TopBand: Sunny QSO

Bill Hohnstein
Sun, 28 Dec 1997 19:47:28 -0800

I decided to spend my first full day trying to see what I could
hear on 160 in the sun...
  I purposefully avoided working JA's in the contest this morning
wanting to try and work them in the final 15 minutes of the contest
(about an hour after sunrise--1348z).  The probable happened--I didn't
work any in the final 15.  One answered my CQ about 40 minutes after
sunrise though.  Conditions didn't appear as good as on the day before.
  At 1630z I set my receiver on a random frequency in the JA window
and started doing something else.  After a couple of minutes I heard
a weak station that I couldn't quite copy.  After a couple more
minutes I copied his call--JH1RES--and started calling on his listening
frequency.  After three rounds of unrewarded calling he faded back
into the noise...
  After that I started listening every half hour or so.  1930z was
the first time that I had reasonable copy of the European commercial
station LFI in Europe on 1930khz--559.  The 1930/1930 combination
must have been magical because it was always weaker from shortly
after that until past 2200...
  At 2042 I heard my earliest ham European--OZ7C calling CQ.  I was 
surprised that my first station was coming in 559!  Both K3UL and I
called him several times but he gave up after a few minutes and didn't
answer either of us.
  At precisely 2100 I heard a station ending a transmission.  It
sounded like it could have been at the end of a CQ--and I arrived
too late to copy a call--I sent a single K0HA.  The station sent QRZ,
I sent my call twice, and at 2100:50 I started a QSO with EA6SX...
That was my earliest QSO with Europe!  I felt bad that I just missed
beating the 2100 hour, but I still bettered two hours before the
sunset today at 2304...  It doesn't beat a similar QSO at local noon,
but still feels good this far south...
  I did my usual "contest entry"--a fair amount of time on, a fair
amount of time off; with no thoughts of a serious entry.  That sort of
motivation produced 352 QSO's, 116 of which were European...

73,  Bill     K0HA

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