I played around in the ARRL DX CW contest this weekend. Not long, just for about an hour and a half to two hours. It was nice to get back behind the rig again after a long absence. I must apologize to the first few stations that I worked. My Morse sending was absolute crap! But after about 4 or 5 contacts, I found my rhythm again and it was game on.
I haven't been on the air since my time undergoing radiation therapy. And let me tell you, the radiation therapy was a cakewalk compared to this hormone therapy I'm undergoing to keep my PSA level low. But I muddle through the best I can. One of the worst side effects is that it takes motivation away. You just feel like "meh" and not doing much, other than the things you absolutely have to.
But Sunday was rather warm for February here in NJ, which meant the basement was not quite the icebox it usually is during the winter. The temps down there were in the low 60s rather than the high 50s, so it was a bit more bearable.
My main weapon was the Butternut HF9V. All contacts were made at 5 Watts of course. In the time I felt motivated to operate, I made 31 contacts, all search and pounce, of course.. I worked into Europe, South America, the Caribbean and Hawaii. I was surprised that KH6LC came back to me on my first call!
I made contacts on 10, 15 and 20 Meters. 10 Meters was absolutely awesome! It was truly difficult to find a dead, open spot on the band. I think that 27 of my 31 contacts were made on 10 Meters. I should have stayed on longer, but I caved in to the tiredness. But while I was on, I had a blast!
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very keast!