My enthusiasm for PSK31 comes and goes. Right now I’m really enjoying it again, and I’ve been racking up QSOs with it for the last few nights. Until Field Day last month, it had been more than a year since I’d had a PSK QSO. I’d become hooked on JT9 for its low-power long-distance capability, but sometimes I’m not in the mood to wait for minutes to elapse to complete the exchange.
One of my turn-offs concerning the mode is the potential for rag-chew. I recall some of the first PSK contacts I made last year involved a lot more chat about the weather, gardening and health conditions that I was in the mood for. Nowadays, I don’t mind the rag-chew as much, as long as I can think of something to talk about. When the well runs dry, I just hit the “73” macro and I’m out.
Excluding the poor band conditions Saturday, there’s been some decent DX on the waterfall the last few nights. I’ve worked into South America a few times (Argentina, Uruguay), a mobile British station in Hawaii, a handful of Canadians, the Ukraine, Italy, and some Caribbean stations.
I saw Moldova with a strong signal last night, but he never returned my call. I was about to shut down after midnight this morning when I saw a new call trickle down, 4Z1IG, Alen, out of Israel. I tossed my call out and he responded on the first shot, albeit with a slightly mangled version of my call sign. We exchanged names, locations and reports, and he requested my call again. I sent my call 3-4 more times, although I still wasn’t certain he picked it up thanks to a strong Slovakian station who tried to tail-end our QSO.
I was relieved when Alen came back to me for the final 73 with my correct call sign. Israel was a new DXCC entity for me, bringing my total of unique countries worked to 80.
The Worked All States (Basic) effort is nearing the end. I have Alaska confirmed on Logbook of the World and I’m waiting on confirmations from Michigan (I know right?), Oklahoma and Oregon.