Just when you think you have it figured out, you realize you don't.
The 80 Meter QRP Fox hunt, featured two fine Foxes, Tom Jennings KV2X in upstate NY and Tim Groat KR0U in Colorado.
OK, so say you're me. You're on 80 Meters alternately using a wire and a vertical. You find Tim KR0U and he's about 559 with heavy QSB. The you twiddle the dial and you find Tom KV2X who's 20 over 9 with a strong, steady signal.
Who do you think you'd work quickest?
KV2X - right? After all, he's the next state over, it's 80 Meters, it's winter, and he's louder than all get out. You have to be decently loud to him in return ........ right? Anybody who's been on HF for more than five minutes knows this ... right?
It took me exactly 45 minutes to work Tom. And I have to tell you, there were many times that I was tempted to throw my Oak Hills Research Wattmeter in line. I thought something had broken, or something was wrong with my coax or the antennas themselves. It shouldn't take 45 minutes to work a signal THAT loud ..... should it? Conventional wisdom would seem to dictate otherwise.
Well it did. At this point, I figured the snow ball had a better chance surviving Hell than I had working Tim. But what the heck, in for a penny - in for a pound. I figured out the split and started putting out my call.
Knock W2LJ over with a feather, folks. The KR0U pelt was secured within 5 minutes of trying! I'm still kind of shocked and puzzled as to how that went. It took 3/4 of an hour to work a guy that I should have been able to work with two tin cans and wire, while the "tough one" ended up being a veritable piece o' cake. It makes no sense to me at all, but it is what it is, I guess.
Amateur Radio surpasses my feeble understanding and leaves me slack jawed, mouth agape and humbled once again!
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!