Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Now THIS is Ham Radio !!!

10 Meters.  When it's open and hot, it's a beautiful thing. As Bob W3BBO said to me the other day, "I guess it's true when they say that, you can work them with a wet noodle when the band is open!"

The band has been open since the weekend and there's no telling how long this will last. Hours ..... days ...... weeks?  All I know is that if you have HF gear, you better take advantage of this now, because it just might not last for too much longer.  You don't want to get stuck with the short straw, or the dirty end of the stick.

As I detailed yesterday, I have worked mostly European stations during lunchtime, and the same held true today.  Today I worked EU7A, EI13CLAN, HAØNAR, S50A and SM5COP, but the "best" contact of the day came after I got home from work.

After dinner, and before taking my dog for his evening walk, I sneaked (snuck?) down to the shack, much to Harold's dismay.  I turned to 10 Meters once again and tuned around for a bit.  I heard a VERY loud BY3M.  I think that may have been only the second or third time that I have ever heard China on the bands. I tried working him (forever the optimist), but the pileup was ferocious with a capital "F". After a while, with sunlight rapidly dwindling, I realized I had better hunt around some more before the band totally faded.

That's when I heard JA5EXW calling CQ on 28.018 MHz.  He had no takers calling him back, so I put out my call.  Sure enough, Ben came back to me and with a 579 report!  579 with 5 Watts to a vertical from New Jersey to Japan. How awesome is that?  Just fathom the distance in your mind - according to HRD, that's 7,018 miles as the crow flies.  That translates to 1403.6 miles per Watt.  I've done better, but that's still mind boggling to me!

We live in a world where the rate of technological advancement doubles every few years now.  Nothing stays the same, and what's new and hot today will be obsolete in just a few years.  But this radio thing?  It still is and will forever be magical to me.  A tiny bit of energy travels half way around the globe and allows two strangers with a common bond to communicate with each other. Absolutely fascinating!

My walk with Harold was just a bit easier tonight. I think I was floating on air for part of our stroll together. This hobby just never gets old for me!

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


  1. Larry - I agree that whenever I stop and think about it, making a random contact on the other side of the world using a few watts (100w for me) and some wire strung a few feet off the ground in the back yard, is mind boggling.

    When I first got licensed and then got on HF in 2008, I never believed the guys that said you could be on a mobile and make 10m contacts in Asia and Australia like you were hitting a 2m repeater. At that time I couldn't seem to work anyone outside of NJ on 10m. I believe them now.

    Keep on enjoying the conditions!

  2. Hello Larry, you're right. It's absolutely fascinating this radio hobby. No technology can beat propagation on 10m ;-) I hope the propagation will be that good this weekend in the CQWW. 73, Bas

  3. Anonymous2:36 AM

    At that time of day and by the strength of signaL I think the "BY3M" might have been 6Y3M in Jamaica.

    I get BY's loud and 6Y's weak, if at all :-)

    73 from Borneo - John - 9M6XRO

  4. John,

    I believe you are right. According to what I have heard since, a lot of people were making the same mistake I was and thought it was China when it was actually Jamaica. From what I was told, there was a little dustup on the Clusters about which call was correct.

    Maybe I should pay attention to the Clusters more!

    73 de Larry W2LJ