Frustrating evening on all bands

There were a lot of good DX stations calling CQ tonight, but I had little success contacting any of them.

I tried to rush home this afternoon to catch the gray line propagation, and sure enough, an island DX station, FM5KC out of Martinique, had a nice pile-up going. I probably spent 30 minutes or more on frequency trying to get acknowledged, but the bands didn’t seem to work in my favor. Just as the pile-up seemed to dwindle, that entire portion of the band turned off like a light.

Sporadic-E was creating a nice channel between here and the southwestern states, although I didn’t attempt a contact with anyone.

Ultimately, another nice path to Chile opened and I responded and successfully conducted QSOs with two operators calling casual CQs, CE3RF and CE3OPE, both from the Santiago area.

Just before dinner I switched up to 20 meters and ran into VP9/N6WIN, calling CQ out of Bermuda. We exchanged pleasantries and I turned the rig off for a while.

I came back on later to check into the local 2 meter net (somehow got skipped over during the comment portion, but I didn’t have anything to say anyway).

Two more DX hot spots were C5LT from Kololi, the west coast of Africa, and V47JA on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. The QRM from adjacent stations was so bad on 40 meters I didn’t even bother trying to work them. Maybe I should invest in some filters…

My final stroke of disappointment was a partial QSO with the Canadian station, VE3SHA. At only 600 or so miles north, I could barely get him tuned in. There seemed to be a fair amount of frequency drift, but I threw out my call and he responded with KK4SDD, just one letter off. I couldn’t hear the rest of his response, but I think he asked me to retune my frequency. Mud and white noise ensued, so I called it a night.

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