40 Meters was wall to wall NA QSO Party QSOs; so I ventured down to 80 Meters, not knowing what to expect with the atmospheric conditions roiling all day.
Pleasantly, there was a major lack of QRN and static crashes. Maybe Autumnal conditions are starting to make their presence known on 80 Meters once again. That would be a welcome to me as I enjoy QSOs on 80 with regularity. The G5RV does a very nice job for me on 80 and I have no complaints. I don't seem to garner much DX with it; but I have no problems having nice ragchew QSOs on 80 Meters with stations I guess could be considered "local".
And so it was tonight. Calling CQ netted a nice QSO with Bill WA1ZFE who hails out of Norwalk, CT. Bill was also QRP, running 5 Watts out of his Kenwood TS-2000 to a loop antenna. Conditions were such that we were able to give each other RSTs of 589. We were going at it nicely, comparing Hanna weather notes when IT happened.
And by "IT", I mean unannounced contest stations blasting on an occupied frequency without even so much as a complimentary "QRL?" Nothing like inconsiderate contesters to bust up a good ragchew. I understand that since I was running QRP, they might not have heard me; but even that being said, there's NO reason to just start blindly transmitting without throwing a "QRL?" out there as a courtesy. Such as it was, even turning on the K2's tight crystal filters made copy go from sublime to almost impossible in a matter of seconds - they were indeed, right on top of us.
Now I know there are many A-1 op contesters out there who are a shining example to uphold. Unfortunately, there are also "some" out there who break the cardinal rule, "Listen first before transmitting." They're the ones who give all contesters a bad reputation. I certainly don't mind sharing the bands with fans of contests; but it would be nice if they listened before jumping in with both feet.
Heck, it would be nice if EVERYONE would listen before they transmit - contesters, ragchewers, traffic handlers alike. I wonder why that's such a difficult concept for some?
73 de Larry W2LJ