Croatia, Canada, Canary Islands

Sometimes it’s easier to make a contact 4,000 miles away than it is to make one 900 miles away.

I got a nice DX contact with Dave, 9A5BWW, in Croatia this afternoon on 20 meters. I could tell he was having problems copying my signal because I had to repeat my call several times, but I’m getting used to that.

I had a ragchew with Pierre, VA2PW, out of Quebec. He was kind enough to turn his beam towards my heading, which amplified an already loud signal. I have to admit, I have trouble coming up with things to talk about on ragchews. I’ve never been a big talker, unless it’s a topic I’m really familiar with, like video editing or photography. But there is something to be said for actually getting to know someone you contact, rather than just exchange the “59” report, name and state. It makes the contact meaningful, despite my own shortcomings.

Right before I cut off the rig, I had a beautiful contact with Manuel, EA8CEQ, on the Canary Islands. He had a booming signal into the Southeast that greatly improved as I listened. Located off the northwest coast of Africa, the Canary Islands are nearly 3,700 miles from my location!

All three of my contacts today had trouble copying my call. The “DSD” portion of my call seems to cause a lot of problems, stateside and everywhere else. I recall complaining one evening on a local net that folks should always use the NATO phonetics, but for some reason “delta sierra” either does not cut through noise well or I don’t articulate my call well. I’ve been reverting to the common “David-sugar-David” as an alternate phonetic and that seems to get through with more success.

I was looking forward to working some stations on 10 meters today, since I had the day off today and could actually try working some stations in the daylight. 10 was just dead over my gridsquare, although there was a sporadic-E opening to the northwest. I heard three separate CW beacon stations and some weak phone stations, but not much else.

This month’s CARC meeting is tonight; Charlotte Hamfest on Saturday. It’s a nice week to be a ham!

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6 thoughts on “Croatia, Canada, Canary Islands

  1. Hello Andrew.
    I had hard time copying you because of the propagation. the propagations on 20 meters are still not the same as it used to be at this time last year. Plus some QRM from local “hams”… A winning combination. Still, I’m very happy to for the contact.

    I hope to meet you soon again on the air.
    Best 73’s from Croatia de
    Dave, 9A5BWW

    • No worries Dave! Thanks for the follow-up. I’ve made some changes to my microphone setup that seems to have greatly improved my success with DX work. But my setup is very modest, just 100 watts and a dipole, so anytime my signal gets over to Europe it’s still very exciting. I think you are the first person to see my blog! It’s a pleasure to have you in my log. 73!

      • The pleasure is all mine. I love to work DX. I’m using my club’s contest station to run CQ. You can see the pictures on http://www.radioklubvarazdin.hr/galerija-slika. At home I don’t have antennas like that 🙂 You can also see one of the photos of the rig on my Facebook account (just find me with my name and surname from the QRZ.com and I will add you). I have also started with 100 watts. Even tried QRP! Try to adjust TX equalizer and play with it a little bit. When I have bought Heil headset, I have heard the difference. It was much easier to go trough the pileup than with standard mic (with only 100W).
        I will definitely follow your blog.

        73’s from Croatia
        Dave, 9A5BWW

        P.S. Nice job with the photos 🙂

    • Thanks again! Great photos of antennas over at your club site! I’m thinking about getting one of those Heil headsets myself, since I enjoy working with headphones on.

      • The best thing about the headsets – you have free hands! Priceless when you have snickers in one hand, beer in other and you still can talk on a radio 🙂

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