The past week or so has been one of the most exciting on-air since I began the hobby back in 2011 and tonight brought a nice mid-week surprise with that final QSO to complete my Worked All States award (unofficially). Alaska is finally in the log after a JT9 QSO with Les, KL7J.
For all the difficulty I’ve had spotting and working an Alaska station, tonight’s QSO was about as routine as it gets. I copied him at -2 db and his report back to me was -5. That’s pretty loud, and his signal was the strongest on the waterfall.
Now the problem is getting official confirmations on Logbook of the World for four states: Michigan, Montana, Oregon and Oklahoma. I’ve worked all of these states, in some cases multiple times, but they’ve either elected to not use LOTW or their logs never got uploaded or confirmed with mine. If I have to send old fashioned QSL cards I will, but I’d much rather claim the WAS victory on LOTW just on principle.
Two other nice surprises tonight:
I worked K6III out of northern California twice on CW. He’s an SKCC member, as I am, and he tracked me down on the Sked Page for QSOs on 20 meters and 30 meters (a band my antenna does not like). He was a strong 579 on 20 meters, and a watery, fading 53 on 30 meters, likely owning to the poor capabilities of my dipole. I even put the Winkeyer to use tonight to automate the exchanges.
I also had another nice digital QSO for a new DXCC entity. I worked Wales on 20 meter JT65.
I hope this good fortune will spill over to Saturday. I’m hoping for good band conditions, high antennas, and I’m crossing my fingers that the FT-847 isn’t going to have a meltdown in that summer heat.