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Topband: Reflections on Stew Perry

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Subject: Topband: Reflections on Stew Perry
From: (Keith Jillings)
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2001 13:53:15 +0000
Well!   First time on Top Band for almost 30 years, and some familiar
callsigns still around. I was particularly delighted to hear K1KI, whose
QSL card decorated my shack wall for many years.   John G3PQA owes me a
new pair of ears!   The s-meter hit the stop and the headphones dropped
off my head...

This location (half way up a snowy Welsh mountain) has to be the
quietest QTH I ever met.  The FT920 with all the gain controls up made a
gentle hissing noise - at that level, W8JI nearly deafened me.  I could
read his CW on the S-meter:  the noise threshold doesn't show on the

Sadly, 100 watts to a 132 foot inverted L (40 foot apex) with five
ground radials didn't cut it to work any Ws. I heard about 25 stateside
calls, mostly 589 or 599, a few 559 or so.  

I managed to work all the Europeans - apart from those with bad noise
floors. Couldn't get through the QRM/QRN to 9A2AJ, 5B4ADA and 4X3A (all
S9 here).  Surprised to spend 5 minutes trying to get my call through to
some stations obvously having noise problems - then to get 599!   The US
stations I heard took a more pragmatic approach and didn't bother with
RST reports.

Quite a few folks wait all of one second after a CQ before CQing again -
I just managed to get the "GW" bit out before I heard them come up CQing
again.   Not going to work much DX that way!

But the snow and wind got to us - the electricity substation that serves
us decided to go into  "constant recycle" mode - switching off for about
5 seconds every 2 - 3  minutes.   I went to bed.

73s to all - maybe more wire in the sky next year...

G3OIT    GW3OIT   sometime DJ0MR
Keith Jillings (in Wales)

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