Sometimes the interesting QSOs aren’t the long-distance ones

I think I’ve reflected before that sometimes it isn’t always the really long distance contacts that catch your imagination. Yesterday was an interesting day, although I didn’t really have any contacts that I would have called DX – but they were still interesting from a propagation point of view.

It started off on 70MHz with a QSO with John, G3VHH on MB7FM, the 70MHz parrot in Tring. It was an interesting QSO and one of the first I had on FM using the new transverter setup. Just after lunch, I noticed on Twitter that Ken G0PPM said that he was in Wales and calling CQ on 50.150. I nipped upstairs and to my surprise could just hear Ken. Not well enough to do much other than exchange reports, but not bad for a mobile to – vertical contact at just over 110km. Ken then asked if I could try on 28MHz. I said I could, but didn’t really expect to hear him. Although I couldn’t hear him on SSB, we were able to complete a rudimentary QSO on CW quite easily which was fun.

Later on, Julie and I decided to go for a walk up White Horse Hill and I threw the IC-E92 in. As we were sitting, enjoying the view from the top of the hill, I had a tune around and could hear M0JLA/P talking to Stewart, G0LGS in Cheltenham. After they signed, I rather hopefully called Rod, M0JLA and was pleased when he came back. It turned out that he was on a SOTA summit near Presteigne in Herefordshire, not far from the Welsh border – a distance of 120km or so. Rod was using a beam, but I was just using the little rubber duck antenna, so felt quite satisfied with the contact.

All interesting contacts and a little bit out of the ordinary.

Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].

3 Responses to “Sometimes the interesting QSOs aren’t the long-distance ones”

  • Richard KWØU:

    Very nice. While DX is fun and can be a very satisfying (or frustrating) challenge, some of my pleasantest QSOs have been with near-neighbors, or at least domestic hams. I remember one New Year’s Eve when about 20 of us formed an impromptu net just to chat about what we’d done over the last 12 months. It was like a group of strangers meeting over a campfire in the woods. Contacts like that show what this hobby can be about.

  • Stephen G0PQB:

    I would agree with both comments by Tim and Richard. Sometimes you have a nice QSO with someone and chat without pressure. That’s ragchewing I believe and afterwards you come away and think that you’ve just had a warm hearted and friendly contact and one you remember for no particular reason other than it was a pleasant experience. Sometimes it is nice to do a bit of DX but other times you don’t want the ‘wham bam thank you ma’am’ type of contact and want a human contact rather anything else.

  • Ken / WA3FKG:

    I agree. Some of the best contacts I have had were getting into conversations with other hams about the hobby its self and other related topics. I really enjoy talking with hams who home brew stuff and get into things like small process control systems for the shack or the household. Photography, robotics, antenna design and building, networking with digital modes.

    Some of these contacts have been within miles of where I live other have been one or two states away and others have been several thousand miles away. To me it is not the distance it is the content. Anytime I can have a good conversation with another ham and learn something along the way it has been a great QSO.

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