Propagation was insane this evening and it worked in my favor to score my first phone QSO at 5 watts on the FT-817. I heard Alex, YU6DX out of Serbia, on 20 meters. He had a clear and loud signal into the U.S. so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to see if I could make contact.

As folks often say about QRP, it requires patience. I called for about 15 minutes without getting acknowledged. I was about to cut the rig off for the night, but I tossed out my call once more. Bam! He copied “delta sierra” so I repeated my call. Bam! A perfect copy of the entire call this time. My signal report? 57! 57!

I couldn’t be more pleased with the FT-817, and I’m very glad to finally get that complete phone QSO in my log. That was 1,000 miles per watt!

I also added another DX entity tonight, working Kostas, SV2CXI, out of Greece on 17 meters. That QSO was made on my FT-847.

Very interesting propagation tonight — many stations heard on 10 meters and a few on 6 meters during a few hours of sporadic-E/multi-hop. Here’s hoping for a few good QSOs tomorrow on the mountain.

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