I got home a bit early from work so I was on the radio at about 5:40PM. the band was sounding pretty good even though the solar report was not that great. (SSN:17 SFI:83 A:11 K:3) The first QSO tonight was in the Novice Rig Roundup. I worked Bob K0FHG out in Missouri on 7115 Khz, we traded RST (I got a 439) and NRR numbers (mine is 300 and I just got it). Bob was running 30w but I could not make out what radio he was using. His NRR is 202 so he has been at it for some time. It was good to have Missouri in the books.
The next QSO was another NRR station, Sam K4RTE out in Virginia. He was using a old Globe Chief 90 at 25w. This is a crystal controlled rig and it is way older than my HW-8. His NRR number is 46 so he's really been at it for awhile. Sam is also in the SKCC with number 11464T. Very nice QSO, great fist. He did give me a WOW when I told him I was at 2 watts. (I say 2w but I'm really at about 1.5 watts)
Then next up I heard from the state of Kansas. John K0JVX was calling CQ on or near 7050. John is a fantastic CW operator. His fist was crystal clear, and easy copy. Sometimes we refer to this as armchair copy because it is so good you could just sit there and listen to it for hours. John was running 70 watts to a dipole he says was aimed right at me here in central Indiana. We traded RST, I got a 579 and he was a solid 599. John is 72 years old and has been a CW operator for 59 years. He's got 30 years of experience over me, and he told me his dad was a ham so he got a real early start. That's very cool. John is also in the SKCC and his number is 11096. I can QSO with guys like this every day of the week. He's an operator that makes CW a real pleasure.
I gave it up at about 8:30...the noise was getting worse and my head was starting to play tricks on me. I did hear CO3ET from Habanna Cuba on about 7008 tonight and VE4AKI up in Manitoba...I called and called and they did not reply. So goes 40m into the night. There is always tomorrow!