So the HF9V is back in operation; and it's time to put it through its' paces. I tune around 20 Meters and at 2207 UTC on June 14th, I put out a CQ. My thought was that if I was lucky, I'd work a FISTS station or two. Sure enough, out of the background hiss comes a weak station pounding out my callsign. The QSB is tough and the atmospheric noise is kind of high. I ask for a repeat and this time the call comes through! It's IK/DL4NDE.
The operator's name is Bernd; and he lives in Germany; but is on vacation (holiday?) in Italy. Bernd is using the venerable Heathkit HW-8 to a dipole. Because of conditions, the CW is slow; but we exchange information and pleasantries. The QSO lasts only about 15 minutes but once again, just a few Watts have spanned the globe.
My 5 Watts have jumped a vast and mighty ocean; as have Bernd's 4 Watts coming back to me. With less power than is consumed by a nightlight bulb, effective communications occur between Italy and the United States. The thought of the distance involved is fascinating. It would take approximately nine hours to fly that distance in a 747. Our little QRP rigs closed that gap at the speed of light. Somewhere, Mr. Marconi is smiling.
Amateur Radio is magic. I dare anyone to tell me differently.
73 de Larry W2LJ