I am usually considered to be a relaxed and easy-going person, but every now and again something bugs me and I find it necessary to get it out of my system so it doesn't eat away at me. Occasionally, it is a spur of the moment thing. Something tipped the balance yesterday and, correctly or incorrectly, I felt something needed to be said. Unfortunately I spouted off without thinking much.
I cannot stand liars and cheats and yes I am referring to a certain DXer. Occasionally you come across an individual who feels the need to exaggerate things so they remain top dog. I have been watching this particular individual for about three years, pondering over his DX claims and finding some of them a little unnatural. There's no disputing this DXer is a high achiever in the DX stakes and has invested in good equipment. but there has always been something he and this person consistently achieves the impossible.
There's no disputing this person is a capable DXer with more good equipment, but when you study the pattern of his logging it becomes quite clear that something is not always right. I am not the only person to have realised this. In fact I had no idea that he had been under scrutiny for some time by other DXers. He consistently pushes the boundaries that little bit too far and hears stations which exceed the prevailing conditions. He even reports hearing stations which would be beyond those boundaries for DXers who are closer to them and claims reception of transmitters which haven't even been received by those nearer to the action. The funny thing is this person rarely backs up his more exotic claims with audio recordings - something he has previously been known to do religiously.
Other DXers have even stated that he is an outright liar, something I would have been reluctant to shout myself without absolute proof, but apparently traps have been set in the past in which he has fallen into, copying incorrect information into his loggings. His more exotic catches didn't always match up to the conditions shown on DX clusters at those times either.
The part which sent me over the edge was the deviousness he frequently shows. He clearly doesn't like to alert members of the Skywaves DX community to exceptional conditions and often holds back from reporting his top DX catches from the FM List until well after the event so other enthusiasts miss the action. While I know there are people like this and they have a right to choose this way if they so wish, I find it rather devious, greedy and selfish. OK, that's my personal opinion and maybe I don't have a right to criticize this, but for me this hobby has always been about sharing and helping each other.
Sour grapes on my part? What a laugh. It's funny isn't it. Here I am on the east coast in what is regarded by some to be one of the best band 2 DX locations in the UK. It probably has the emptiest FM band anywhere on these islands (check the MB21 map to see this) but this fact alone will NOT bring in the DX. Isn't it strange why I don't hear these exotic openings myself, because you might just think I would have as good a cchance as anybody with all these empty channels. Not so! Yes, I am very lucky to have this clear band situation - one of the reasons for moving here, but no I don't expect to hear more than other DXers. Most of this hobby is still about being in the right place at the right time. I just have more empty channels, that's all. That alone will not bring in the DX.
Finally, I might mention that it was recently pointed out to me how pathetic this competitive situation had become. The DXer in question seemed to be trying to get one over me at all times. I think I was subconsciously trying to make sure this didn't happen, which makes me as bad as him. I had noticed for some time that he consistently reported more DX than me and from further afield - on a daily basis! I knew he was going to trip himself up sooner or later. He did so several times this year and finally in spectacular style recently with something he should have known better about.
What am I like? I know this is only a hobby, but yesterday's events only made realise how I ought to be siting back and relaxing more rather than going at the hobby full pelt every day. It's unhealthy. I am still going to enjoy it, but I'm not in a race to beat other people. In fact, as I type this, there is a raging opening on band 2 to Spain, Italy and North African and I'm actually ignoring it! It will be there again another day.
So, these are just some thoughts on how I feel today. A little embarrassed certainly, but I felt something had to be done. I just wish I had taken a step back and considered my response more carefully first. Not to worry, he has done a very good job of hanging himself on a number of occasions, including in his final response to the group. Well done that person! Now you can join your other devious mates and live happily ever after. Good riddance!