Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Not the Clean Sweep I had hoped for

I came home from work last night and was sitting and watching the daily reports of mayhem and calamity on the TV ....... you know, the evening news broadcast, when HamAlert chimed off on my phone. K2B had been spotted!

My heart sank a bit when I saw it was 40 Meters all right, but up in the phone band. Thinking that it may be a case of "now or never" I reluctantly plugged the microphone in and waited for a "QRZ?". As soon as I heard it, I threw out my call and much to my surprise, I heard my call sign coming back to me. The YL op at K2B and I both exchanged "59+". I made it - the 13th Colony worked; but I still wanted to bag Virginia using CW, just like all the others.

A few hours later, my phone chimed again. K2B was on the air in the CW portion of the band on 20 Meters. I ran down to the shack and plugged in the ear buds. I could hear some of the stations working K2B, but not K2B itself.

A little while later, K2B was finally spotted on 40 Meters. Here was my chance! I ran downstairs, went to the frequency spotted and heard K2B all right - at about an RST of 339, 449 if I was feeling particularly generous. I tried calling several times; but no dice. It seemed every time I called I got another "CQ" right in my face.  I even boosted the power to QRO levels. Still nothing,

It's funny how propagation changes on a band over a short time  Earlier in the evening, my QRP SSB contact earned me a "59+". A few hours later, even 85 Watts couldn't make myself heard - to the same state on the same band!

Just when you think you have it figured out ..... you realize that you don't. To paraphrase that song from the 90's. "One night on 40 Meters makes a hard man humble ........".

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

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