I'm a bit surprised that a 'gadget' like a 136kHz - 144MHz transponder
creates that much reactions and even makes some of us to dismantle their LF
In my eyes it is up to anyone to decide how 'valid' his QSO's are when he
took the help of such a transponder. Personaly I wouldn't have any
reservation if a transponder or UHF-link is used by hams with a poor RX
location (high QRM levels) to improve their 'ears', as long as the mayor
part of the path is done on LF. So in Larry's case it is clear that the few
miles between his QTH and the RX-site are neglectible compared to the
several 1000 miles to Europe.
More in gerneral I agree 100% with Steve that 136kHz has been very
refreshing, far away from the competition and the 'wanting to have the
biggest' one notices on HF and up.
But for me it is still so, regardless wether MB7LF is on the air or not.
If I look back at the almost 4 years of my 'LF-life' the main thing I see
is not my personal achievement or that from any other ham in particular, it
is the collective achievement we made. In the first days we hardly could
reach the other end of the street, it took me over 2 months to make my
first QSO. But step by step the equipement was improved, propagation was
investigated and new modes were developed with the result that within 3
years we were able to cross the atlantic. I hope that nobody is mad at me
when I claim that this was not the achievement of just 1 or 2 people, but
that a whole group contributed in many ways : designing transmitters and
antennas, investigating propagation, develloping receiving and transmitting
software and so on ...
This is what I like most about 136kHz, the fact that we are working
together instead of in competition. And that won't change wether we have a
transponder to VHF or not.
So ... for what it is worth ... hope to work you again on LF Steve.
73, Rik ON7YD