TopBand: Sunny QSO
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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