And just like that ……. pfffft !!!

It was about 35 degrees (2C) when I set out for the Jeep at lunchtime. Not as breezy as yesterday, but it still felt nippy. Though that was a lot better than the 19F (-7C) that I woke up to earlier in the morning. New Jersey is not supposed to be quite this cold around this part of November!  Anyway, once again I operated from inside the Jeep as opposed to standing outside.  I didn’t need to turn on the heater as my upholstery is black and on a sunny day like today, the car can get rather warm on the inside. Solar power at its best!

The bands may still be in good shape, but once again, activity seemed sparse. Maybe it was because I wasn’t hearing 25 kHz wide DXpedition pileups, so it just seemed more quiet. I called CQ and was awarded with a nice QSO with Terry W9UX (who’s name I remembered, BTW!) in Madison, WI.  Terry is an avid and active QRPer, so I was rewarded with a 2X QRP KX3 to KX3 QSO (THAT’S a mouthful!).  We talked for a bit, and then, just as I was mentioning how the bands seemed to have lost some of their zip lately, wouldn’t you know?  We both QSB’ed from 589 to maybe 219 (generous).  We were both at ESP levels and couldn’t hear each other for anything as the band dropped out on us like the proverbial lead balloon.

A lesson re-learned, as sometimes I can get a bit too wordy in my QSOs. When band conditions are subject to volatility, it’s best to stick to a lot of our CW abbreviation lingo and not spell too much out, word for word.  CW abbreviations – the original texting shorthand!


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

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

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