Tuesday, October 6, 2009

California QSO Party (Phase II)

okay... so when last we left our intrepid explorer, she had just decended from her 1700ft perch where she racked up just about 50 QSO's and 25 states in 2 1/2 hours... not bad for a 'newbie' with a gel cell, a superantenna and a dream...

cut to sunday, and i figure i'll try my luck, this time, back on Mt. Umunhum (about 1000ft higher, with a clear shot looking east), and so i load my rig and kit back into the BMW of DEATH and head back to the Santa Cruz mountains... the flies were not biting and i found a nice cut out on the side of the road just below the last gate (SA-08), and so within about 10 minutes i had everything set up, lit up and powered on and spun through 20m where i heard most of the same voices i had heard the day before, this time with QSO counts in the 1000's...


i also heard Alex, YO9HP in romania, and with his beam and patience, was able to score a not-so-quick 5-5 with my first romania contact! (for some reason, DX stations are not able to understand the "D" in RDG and we often go through every other letter in the alphabet... i've stopped saying "Delta" which seems to be a word that's hard to recognize, and often say Denmark or Denver or Dentist or Dog, but this is heard as Renmark or Nenver or Bentist or Log... i dunno...)

but, at heart, i'm more of a DX hound than a contester and the romanian station was like chum, getting my blood all-a-boilin'... so i headed over to 17m, where there was no contest, and found the band with some fine openings and camped out to call CQ and was delighted to have my first-ever DX station return MY call! JE1FQV, Tak, in New Tokyo Japan was getting ready to go to work (monday in tokyo) and heard my call on 17m and was happy to chat with a hilltopping station (i know a bit of japanese and have tried, now, twice to use it in my conversations with japanese stations, but i get the audio equivalent of a stare each time)... i then, in quick succession, worked N5THS, JB, in Arkansas, K6DI, Dan, traveling eastbound on US 80, driving his daughter to her new home in Chicago, VE7FE, Yugin, in British Columbia, W5SAN, Joe, in Salina Texas operating on solar power, N6HI, Norm, in Hawaii (the big island), N6DDD, Arlen, in Missouri, KO5G, Dave, in San Antonio, KE5GVH, Eddy, in Houston, KE5PTU, Harold, in Longview, Texas, W5VOX, Jim, in Oklahoma, AD5XQ, Will, in Iriving, Texas, KL2GT, Joe, in Point Baker, Alaska, KE5QNP, James in Mena, Arkansas, KA2FND/6, John, in Morgan Hill, CA (just on the other side of the mountain), W4DAT, Perry in Roopville, Georgia, K5PUB, Bill, in Athens, Texas and the third and final honest DX contact of the afternoon, F1UJS, Lio, in the Bordeaux region of France!

and then the gel cell decided to call it quits!

so all-in-all an OUTSTANDING weekend of hammin' it up in the heart of the silicon valley... i enjoyed my first taste of real contesting (and now know better what i need to do next time), added two more countries to my DX count (not sure of the exact number, but i'll figure it out and fill it in here, later), and generally just enjoyed sitting outside, on two brisk, northern california autumn days,

so Japan, Romania and France plus about 75 domestic/canadian QSO's in one weekend and about 6 hours using an AGM battery, K3/100 running barefoot and a simple SuperAntenna MP1 with a partly-busted MFJ 10ft whip, all mounted on a video tripod (and using only 4 radial wires) and no sunspots... its tuesday as i type this, and i'm still smiling!

anyway, no anticipated hamming for the next few days... i have a wedding i'm going to attend this weekend and work promises to be all consuming, but the lingering taste of Bordeaux will certainly keep me happy for days to come.

thanks to those who read my blog, and those whose callsigns grace my log...
(there was a young man from Nantucket...)

de Robin (W6RDG)

No comments:

Post a Comment