Turned on the radio to around 14.060 MHz, hoping to hear some QRPers, only to hear "CQ NA". I didn't remember that the North American QSO Party was this weekend. Regular readers of this blog know that except for short QRP Sprints, W2LJ is not big into contests. I have nothing against them; just can't force my butt into a chair for a long enough period of time to make it interesting for myself.
So instead of kvetching, I pushed the band button on the K3 and took 'er up the road to 17 Meters. I love 17 Meters! When the band is open there is usually all kinds of good DX. Tonight was no different - and since 17 Meters is a WARC band - no contesting!
So, as is my usual routine, I started at the bottom of the band at 18.068 MHz and slowly twiddled the VFO dial upward. I came to a stop at around 18.074 MHz. D3AA calling "CQ UP" - not too many takers, a small pile up building, but still not bad yet.
Where the heck is D3AA? I quickly plop D3AA in to AC Log. Angola. Hot dog - Angola is a new one! Never worked Angola - QRP or QRO (100 Watts) before.
I throw my call out a couple of times; but no dice. D3AA is up and down. One time he calls, he's 599 - next time, 569. So I'm thinking to myself that he's going to fade and that I missed the best propagation (as usual). But no! As time goes along, he's actually getting louder; but the pile up is also growing, commensurately. The K3 makes it pretty easy to figure out where he's listening as he stated he was listening up. So I go to where I heard the last few stations he worked and figured out that for the time being, he was staying put and not drifting up after each contact.
Patience and persistence are a big part of QRP and this time was no different. I stayed at it for about 15 minutes and finally, I interjected "W2LJ" at just the right moment and was rewarded with "W2LJ 599 TU", to which I responded in return, of course.
Coolest of the cool beans! A new African country - a new country via QRP (or ANY power level for that matter). I opened up Chrome on my netbook and figured I would post this to QRPSPOTS. Most of the time I figure that if I was able to work a station with my simple antennas, then a lot of other QRPers should be able to, also. I posted anyway, but saw that I was beat to the punch by my good bud, John AE5X - Amateur Radio op, DXer and QRPer and photographer extraordinaire
Anyway, that's the reason for "The Happy Dance" tonight.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!