Earlier tonight, I had attempted a "fox hunt" on the 80 meter band, and was discouraged, because I couldn't hear either the "foxes or the hounds". My friend Gari (K8KFJ) at the other end of the valley, caught the "Georgia Fox" after over an hour of listening. He skinned the pelt on the "high null" of a very faint signal. I could tell a fox was in the brush, but that was about it....The 80 meter band seemed VERY long!
It was about midnight, and I couldn't sleep, so I decided to get up and fix myself a cup of tea. I shouldn't have, but I again turned on the radio and plugged in the headphones.
I tuned the rig to the 40 meter FISTS frequency.
It's now 3 AM, but when I worked WB6HGJ in San Diego, California, it was 1:45 AM here in WV. (10:45 PM in California) Marilyn slept through it all because the sound was in my headphones and the only noise in the house was the clicking of the telegraph key.)
One of the GREAT things about CW is the ability to communicate without disturbing those around you.
I thought GUY was running a home brew rig because of the CW tone, but (if I heard correctly) he was using an old Collins rig. It was a difficult copy (229 with QSB) but I imagine that was his receiver. The old "Collins Rigs" are famous for their selectivity and filtering.
(It would have taken a receiver like this to hear a 5 watt signal from West Virginia)
I couldn't find an e-mail address for GUY (WB6HGJ) but it will be interesting to see the details on his QSL card. I'll put mine in the mail this morning at daylight....
It was a short contact, because of the QSB on both sides, but one I will always remember. The "Coast to Coast" distance between us is 2,020 miles and it's also my "first" "Coast to Coast" contact on 40 meters. Until tonight, I've only worked distances like this on 20 meters.
This is RARE with the QRP power of 5 watts!
Needless to say, I can't sleep now!
We exchanged signal strength, name, location, "FISTS" numbers, and a brief comment on the rig, power, and antenna. It was VERY difficult to hear but we exchanged the basics on both sides of the conversation.
Guy's membership number is # 9909.
I'd say 40 meters is a bit long too!