A couple nibbles, but I never landed the big fish

The 20 meter band has been amazing the last few days!

Examples:

  • Saturday night/early Sunday, I finally heard a New Zealand station; also heard a station out of Hungary calling CQDX and reeling in multiple Australian stations.
  • Sunday night, I clearly heard 7O6T, the Yemen DXpedition, working split. He was LOUD on 14.145, where gray-line propagation was working its magic. I tuned up to his listening frequency, 14.242, went to split mode and threw out my call dozens of times. No response after 45 minutes.
  • Heard 6O0CW, out of Somalia, working split, big pile-up. Didn’t atttempt a call because he was barely audible above the background noise, but I copied him 53-54 perhaps.
  • I added a new country to my log, Armenia, with a brief QSO with EK6TA. I’ve been waiting to work an Armenian station, as I’ve come to appreciate that country’s spirit through the tireless studies of several exceptional Armenian students where I work and occasionally teach.
  • Worked another European Russian station, R7DX. Great callsign!
  • Added another Bulgarian country to the log, LZ2KV.
  • Heard a station near Tel Aviv, Israel, 4Z4UR. I didn’t have enough juice to work him.
  • And a disappointing attempt: SV8/DL8MCA, Greece, Skiathos Island. What a nice signal! I wasn’t heard, many stations calling as they say. I thought for sure the radio waves would bend my way for that one.
  • I heard a few nice stations tonight also: Lithuania and Denmark

I’m thinking about cancelling my KX3 order now that the FT-817 appears to be back in stock here in the states. I really need a portable radio before the summer slips away, preferably for Field Day. And I could buy two 817s for the price of the KX3 … But I’m trying to be patient! It’s so tempting though, to know I could place an order tomorrow and in several days have a new portable rig to take with me on my Florida trip next week.

I may take the edge off the wait by putting a 2M mobile rig in my car.While working sweep on one of the rides at the Tour de Midlands over the weekend, I had a moment where I was trying to relay crucial information back to the control station and my signal dropped out several times. I was only running my 5-watt handheld into a mag-mount antenna … there is just so much that can go wrong with that setup: exhausted batteries, not enough power to get over the hills out where we were, awkward setup in my car, small display, etc.

But as my Ford Focus doesn’t have a single flat surface on which to mount anything, I’ll need to get creative in my installation.

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