Desperate, dark times as the quest nears the end…

If I have any readers left, they are no doubt tired of me talking about this WAS Triple Play quest. These last few QSOs are driving me to desperate methods to locate the stations I need, for example:

  • Reaching out to Twitter via the #hamradio hashtags. I got the idea to leverage Twitter from one of KD0BIK’s podcasts, in which he mentioned that occasionally there will be folks on Twitter willing to help people who need states/countries for paper-chasing. Today’s effort has not resulted in anything.
  • Using the K3UK Sked Page 24/7. Well, I use this every day, but now I’ve taken to leaving it up all the time so I can see who’s on. I wish there was an alert function so if say, Nebraska shows up, I can get a text message.
  • Using the Reverse Beacon Network. I just started digging into the filtering that this site is capable of. And dammit, if I were at home in front of my rig, I could be tearing up some CW right about now. Anyway, in my hunt for DE and WY, I have some filtering setup to look for stations in those regions. I’m thinking this will probably be the most helpful method thus far.
  • Using HamSpots. This hasn’t done anything but frustrate me to be honest, since it’s heavily weighted towards digital modes, but I keep thinking a new North Dakota station will suddenly appear and I can hunt him down.
  • And perhaps the most desperate method: E-mailing guys and begging to set up scheduled contacts. I really hate doing this, and it hasn’t proven helpful at all. The one response I have received was from an operator who was restricted to low power data modes.

I mentioned my efforts to another ham who simply asked me, “Once this challenge was done, then what?” DXCC I suppose? But his comment did bring things into perspective. Why is this important? Why am I rushing to finish it now, after casually loafing along on it. Why the pressure?

It’s because I have a specific personal challenge in mind that extends beyond simply earning the wallpaper: I want to be the first KK4-prefixed station to complete the Triple Play. This callsign, which unfortunately often brands me as a newbie, or a young ham, can also be a badge of distinction under the proper circumstances.

In regards to that, my ham friend offered me some advice: “The last few steps of a long journey are the hardest.”

Indeed they are.

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