By WBØRUR, on the scene
BROWBEEKEN, Vermont — “Shocking!” That’s how Green Mountain state ham radio operator Flip Smithson describes his most recent DX pileup. “It’s beyond belief! After all this time…and NOW THIS!”
Smithson, a local innkeeper who operates his ham radio device to pass the time during long New England winters, was startled and shaken Sunday as he attempted to make contact with a station in Senegal.
“I tuned up the rig and moved over to the pileup frequency. Oh, I listened for a moment or two. I heard a lot of other hams trying to work the station, so I gave out a call, too.”
It was only then that Smithson realized that something was terribly, terribly wrong with his plan.
“I immediately began to hear tens of other hams transmitting ‘He’s working SPLIT!!’ ‘He’s up 5 you knucklehead!’ There were cat-calls, jeers and all types of rude comments! It was downright embarrassing. One ham with a strong northwestern accident suggested that I purchase a receiver.”
So upset over his split versus simplex mistake, Smithson has vowed to sell his ham radio equipment, tear down his antennas and focus on his first loves: maple syrup and beekeeping.
“Trees and bees don’t have any idea about split VFO operation,” he says. “And they don’t yell at you when you accidentally snap a limb or step on one of them.”
Truer words were never said. Smithson’s syrups and honeys are available at his inn Monday-Friday.