I made some interesting contacts this weekend during the ARRL International CW Contest. I added TI5W in Costa Rica and PW0F (an island off the coast of Brazil) to my DXCC log book. These two new stations bring my total DX count to one hundred eleven.
I've never heard the 40 meter band so active! Almost half of my contacts were on this band. My first group of 40 meter contacts on the 21st (made in a little over an hour) were with the Slovak Republic, Poland, Germany, Slovenia, and Romania. On the 22nd (in about an hour) I worked Slovenia, Italy,Croatia, Africa, Serbia and the Czech Republic.
I'm overjoyed to make such unexpected DX contacts with my simple station. As always, I used five watts of power and an indoor Isotron Antenna on the 40 meter band.
I've used this 40 meter antenna for almost 25 years now. At one time I had three of these wired together (the above picture) but I sold the 80 meter version since I seldom use that band. I still use the 40 and 20 meter versions when traveling. Both these antennas are easily set up in a matter of minutes. All it takes is a painters pole and a few bungee cords.
The Isotron antenna is often called "The Bird House" because it's similar in size. It's a controversial antenna but in a restricted antenna area, it's brought me good results. I seriously doubt any of the stations I worked, at over 5,000 miles this weekend on 40 meters, had the slightest idea I was using such a simple antenna and running QRP power.