Thursday, November 20, 2014

Triple Play Special Event Day

As all Amateur Radio operators know, you never know what you're going to get on any given day. It might be a rag chew, or a DXpedition, a quick contest QSO or any number of other possibilities. As I headed out to the Jeep for my lunchtime QRP session, I didn't think I'd end up with three "Special Event" type of contacts.

The first was on 10 Meters - PW2BA. This was actually more of a DXpedtion type of QSO. A team of Brazilian operators have gone to this small island, which is IOTA SA-024, and which also has a lighthouse on it - ARLHS BRA-013.

Their signal was up and down with wild QSB. One moment they were 599, and 559 the next.  I was wondering if I should even try, using QRP. Throwing caution to the wind, I did and got an immediate response!

From 10 Meters, I wandered over to 12 Meters, where I worked W1AW/5 in Arkansas.  Not sure whether or not it was one of W1AW/XX stations that I already have in the log, I decided to engage the pileup (which was pretty big!). It took a bit of listening to figure out their listening pattern, but I finally did and busted through.

A quick tune through 15 Meters seemed to indicate a dead band.  I tuned from 21.000 MHz to 21.060 MHz, up and down about four times. Hearing no signs of life, I headed on down to 17 Meters.  There I heard W70.  I had no idea what it was, other than since it's a 1X1 call sign - that means Special Event station.  There wasn't a huge pileup and the operator was actually operating simplex.  I had to wait my turn for a bit. There were many stations calling, and I noticed the operator was trending towards working stations that were sending at a reasonable code speed.  The speed demons were being ignored, so it seemed. So I tweaked my code speed down a touch and threw out my call - success!

Coming back inside, I fired up the computer and QRZ'ed (new word!) W7O, and discovered that the Special Event station was commemorating the 40th anniversary of the launch of AMSAT OSCAR 7. Being a child of the Space Race, I was quite pleased to have worked them and will send out one of my brandy-new QSL cards, which I received yesterday from KB3IFH. Their QSL card (shown above) is a very classy design IMHO, one I will be proud to display.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

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