I lived out a good commercial for Amateur Radio tonight!
I turned on the rig; and there was an exceptional amount of bad QRN on 40 Meters. There has been bad weather rolling through the East Coast; so I guess it's no surprise that the bands were nasty. Rather than listen to static crashes, I decided to work some more on the ATS3. I finished mounting all the SMT devices the other night; and tonight I got all the "through hole" devices mounted. All that is left is the filter boards and the testing and alignment.
As I began mounting some of "through hole" devices that were in a cramped area of the circuit board, I decided to change the tip on my soldering station. I had to turn it off and let it cool down for a bit; so I flipped the rig back on and started calling CQ on 40 Meters in the neighborhood of the SKCC watering hole of 7.050 MHz.
I was answered by Mike AE4R of Vienna, Virginia. Mike had a nice signal into NJ (QRN notwithstanding) and we started gabbing a bit. This is where it gets good! Mike is sitting in his shack, using a Kenwood TS-50 on battery power. It seems there's been a bad spate of thunderstorms and even some tornadoes in the Vienna area; and the entire town is without commercial power!
But that made no difference to Mike, who simply connected his rig to a deep cycle battery; and was able to conduct communications as if nothing was out of the ordinary. Granted, this was a ragchew and was not emergency communications; BUT if it had been, Mike and I would have been able to pass whatever traffic was deemed necessary without so much as a hiccup.
I guess what the ARRL has been preaching the last few years really IS true:
73 de Larry W2LJ