Friday, November 11, 2005

Whoa, Martha! Who turned off the ionosphere?

Wow! Tonight was a tough one! It was definitely like I was scraping the bottom of the QSO barrel in order to eke out a QSO to fulfill my "QSO a Day" obligation. Here it is, November 12th. I've made a QSO everyday since January and I'm getting down to the last 6 to 7 weeks of the year. I do not need the ionosphere to go haywire on me just now.

After puttng the kids to bed tonight, I went down to the shack for my nightly QSO. I got a late start because there was a new episode of SpongeBob Squarepants that the kids wanted to watch. As of 8:30 local time, I started calling CQ for an hour and a half with no takers! 40 Meters was wall to wall RTTY (yet another contest ... sigh!) and 30 Meters was pretty much dead. 80 Meters had some signals on it; but not all that many.

Around 10:30 I decided to come upstairs for a short break. When I headed down about 10 minutes later, I heard a very loud station calling CQ on 80 Meters. It was Mike Barrell WB9DLC. We've QSOed a few times before; so right then seemed as good a time as any to drop in my callsign and say "Hello". Mike and I chatted for about ten minutes, and then I let him go. He was hunting for new FISTS numbers as he is not far from achieving Century Gold, the award you earn for working 500 other FISTS members. Way to go, Mike!

73 de Larry W2LJ

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