaido and that's where I actually got my first ham license by the old US "Conditional" test taken by mail. I spent much time in Sapporo looking for electronic parts and built several transmitters with the help of JA8ZS (silent key) who worked on the base and became my "Elmer". Hironaka San would not let me go on the air after I got my license until I had at least built a transmitter and I've always thanked him for that.

    He and his wife lived in Eniwa and I was fortunate to spend time with them learning how to behave in the Japanese community and not like an American while I was there. I was only 21 years old at the time and if it had not been for Hiro I would have made a fool of myself many times over - LOL.

    As always, it's a pleasure working you via ham radio and I wish my Japanese was as good as your English. At one time, I was able to use the Kata Kana CW code to do very simple conversations in Japanese, but I have slept too many years since then and have forgotten all but a few characters now hi hi.

    73 and thank you again for a nice chat on 40 Onisawa San.

    Jim - W0EB

    1. Hi Jim,

      It was nice to see you last night. I was surprised to see Martin on 40m before the QSO with you as well. He was taking a rest for 5 hours there and was leaving for Dallas at that time.

      It was really good for you to have such a tutor as JA8ZS in your new comer days. I imagined you building the rig by yourself before starting operation. I used to drive Eniwa or Chitose area in mid 80s. It might have undergone a drastic change there since '60s. But your memories in those days must not be changed in your mind for sure.

      I have started radio in 1963. A simple 6AQ5 TX and a 5 tubes RX. The antenna was a ladder line fed dipole set between bamboo poles. I am sure I was most excited and enthusiastic at radio than any later years. A fond memory.

      See you soon, Jim.