Going out for a QRP break at lunch time can have its surprises. Sometimes, it's juicy DX, sometimes the bands are hopping, sometimes it's a good ol' fashioned rag chew.
Today brought two nice contacts. The first was with Mike KE5AKL who was atop SOTA peak W5N/SE-048, which is the Otowi Benchmark in New Mexico. Mike and I were both 449 to each other. I always like working the SOTA peaks. I never registered as a chaser, I just do it for the fun and challenge.
The second QSO was even more satisfying. I turned on my smart phone and brought up the DX Cluster. It told me that NI5DX was on 14.255 MHz and was activating NPOTA TR20, the El Camino de los Tejas National Historic Trail. I have to admit that all the QSOs that I've had operating portable QRP - they've all been CW. I've never even tried SSB from the Jeep before.
But because of NPOTA, I have been packing the microphone in my day pack, so I decided to give it a shot. Within a dozen or so calls, I got into Bill's log! Granted, while there was a bit of a pileup, it wasn't ferocious. There were breaks in the action which allowed me to get my foot in the door, so to speak. Because of that, I was able to make myself heard and now have another new NPOTA entity in my "list of entities worked".
On another subject, I see where the FCC will be listening to comments about making Amateur Radio Operator licenses in the United States a lifetime "deal". Once licensed, you never have to worry about renewing or having your ticket expire - until you do, that is.
I was wondering if this is a follow up step after eliminating the Vanity Call Sign fees. It seems to me, anyway, that if licenses are good for a lifetime, that there will be a lot fewer vanity call signs to choose from in the long run. Less calls to choose from, less applications to process, which means lower costs to the FCC. Just a thought.
So if you were thinking of requesting a vanity call sign - now might be the time to do it. If anyone out there was lusting after W2LJ - sorry, I plan on keeping it for a VERY long time!
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!