This time, Conventional Wisdom did not disappoint.
I worked Dave pretty quickly. According to my log, I nabbed him at 0203 UTC. And as I suspected, Brian was nowhere to be heard. Actually, Brian and his pack of Hounds were nowhere to be heard, except for an occasional "Woof" and "Arf" from a Hound here and there.
I ended up spending the evening listening to Dave handle his pileup. It was a treat as N1IX is an accomplished Amateur Radio Op, to say the least. He handled all calls rapidly and without error. He also QRS'ed (slowed his code speed for those of you not familiar with the Q Code) from time to time when it was warranted. Dave is a member of the A-1 Operators Club, which is no surprise, and his inclusion is well deserved.
Towards the end of the hunt, Dave had fewer and fewer Hounds baying at him, and as a result, he was calling "CQ FOX" quite a lot. QUITE a lot. And, at the same time, his signal strength to me was actually increasing.
So at 0311 UTC, I decided to do something that I've never done before. I dialed the KX3's power output down to the flea power neighborhood - 100 milliWatts (that's 1/10th of 1 Watt for those of you, who like me, sometimes scratch your head when it comes to scientific notation), and gave Dave another call. In the past, I've only called a Fox a second time if I wasn't positive about being in the log, and I've certainly have never done it QRPp.
Thanks to Dave's excellent ears and superb station, I made it into "Official" log at 0311 at 100 milliWatts of power. According to QRZ, Dave lives 233 miles from me as the proverbial crow flies. So that means the QSO was accomplished last night as a rate of 2330 Miles per Watt.
Not too shabby, and you just GOTTA love this QRP stuff!
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!