Friday, January 25, 2013
My Morning DX Contact
This morning, I truly thought was going to be "the end" of my string of daily DX contacts. Propagation isn't good (SFI 103) and despite hearing two "new special event stations" from Austria, I was hearing only very weak signals. In desperation I scanned the other bands but only found a brief opening on 15 meters, where I heard F5IN; but couldn't work him.
I was so frustrated that I shut off the rig and went downstairs for another cup of coffee. After looking through the morning newspaper, and being comforted by my wife, I drudged back upstairs to listen a bit more. Unfortunately, there was nothing but silence on the DX portions of all the bands.
I thought this was "the end" of my daily DX contacts.
Not one to wallow in misery for very long, I decided to see if anything was happening at the local level, and immediately found N2CVE on the 30 meter band. We had a very nice QSO about TenTec rigs and his random wire antenna. (his is outdoors). Jim has been away from the hobby for awhile but is actively perusing CW with a renewed passion. It was a long pleasant conversation about several other things too.
The temperature is only 21 degrees this morning, and it's pouring down fresh snow. Despite this, I felt refreshed after chatting with a good CW operator, and always find it good therapy, for a bruised soul.
The third cup of coffee went down around 11:30 am which meant I had been glued to the headphones for almost two hours. One last time, I spun the dial over to the 17 meter band for a last attempt before admitting defeat.
I heard a loud signal on 18.077 and assumed it was local station. I pitched my call back; just to let them know someone was there, and he returned to me. It was slow CW but I missed it at first, or couldn't believe it wasn't local, since I had my mind in another gear. It was then that I realized it wasn't, and recognized it as French.
Never in my life have I experienced the joy of working an old friend whom I worked many many times before! This station turned out to be Bert (F6HKA) near Limoges France. He had been sending the K3Y/ EU call and it went right over my head. I asked him to repeat the call since I was in such a state of both confusion and ecstasy. He did so; and I almost fell out of the chair.
This QSO turned out to be much more than the standard exchange. I apologized for not hearing the call correctly, and told him that I thought he was a local station. He asked if I was still QRP. I said yes, he said follow me, and I'll drop down to 5 watts. Bert moved slightly up the dial to avoid some noise, and dropped down to QRP at 5 watts. We completed the exchange as a VERY nice 2 X 2 QRP QSO.
Today was a very welcome contact, despite working almost two hours for it, and I'm thinking it's getting more difficult each day to continue make a daily DX contact. But for now, today marks my 27th consecutive DX contact with my simple QRP station.
Posted by Jspiker at 11:16 AM