I kept the radio tuned to 20 Meters for the evening and had a variety of QSOs.
The first was with CO6RD, Reynaldo in Cuba. This wasn't a long QSO as Reynaldo was working "contest style" racking up the QSOs. But I did get him on the first shot, even though a lot of stations were calling.
Next up was a busted QSO with Mike AA6WQ, who was operating from TN. We got through the QSO basics, only to have the band pull the rug out from under us. One minute we were going at it, next minute we couldn't hear each other anymore. I guess that's the way the cookie crumbles, sometimes.
With two short QSOs under my belt, I was thinking that might be how the evening was going to go. But my fears turned to be for nothing as the next QSO was an almost hour long rag chew with Paul W4KLY in Stone Moutnain, GA. This was an Elecraft to Elecraft QSO. Paul was using his K1 and (of course) I was on the KX3. QSB had a role to play; but in all honesty, when the band was not in fade mode, our signals were 599 both ways. We talked about rigs, portable ops and antennas and summer vacation plans. It was very enjoyable and it is truly amazing to see how fast an hour can go by on you when you're having fun.
The last QSO for the night was with Rumi LZ2RS in Bulgaria. He was calling "CQ QRP" and I was lucky enough to be heard on my first call. Rumi was at 5 Watts; but what really made the QSO was his Yagi at 12 meters up, pointed my way. I was on the 88' EDZ pumping out 5 Watts from my end also. Signals were a legitimate 559.
The bands have been so good lately! Not the best I've ever witnessed; but after the past few pitiful years, this is like Heaven (comparatively). I sure hope it stays this way for a while and doesn't take a fast dive off a cliff into oblivion.
On another note, this new 9 cell battery that I got for the Acer is fantastic! I got it Monday and attached it to the netbook for charging. I've used it Tuesday, Wednesday, and tonight - about two to three hours per night. The indicator says it still has about another two hours left in it. Of course, I have Windows set for "Max Battery Life" through the control panel, but even so, this is way outlasting the old battery. That one gave me about two hours computer time, tops. This battery should be able to get me through a four hour sprint (outdoors) without breaking a sweat.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!