So ..... you're a QRP DXer. You hear a country you want to work, but it doesn't go well. What do you do? You never give up, that's what! If you don't work them today, you may work them tomorrow, and in my case that happened to me, today.
I started my lunchtime QRP session fully intending to work the N3AQC QRP-pedition to the USS Requin which is docked by the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh. John K3WWP and Mike KC2EGL were there today, and I figured that maybe, just maybe, I might be able to hear them on 40 Meters. So I set up the Buddistick for that band - magmount base, all four 11 inch arms, untapped coil, extra long whip. I was able to get the SWR down to about 1.5:1 and I heard plenty of signals, but no N3AQC. They started at 10:00 AM, and by the time I was able to get to the parking lot, it was 1:30 PM, so I don't know if they were on lunch break also, or perhaps they had just called it a day by then, or perhaps they were on 20 and 30 Meters. But tuning around for about 15 minutes and not hearing N3AQC, I decided to switch over to the higher bands, as lunch time is only an hour.
So I took two of the 11" arms off, put the coil tap in its accustomed position and put the Buddistick back on the roof. Tuning around, at 14.018 MHz, I heard them - PZ5W - Suriname. The same station from yesterday, and they were even louder than they were on 15 Meters. So without even thinking, I dialed in a 1kHz up split and gave a call ... and was heard. I sent my info and completed the exchange and then looked down at the KX3.
In my haste, I hadn't touched up the SWR with the autouner. My SWR was 1.7:1 and the KX3's power had folded back to 3 Watts. So what I couldn't accomplish with 5 Watts yesterday, got done with 3 Watts today. That felt nice - really, really nice.
Looking at my watch, I saw I had about 15 minutes left before I had to break down and go back into the building, so I prowled around the band some more for a few minutes. Lo and behold, T2TT - Tuvalu coming in loud and clear! Argh! Ten minutes was not enough to even consider it a decent try, but I did - and failed.
But ...... tomorrow is always another day.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!