As I called CQ this evening, K3QEQ was listening on 40 meters (7058 MHz) from Du Bois, PA. and I was surprised, on the second exchange (as I responded with my usual N8ZYA/ qrp at the end of the first exchange) when he also added the /QRP to his call sign.
It seems his Tentec Orion II (what a GREAT radio) was squeezed down to it's minimum 5 watts output. (he has another rig that's capable of milli watts with an Oak Hills watt meter attached in line, but wasn't using it this evening).
He was using a "trap dipole", and we were hearing each other pretty well, so the QSO continued and we exchanged our ages (pretty close together also), the WX, and he mentioned working at a Glass company and worrying about the economy.
As the conversation continued, I asked for his "telephone area code" and he immediately realized I was a FISTS member. We exchanged those numbers and also both "area codes". He then mentioned that he had my Bio pulled up on QRZ and asked if I was a former Navy Radioman?
I replied that I was a "Signalman" on the USS Corry (DD 817)....Well, he sez, I was aboard the USS Wasp (CVS 18) and plucked the Gemini IV Space Capsule out of the Atlantic in the mid 60's. I'm also a Navy Veteran!
If I remember right, that was the first "space walk" and it circled the earth over 60 times before landing "off course" about 80 km into the ocean off Florida?
WOW....does that ever that bring back good memories!
We operated with "Bird Farms" many times. It was always a joy to send ZWC INT WV? (on the search light) to see if there was anyone from West Virginia aboard that would like to "chat for a bit"? We were operating with the "USS Enterprise" once, and I sent the "Z" signal asking for someone to chat for awhile from my home state?
My best friend and neighbor from St Albans WV answered my query!
I'm glad I talked to Bill (K3QEQ) this evening. Not only was it a pleasure to QSO with another QRP operator, but it brought back a lot of good Navy memories. Our QSO lasted nearly an hour (qrp to qrp) and we agreed to exchange cards.