The last few days have been rather dull on the air, but the single contact I made tonight more than made up for it.
I was tuning around a bit and ran across a strong station on 20 meters. Mal, VK6LC, from the west coast of Australia (Perth to be exact) was sending a booming signal into the southeast. Naturally there was a pile-up, but the operator was more conversational and taking time between QSOs to ragchew a bit.
At one point he asked if there were any operators who had never made a QSO with Australia. I damn near shouted my call into the mic, as if the extra volume would help my signal travel the nearly 11,500 miles across the Pacific and across the international date line and over the Australian continent. There were many voices competing with mine…
Then I heard: “The Kilo-4 station?”
Why not? Close enough to my call, so I gave my sign again: “Kilo Kilo 4 Delta Sierra Delta.”
“The Delta Sierra station?”
Again, my callsign.
“Give me your call again, you’re weak, but I can copy you.”
And just like that, I added Australia to my logbook. We exchanged pleasantries, names, locations and a signal report (I was 54, he, by that point, around 55-56), and I stammered like a giddy fool, thanking him for the QSO.
The exchange went into my log as my longest contact to-date, with a long path distance almost equal to the short path. He indicated his beam was aimed at Florida, so I’m going to assume this was a short path contact. Not too shabby for a dipole antenna hung 10 feet too low and 100 watts!
This QSO was redeeming after tuning around early this morning and clearly hearing taunts from New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland and Italy, and never managing to make contact with them.
As they say: Good DX!