Monday, July 25, 2016

This stuff still works!

I doubt anyone gets like me, but ............

Last week was pretty dismal as far as lunchtime QSOs go. Looking back in HamLog, the only QSO that I had all week was the one with Special Event Station K2CAM last Wednesday.  Add to that, the fact that the bands were not the greatest over the weekend (at least for me) and even at the home station, the pickings were slim.  I get to wondering if perhaps it's just me ..... did I break something?  Did my antennas all choose to fail at the same time?

Silly, right?  Yeah, I know.

Then comes a day like I had today.  I went out at lunch time, and threw the 40 Meter Hamstick on the Jeep to see if I could hear any NPOTA stations. I saw one listed on the Cluster for 40 Meters, but I wasn't hearing anything. So I switched on over to 20 Meters and heard WD7I at MN25 on the frequency the VFO just happened to be on.  Dave was calling CQ without a lot of takers, so even though I have MN25 confirmed, I worked him so that he could reach the minimum goal of 10 QSOs.  Afterward, I spotted him on DX Summit and lets just say I don't think he had any trouble reaching the minimum and beyond!

After working Dave, I went down to the QRP Watering Hole of 14.060 MHz and "QRL?'ed" a couple of times. Not hearing anything, I cast out a CQ to be answered by Marty W4LYH, operating QRP Portable out of New Market, VA.  Marty was visiting relatives, and decided to bring the QRP gear along. Much to my benefit, we had a rag chew just shy of a half hour.  Had the Rag Chewer's Club still existed, another few minutes would have qualified both of us for a certificate.

Marty was only running 5 Watts to a half wave end fed; but he had a VERY solid 579 signal. The times when QSB kicked in, Marty was at worst a 559. So the next time some "expert" tells you that QRP signals are always weak, go tell him/her to go take a flying leap.

After I signed with Marty (I had to make it back inside the office!) I got a quick call from Terry WA0ITP.  Terry is a good friend, a QRPer of reknown, and a main stay of the 4SQRP Group. How could I not at least say "Hi!" to Terry?  Lo and behold, that's about all it was - a quick Hi and Good-Bye and then it was take everything apart and hustle back inside.

All in all, a very delightful lunch time QRP session ........ for a change! My faith in my equipment is restored ...... for now. LOL!

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

1 comment:

  1. The propagation gods get up tight now and then. Hang in there! Aloha, Russ (KH6JRM)--Hawaii Island.