I got my QRP QSO today at 0100z just as the Zulu day started. I have been using my Elecraft K2 radio most of the time. The SW+ at 1.5 watts just seems like torture for those copying me. I’m looking for conversation more than just the state or county. I haven’t given up on it though. I will keep working on WAS with that radio but at the bottom of the sun spot cycle just a little more seems like what is on everyone’s minds. I read another QRPer’s blog last night and he bought a 100 watt amp for his QRP radio due to the dismal conditions. I’m not that far gone….. He wrote that this was his first sunspot low using QRP. I am a seasoned veteran. I have been using QRP since 2005 and have been through a sunspot minimum before. This is the time I am finding nice state side QSO’s and mostly stick to 40 meters. It is best to enjoy what we can get. I am back working on county hunting. It’s great for what we have in band conditions. If you have never county hunted before I highly recommend it. Some states have tons of counties while others may have only a few. Either way I have not yet worked any state’s entire counties. Some are as rare as hen’s teeth!
The QSO came from Salem, NH. Carmen K1LKP. Carmen served on a submarine in our U.S. Navy. He also serves the Lord (as in Christianity), keeps fantastic records, and is a proud ham! Salem is in Rockingham Co. That is not a new county for me unfortunately. Carmen told me our only two QSO’s before this was in 2006. He even had my age logged at that time. Ha ha… I said at that time I must have been using my TS-520 radio. He corrected me and said no, it was the IC-703. WOW! I don’t have that radio any more but I sure loved it. It is Icom’s full featured QRP radio. I got into contesting with that radio and took it hiking in the woods. I also flew kites with magnet wire hooked to it. I didn’t know static would build on the wire which burned up my finals not once, but twice. The Icom service center told me to stop doing that. Ha ha… I sold it to help fund my Elecraft K2 when that opportunity came along. Of course I still have the Elecraft and it serves as my main radio. He sure brought back memories of when I got into CW. At the end of the QSO Carmen wished me God’s blessings and to my loved ones. I did the same. If you have not been listening to CW QSO’s much it is very common to say “God Bless” at the end of a QSO. I found that pleasant but strange at first, however, I have come to find many CW ops will say this and I do it as well.
So to end this blog post I want to say God Bless to all of you and Dit Dit.