QSO party weekend

A few goals this weekend: CW and phone QSOs with Hawaii and Kansas. As both of those states are holding QSO parties this weekend, my chances of grabbing them for my Triple Play award are high. I think…

The bands don’t sound particularly good today. So far I’ve bagged two Kansas stations on CW and three on USB. I’ve only had problems working one Kansas station today, and it happens to be the one operated by Ham Nation celebrity, Dale, the video guy, W0U/K0HYD.  While his signal was at times a strong S7-9, QSB seemed to strike at the worst times and he’d fade into noise. He had no shortage of stations calling him either.

I’ve had no luck with Hawaii today. Several stations, both CW and phone have been spotted on the clusters, but I haven’t been able to hear any of them.

In other fun around the shack, I was tuning around 40 meters last night looking for some stations to work on CW and wasn’t having a lot of luck. I thought I might try calling CQ, so I QRLed a segment of the band and a KA7 station came back to me. However QSB was deep and I couldn’t determine if he was running me off the frequency or wanted to have a QSO. I tapped out “SRI QSB” and moved off-frequency in case I was interfering with someone.

I spun the dial and landed on WZ8J calling CQ at a very reasonable speed, so I gave him a call on the paddles and we had a decent chat. We are both SKCC members, so we exchanged our numbers. This was my first long QSO with paddles and I was pretty rough. I typically practice at 18 WPM, but I felt like I needed to slow down a bit. That ended up being a mistake, as it threw my timing off.  I should have just plugged in the straight key and cruised.

Come on Hawaii… where are you?

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