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
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)