My Most Recent QSO's

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hard Times During the Depression

I often tune around between 7038 and 7043 listening for QRP stations and I hear stations I've already worked, many times in this segment. A few years ago, I worked WA3SCM in Dundee, Florida running 3 watts and using a random wire from a motel suite.

Daves job takes him to several different places on the East Coast and he sets up his station with a long wire strung wherever it's allowable. I've talked to him at least 4 different times during his job travels. (at different locations)
Last night I heard him in Tennessee, working a Texas station with a few watts from a Quality Inn. I read the mail for at least half an hour as he chatted with the Texas station. His signal was a solid 599 at times.
Dave had just asked the Texas station about 'any other hobbies' when I caught him. I could barely hear the other station but it was one of the most refreshing and interesting QSO's I've ever heard on the QRP CW frequencies in years.
They were talking about the Great Depression and their memories of a hard life and the food they grew and raised in the country. The subject of "groundhogs" also surfaced and rabbits roasting on a spit on an open fire. Dave must have been a 'crack shot' with a 22 rifle and he rattled CW along at about 17 wpm.
His choice of words and spacing was pleasant listening. I don't copy all stations at this speed, and some, I have difficulty copying at 10 wpm, and a few, I can't copy at all.
What I'm saying here is he has a great fist. I could have listened at 20 wpm last night.
The amusing thing about the QSO was the subject matter and his antenna. I've always admired resourcefulness. According to the e-mail I received yesterday:

You can see where my antenna is located on and it is about 200 ft of wire from my second floor room window along side the motel entrance roof to the lamp post in front of my car then to the big Quality Inn sign. The wire is insulated with
clear shipping tape where it goes thru the window (doesnt seem to matter it is
zig zag where the window closes on it) then to a piece of 30 lb fishing line
over the light post then to 30 lb fishing line over the sign. I shot a one
ounce weight over the lamp post and big sign with my slingshot Zebco Reel and 4 lb
line then pulled the 30 lb line back over. You can see my slinger on
Flickr searching for WA3SCM. I am glad you enjoyed the QSO. I
try to get the other fella talking about something that interests him then try
to add too it. I am also trying to get my speed up to a solid 20 but am
most comfortable around 17 now. Once I can do 20 solid I am going to get
my extra. I speak of you often when bsing with hams. Your fun
and success with isotrons always sparks an interest.

Just goes to show you if there's a will...there's always a way.

His wife called a little before 8 pm and I didn't get to jump in. He cut the QSO short and signed off but it was one of the most amusing and refreshing CW QSO's I've heard in years.

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