Right place at the right time

I was able to get on the air for a bit this afternoon – I guess it would be more appropriate to say this evening, as it was getting dark.  The Christmas lights in the neighborhood, or whatever, were playing havoc with my receiver tonight.  It seems like there’s S9 noise no matter which band I go to and no matter which antenna I switch to.

However, on 17 Meters, blasting in above the noise was JN4MMO calling CQ.  Japan!  I have worked Japan before, but never QRP.  Japan to New Jersey is always a long hop and with 5 Watts, I really had my fingers crossed.

It took some patience to be heard and then a few repeats – but Andy finally heard me!  I gave him a 599 report and got a 539 in return.  It was dusk here and just a tiny bit past dawn in Japan (according to DX Atlas) so I am willing to bet that there was some grayline influence there.

No matter!  I will take a QSO with a Japanese op any day of the week.  Now as far as I’m concerned, that’s DX!  And it just goes to show (at least in my case anyway) that you don’t always have to be good, you just need to be lucky!

I am hoping for a bit more activity on 80 Meters tonight as we get further into the darkness.  I would like to get some practice in tonight with the Bug, in anticipation of Straight Key Night tomorrow evening.

As the New Year approaches, I’d like to take the opportunity to wish all of you a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.  May your days be filled with laughter and enjoyment, love and happiness. And may you always have numerous sunspots and really good propagation when you turn on your radios!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

One Response to “Right place at the right time”

  • Richard KWØU:

    Nice job, Larry. I’ve never worked QRP like that! But yes, I think a lot of DX comes down to listening, listening, listening. I once grabbed ZS8M just because of turning on the radio early in the morning before going to work (greyline again). That made up for weeks of static and weak signals. Knowing the schedule of DX operations helps–I’d been watching the 3B9 fellows for a week before figuring out where and when they’d probably be. And there they were, nice and lonely. And of course knowing that there even are is a DXpedition out there makes a big difference. Too often in a pileup I’ve heard somebody say, “Uh, where are you again?” Guess the same general rules apply to a lot of successes in life….

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