Saturday afternoon radio surprises

The view from JY5HX's beam
On Saturday afternoon I was able to spend an hour on the rig....well the rig was on in the background as I was tiding up some "stuff" on the PC. I have been reading on different blogs about poor conditions over the past week or so. I was reading this morning that things are going to pickup again with some new sunspots making there way around to earths side of things. Anyway......Yesterday I was able to snag W0S which is a special event station commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Titanic. The contact was made on 20m with 2 watts at this end. I was reading (see W0S link above) on the Southgate Amateur radio new site that W0S was also running QRP. I was surprised to read this as he had a great signal into Ontario. We exchanged names, QTH and reports then he moved on to the next in line. W0S is located in Branson Missouri and they had a station setup outside the Titanic Museum in downtown Branson.

Just a short time later on 20m's TM27UFT out of  France had a pileup and I jumped in to see what would happen with my 2 watts. This again is another special event station out of France. It was for the Union Francaise des Telegraphistes 27th meeting. I made contact after 4 tries and because of the pileup he had it was strictly business and off to the next station in the Q.
The big event of the day for me was seeing a spot on the cluster for JY5HX out of Jordan. If  I made this contact it was another DXCC for me and a first for contacting anyone in the middle East. So this was serous business I cranked the K3 up to 5 watts as my Jubilee DXCC is going to be all QRP. I double clicked on the spot and to my surprise I could hear JY5HX from just above the noise level to about an S3 at times. There have been many times when I see a spot on the cluster and head there to just hear noise so this sure was a surprise.  On went the headphones and so began my what I thought to be a long round of calling into the pileup. Funny thing was there was no pileup and the next funny but great thing was he came back to me on my third call to him. Now JY5HX is in the log book and that brings my QRP DXCC count up to 68! Using 5 watts along with my attic dipole for this contact it turned out to be 1172 miles per watt.
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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