I've been listening on the QRP frequencies, the last few days, with the hopes of working a few more "low power stations". The North American QRP CW Club (NAQCC) is sponsoring a QRPp (less than 1 watt) event this month. I probably won't work many (just don't have the antenna for it and there's a lot of noise here in the city) but it's always fun to listen and hope....(I've worked a few)
This morning, I heard W5VYN near Dallas Texas (900 miles) but he couldn't hear me well enough to continue the QSO. (we exchanged name and QTH before the band shifted) and then I caught VE3HEQ in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada.
The band was shifting a little, but all in all, we copied each other at the 559 level and talked for a quite awhile about the weather. Clive (VE3HEQ) said it was VERY cold up there, and he was expecting a lot MORE snow, and a lot MORE cold weather this week. As a matter of fact, it's supposed to be below freezing (and in the single digits) very soon.
I get into Canada very well for a QRP station with an indoor antenna. This last year, I kidded several guys about my signal getting some kind of weird bounce off the "gold dome" of the Capitol building, which is just up the street from me. I get an odd "spike" into the Northeast for some reason.
I've worked a QRP station in Canada at the 1000 mile range (VE1IBA in Kinston, Nova Scotia ).
But the most interesting contact I've ever made in Canada (and the ONLY contact like this I've ever made) was a station conducting a "Maritime Net" on the far side of Lake Erie. The net control officer (VE3GGO) was checking in ships sailing on the Great Lakes (Canadian stations can operate in the CW section of the 40 meter band) when he asked for "anyone, any mode (CW)" for a "check in"....I jumped at the opportunity for this unique QSO.
He returned my call and QTH (which he responded with in SSB) and we exchanged a few pleasantries. I've worked several ships on the Great Lakes but this contact was the most interesting of them all.
I'll be keeping my ears on for the "NAQCC QRPp" stations this month...with a little luck, I might even work a few. The NAQCC contest ends on the last day of January.
Clive (VE3HEO) is member # 2976