Saturday, August 04, 2012

Happy Dance Time!

Turned on the radio to around 14.060 MHz, hoping to hear some QRPers, only to hear "CQ NA".  I didn't remember that the North American QSO Party was this weekend.  Regular readers of this blog know that except for short QRP Sprints, W2LJ is not big into contests.  I have nothing against them; just can't force my butt into a chair for a long enough period of time to make it interesting for myself.

So instead of kvetching, I pushed the band button on the K3 and took 'er up the road to 17 Meters.  I love 17 Meters! When the band is open there is usually all kinds of good DX.  Tonight was no different - and since 17 Meters is a WARC band - no contesting!

So, as is my usual routine, I started at the bottom of the band at 18.068 MHz and slowly twiddled the VFO dial upward.  I came to a stop at around 18.074 MHz. D3AA calling "CQ UP" - not too many takers, a small pile up building, but still not bad yet.

Where the heck is D3AA?  I quickly plop D3AA in to AC Log.  Angola.  Hot dog - Angola is a new one!  Never worked Angola - QRP or QRO (100 Watts) before.

I throw my call out a couple of times; but no dice.  D3AA is up and down. One time he calls, he's 599 - next time, 569. So I'm thinking to myself that he's going to fade and that I missed the best propagation (as usual).  But no!  As time goes along, he's actually getting louder; but the pile up is also growing, commensurately.  The K3 makes it pretty easy to figure out where he's listening as he stated he was listening up.  So I go to where I heard the last few stations he worked and figured out that for the time being, he was staying put and not drifting up after each contact.

Patience and persistence are a big part of QRP and this time was no different.  I stayed at it for about 15 minutes and finally, I interjected "W2LJ" at just the right moment and was rewarded with "W2LJ 599 TU", to which I responded in return, of course.

Coolest of the cool beans!  A new African country - a new country via QRP (or ANY power level for that matter).  I opened up Chrome on my netbook and figured I would post this to QRPSPOTS. Most of the time I figure that if I was able to work a station with my simple antennas, then a lot of other QRPers should be able to, also.  I posted anyway, but saw that I was beat to the punch by my good bud, John AE5X - Amateur Radio op, DXer and QRPer and photographer extraordinaire

Anyway, that's the reason for "The Happy Dance" tonight.

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


  1. John AE5X9:41 AM

    Congrats on the new one Larry - and a rare one at that. A good catch at any level but especially with QRP. Chasing DX can become an addiction!

  2. WOW Larry the way you built up the contact. All the thoughts that go through my mind and the reactions I have as info comes in about the contact are as you described. I too have had DX contacts just fade and thinking they were gone and I lost then hear them booming in. This is the second time I have read how the DX will inch up with their listening. I did not realize that. Well congrat's on the contact and that fantastic it's a new DXCC for you as well....and with QRP to boot.

  3. Congrats Larry, nice catch! 73, Bas