I got some time to get the K1 on the air today around 3PM EDT (19:00z), logged in to the Reverse Beacon Network and noticed the solar report was looking a little weaker than usual. No sunspots, SFI at an anemic 68, A Index at 4 and K Index at 1...so I decided I had nothing to lose and started calling CQ on 15m, since it was still pretty early in the day. Nothing. RBN only had ONE skimmer that could hear me and it showed my signal at 6db. I find that unless I am out there at 10db or higher, my chances for a QSO are slim and none. So I trotted down to 20m and tried a few CQ's and the RBN had ZERO skimmers hearing me. Ok fine, so I bounce down to 7058 Khz in hopes of finding a FISTS station. WOW the RBN was hearing me all over the place, and my signal was being reported over 16db in about 15 locations. One place even had me at 30db...which is LOUD.
|RBN Status of KB9BVN on Oct 28 2018|
Well to my dismay, there were no FISTS to be heard...so I changed up to my old tried and true, the SKCC.
Within a couple of CQ SKCC's I got a contact with Joe AA5AD down in Arkansas. Joe gave me a 599 and I sent him a 579 off my attic dipole. According to his biography on QRZ, Joe is a firefighter, retired battalion chief, and lives in a log cabin with his family on 40 beautiful acres. Joe has plenty of room for antenna experimentation! He's SKCC 15454T, which means he's on the air a lot and loves to QSO.
In addition to amateur radio, Joe likes to fish, hunt and keep bees. You never know who you'll run in to on the amateur radio bands, I always seem to bump into the most interesting folks.
The next contact was with Kevin WA9VFD down in North Carolina. Kevin is a SKCC member as well and we traded numbers and I got a 449 and sent him a 599. Kevin is a Packers Fan and has a neat Packer graphic on his QRZ biography page. WA9VFD happens to be a vanity call as this call sign belonged to his father, a veteran of the Korean War. Hats off to your dad Kevin! Kevin is new at CW and is doing great with it. Work him if you hear him, it'll be fun!
|WA9VFD - Kevin's Dad - Never owned a Microphone|
The next contact was with Charles KM4ZZ and boy I was having a heck of a time copying him, but I am glad I took the time to work this station as he is my NEW STATE. Charles lives in Virginia, and is also a SKCC member. We traded RST...I gave him 339 and he gave me a 579, and SKCC numbers. Charles is retired from the US Navy after 28 years of service. Thank you very much for your service Charlie! he got his Technician through Extra class license in 2015 and since then he has made thousands of QRP CW contacts! Check out his bio on QRZ...he's a great admirer of the military PRC rigs and has some great pictures.
Next up was Randy K8ZAA up in Michigan, we traded SKCC information and I sent a 559 and got a 599. Randy is SKCC member 15019S, which means he holds the level of SKCC Senator...he's worked literally thousands of SKCC members to earn this achievement. That's a lot of CW!
Last but not least was Tom KA2KGP up in New York state. Seems like I bump in to Tom every few weeks. Today I got a 599 from him and he was booming in to Central Indiana. Another SKCC QSO in the logbook.
Well that's it for today, grabbed a new state, talked with the interesting characters, and had fun for about an hour and a half...time for the honey do list.
73 de KB9BVN