I decided to spend a few minutes on the bands this afternoon to hear what I could hear. 20 Meters was pretty dead and the higher bands were totally dead (at least here in NJ). All that being said, I did manage to work K2MV on ground wave; and I did work S52DX, Gusti in Slovenia, who had decent signals into NJ.
After working Gusti, I decided to see if there was any buzz on 30 Meters. Much to my surprise, there was some activity near the bottom band edge. 6W1SJ was on and had a pretty good pile up going. I'm not "Mr. Prefix"; so a quick check with DX Atlas told me that the station in question was in Senegal.
I listened for a bit and determined that he was listening about 1.5 KHz up. So I began calling. The op was good; and he was picking off a lot of European and a few North American stations. As time went by, propagation was working in my favor as the Sengali station was getting louder; but I still wasn't having much luck. Since I have never worked (or even heard) Senegal before, I was tempted to boost power to about 10 Watts; but decided to switch antennas instead. I flicked over to the HF9V and hit the "tune" button on the K2. Bingo! The Senegali station came up to about 589/599!
Three attempts later I got a "W2LJ 599" report. I quickly sent a "TU 599 NJ" and QRP CW DX station #83 is now in the books! Whew!
Five Watts leaving my antenna - crossing the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean, only to be captured and received by the aluminum or copper antenna in Africa. When you really sit and think about it, it is truly amazing! This is stuff that is magical to me ; and it's so sad that we take this all for granted without a second thought. I have communicated with a brother or sister Ham in Africa using about the same amount of power that the average night light uses.
I guess I'm a sap; because I still get thrills from this kind of stuff.
73 de Larry W2LJ