Happy Dance Time!

Turned on the radio to around 14.060 MHz, hoping to hear some QRPers, only to hear “CQ NA”.  I didn’t remember that the North American QSO Party was this weekend.  Regular readers of this blog know that except for short QRP Sprints, W2LJ is not big into contests.  I have nothing against them; just can’t force my butt into a chair for a long enough period of time to make it interesting for myself.

So instead of kvetching, I pushed the band button on the K3 and took ‘er up the road to 17 Meters.  I love 17 Meters! When the band is open there is usually all kinds of good DX.  Tonight was no different – and since 17 Meters is a WARC band – no contesting!

So, as is my usual routine, I started at the bottom of the band at 18.068 MHz and slowly twiddled the VFO dial upward.  I came to a stop at around 18.074 MHz. D3AA calling “CQ UP” – not too many takers, a small pile up building, but still not bad yet.

Where the heck is D3AA?  I quickly plop D3AA in to AC Log.  Angola.  Hot dog – Angola is a new one!  Never worked Angola – QRP or QRO (100 Watts) before.

I throw my call out a couple of times; but no dice.  D3AA is up and down. One time he calls, he’s 599 – next time, 569. So I’m thinking to myself that he’s going to fade and that I missed the best propagation (as usual).  But no!  As time goes along, he’s actually getting louder; but the pile up is also growing, commensurately.  The K3 makes it pretty easy to figure out where he’s listening as he stated he was listening up.  So I go to where I heard the last few stations he worked and figured out that for the time being, he was staying put and not drifting up after each contact.

Patience and persistence are a big part of QRP and this time was no different.  I stayed at it for about 15 minutes and finally, I interjected “W2LJ” at just the right moment and was rewarded with “W2LJ 599 TU”, to which I responded in return, of course.

Coolest of the cool beans!  A new African country – a new country via QRP (or ANY power level for that matter).  I opened up Chrome on my netbook and figured I would post this to QRPSPOTS. Most of the time I figure that if I was able to work a station with my simple antennas, then a lot of other QRPers should be able to, also.  I posted anyway, but saw that I was beat to the punch by my good bud, John AE5X – Amateur Radio op, DXer and QRPer and photographer extraordinaire

Anyway, that’s the reason for “The Happy Dance” tonight.

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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