I ambled into the shack around 8 p.m. tonight and informed my wife I was going to rack up about a dozen contacts. I didn’t make it to a dozen, but I grabbed some DX and had another nice CW QSO.
As soon as I turned the rig on and switched over to 20 meters SSB I ran into Tony, EI3GAB, calling CQ out of Ireland with very few takers. He was around 53-55 for me, but nice and clear as the band was quiet. I tossed my call out and he came back to me on the first shot. That was a new DX entity for me, and a nice way to start the evening.
Tod, LZ1WR, out of Bulgaria, showed up on the DX cluster and I tuned over to find him with a booming signal over 59. There was a small pile-up and he eventually heard me and gave me a 55 report.
I didn’t hear much else on 20 meters worth chasing, so I went down to the CW portion to see what was going on. I heard K5BIZ calling CQ. His station was the subject of a previous blog entry here, in which I recalled having a “breakthrough moment” because his was one of the first call signs I picked out in CW on the bands. I decided I needed to give him a ring.
We started the QSO, exchanging name, RST and QTH. I copied he was from Dallas and my RST was 559. I tapped out my info and waited for his response. I copied a few words before his signal just faded into oblivion. When I couldn’t hear anything anymore, I sent “QSB UR SIGNAL FADED = NO CPY” and signed off. Not the way I wanted that contact to end, but perhaps I’ll catch him another day.
I switched to 40 meters and listened for CW stations and quickly found Randy, WB5LPN calling CQ with a clean, booming signal and no takers. I gave him a call and we had a nice QSO. I found out he was located in Maryland and was running 900 watts — that explains the big booming signal. He turned the amp off and was still 579. I was running somewhere between 50 and 75 watts and received a 579 report.