First QSOs of the new year

I finally made some time for HF this weekend and logged my first contacts of the new year, including a new country for the old DXCC count.

I was fooling with the FT-817 Friday night on 40 meters and heard a very strong station out of Austria, Martin, OW3WMA. He wasn’t getting a lot of action, so I tried contacting him QRP. I wasn’t heard, so I decided to switch over to the FT-847 so I could run 100 watts. I managed to complete the contact after only two tries.

Saturday morning I was getting ready to leave with my wife for a trip to Charleston and decided to tune around a bit on some of my favorite bands before we left. I heard a station from Sweden on 17 meters and attempted a QSO. I didn’t have any luck on the first few tries and we needed to hit the road. I hated to abandon the rig with a potentially new DXCC station on the hook, but it was unavoidable.

Sunday night, after the normal club net, I switched over to 40 meters where I heard Tomas, OK1GTH, out of the Czech Republic. I tossed my call out twice and managed to complete the contact, just before the band conditions seemed to go south, making the Czech Republic my 73rd unique country in the log.

It’s already been a busy month with the club. We supported the Resolution Run 10K out at Sesquicentennial Park the first weekend of the new year, and had our first board of directors meeting. I’m looking forward to SPAR Winter Field Day at the end of the month, and if the weather is anything like it was this past weekend (mid to high 70s, clear and sunny), it should be a lot of fun.

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