More super-weak signal fun + Field Day

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Working VE1SKY on 6-meter JT65.

Just when you think you’ve hit a wall something quirky happens, opening a door to another aspect of the hobby. Everything is fun again.

I was fooling around on the Sked Page last night and a bunch of the guys on there were on 6 meters trying to conduct some JT65 QSOs. I’ve never heard anything on 6 meters, save for a local net that was barely audible one evening last year.

Anyway, I had the rig on 50.276 and the waterfall was clear. RF amp was on and the band seemed utterly dead quiet. I was fooling around in a web browser, when JT-Alert sprang to life. VE1SKY out of Nova Scotia was calling CQ low in the band. I responded, only to watch my SWR meter go nuts because I hadn’t retuned for 6 meters. I auto-tuned, replied again and nearly fell out of my chair when he came back to me with an -18 signal report. He was -23, and we both had to send our exchanges several times before we closed with 73.

I checked PSKreporter.info afterwards and noticed I’d been heard in the southeast as well. There have been a fair number of openings on 6 lately and I’d like to play with this band more often, but I really need a better antenna.

Other QSOs of note last night included the usual suspects on JT9, Ukraine and Russia, and another contact with Hawaii, WH6EBS — this time it was an “open water QSO,” i.e., no Sked Page support. What made that contact most interesting is the signal report I received: -10 running under 20 watts.

Field Day Goodies

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