I managed to break the pileup on 40 Meters tonight to work Vlad in Senegal for a new band. This makes for contacts now on 40, 20, 17 and 12 Meters, all via QRP. I also worked Vlad once on 20 Meters with QRO power, think it was 85 Watts.

Spring must be on the way though, as the band was super noisy tonight. Lots of QRN made it tough for two QRP rag chews (2X KX3 QSOs, by the way) that I had earlier in the evening. There were static crashes galore! Someone must have been getting some pretty bad thunderstorms.

20 Meters was decent this afternoon, as I was able to work SP6CEW in my ancestral country, Poland. I was also able to work S57KW in Slovenia.

When I spoke with Bob W3BBO on Echo link this afternoon, he told me that he had pretty good success on 17 Meters today. When I was tuning the bands this afternoon, 17, 15 and 12 Meters sounded pretty sparse to me with very few loud signals.

Tomorrow, we are forecast for more snow. Hopefully, it won’t be much. In any event, the ground has had a chance to warm up, so any snow that falls should melt pretty quickly. Spring officially began a few days ago, but it sure hasn’t felt like it.

One of my first radio goals for 2013 is to get about another couple dozen radials down for the HF9V. My Butternut is my “go to” antenna, so it will not be wasted effort. I want to get them down early, so that come late May or early June, they will have disappeared into the grass.

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].

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