1000 miles per watting

Over the weekend I was able to get some time to sit down at the rig and get some QRP time in. On Friday there was only time for two contact.  On 20 meters I heard F5HY calling CQ and at the time Michel was a decent signal. His code was a little fast on the CQ calling but I gave it a go. I was using 3 watts and he gave me 529 report.  The conditions were now changing fast and there was lots of repeats at both ends. The contact ended fast as the propagation seemed to be on the downswing. Michel lives in Luc Sur Mer 
F5HY station
France. I did send him an email after the contact he responded that he did not see me in his log. He said it may had been a miscopy of my call. He was going to look into it and get back to me. Up to this point I have not heard. But the contact to Luc Sur Mer France from my QTH with 3 watts works out to 1,218 miles per watt.


I then heard OZ3NP calling CQ on 20 meters and 3 watts just did not seem to cut it so I eventually cranked it up to 10 watts. Ben now heard me in Denmark and I was not sure if he was copying me at times but I'm in his log and I did get an email from him thanking me for the contact. That surprised me as this contact was plagued  with propagation gremlins. AT QRZ.COM Ben has a great setup and with his son now a ham radio history goes back three generations in his family. It was time to shut things down as there was other things that had to be down around the house plus Julie and I were going to have Chinese takeout yummy. 
OZ3NP



I was able to get back on the radio again Saturday afternoon. I checked out 10 meters but it was dead there was some action on 15 so I thought I would give it a go. Rudy IK4VFD was calling CQ so I pumped my 3 watts into my attic dipole. Rudy came back to me and gave me a 529 this was strictly giving out RST, name and QTH as Rudy had a pileup waiting for him. There was a couple of repeats on my behalf as the 3 watts was struggling at times. With this contact my distance into Parma Italy was 1,412 miles per watt. 
It was back to 20 meters as 15 seemed to be shutting down here I ran across UR4UC calling CQ Val came back to me on my first call. I received a 449 RST for some reason my keyer was acting up.....well at the time that was what I blamed it on. In fact it was my nerves getting the better of me during the contact. Not sure why but I can copy most QSO's when they are not a contact. As soon as I engage in a contact for some reason the code copying in my brain goes all funky. I also get all jumbled up with the sending at times as well. I could not understand why Val kept sending me  "UC   UC   UC"....it was not until almost the final 73's that I realized I was sending UR4NC!!! If you read the blog Val sorry about that. This contact netted me my best miles per watt contact of 1,620 miles per watt. 
It's now Sunday and I hope to get some radio time in this afternoon. 

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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