Sometimes you want to get on the air and have a nice casual rag chew. It can be difficult sometimes in the midst of a contest. Personally, I have nothing against contests and contesters; but there are times one can be "not in the mood". This seemed to be the case for R7AX, tonight on 20 Meters. This has to be one of the first, if not the first time I have ever heard a DX station send "NO TEST" to stations calling him.
Thank God for the WARC bands! If you are a rag chewer by choice, then you have a haven during contest weekends. I switched over to 17 Meters for a bit and had a QSO with Pat F6GCP who was a very loud 589 in NJ. The QSO wasn't what you'd consider to be a marathon; but it was a bit more than just "5NN TU" and goodbye.
Conditions on 20 Meters were strange. Bob AJ4SM and I had to strain with QSB and changing band conditions to complete our QSO - Florida to NJ. A few minutes later, I was working European stations with no sweat and good reports on the very same band.
This is the reason I have high esteem for the folks who understand this propagation stuff better than I do.
Today was the monthly Polar Bear outdoor QRP event. I had intended to put my newly assigned #283 to good use from the local park. However, my wife reminded me that our son's Boy Scout Troop was holding their annual car wash today. So I spent most of the day washing other folk's cars. It was a good day for fundraising and we managed to gather $192 for his troop, which will probably go towards new tents or a camping trip this summer.
I did make sure to have the VHF/UHF handheld secured to my belt. It was turned on and was monitoring the local repeater. Several of the boys seemed curious and interested; so I started explaining about Amateur Radio.
I think some seeds have been planted.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!