Now back to my 3 new states, because today I chose to "just get on the air..." All 3 QSO's were with Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) members. I've mentioned this great organization in the past and if you are interested in using CW, this is an organization that you will want to be part of. All 3 QSO's were also made using the MFJ 9040 QRP CW rig pushing 5 watts through my "inverted L gutter antenna".
|San Augustine Texas|
First QSO was over a cup a coffee this morning before work. I connected with Allen - KA5TJS from San Augustine Teaxas which is a little over 700 miles away from my station. Conditions were a little rough this morning, but Allen and I were able to exchange information and complete the QSO. Thanks Allen for being my QSO from the Lonestar State.
|Fort Ashby West Virginia|
My other two QSO's came back to back earlier this evening and both were new states for me. One of my Adventures with CW includes my goal of working all states with QRP CW, so two new states back to back is very exciting for me. First was Dave - W3NP from Fort Ashby West Virginia. Dave has been a ham since 1959. I enjoyed reading about his vintage gear on his QRZ page. Fort Ashby West Virginia is located 412 miles from my station and was established in 1755 when Colonel George Washington ordered it to be built during the French Indian War. The fort was named after Colonel John Ashby who was attacked and captured by Indians, but made a remarkable escape to the fort. Fort Ashby is now part of the US National Register of Historic Places. Funny story about West Virginia. I had just spoke with a friend of mine, Rick - N9PH, earlier today on a local 70cm repeater about my goal to work all states and he told me that one of the hardest states for him was West Virginia. Rick said if I heard a station from West Virginia that I really needed to try and complete the QSO if at all possible. Well Rick, Dave made it easy on me tonight with his strong signal working into the Hoosier State. Thanks Dave! My QSL card will be mailed out tomorrow, and I look forward to receiving yours in return.
|Rockingham Motor Speedway "The Rock"|
Once Dave and I were complete I had another station calling to complete a QSO with me as well. This time is was Allen - W4EAB from Rockingham North Carolina. Allen was a former USCG radioman that worked stations in Puerto Rico and San Diego, two places that are much nicer than Indiana in the middle of Winter! Thank you for your service Allen. After leaving the USCG Allen got licensed as a ham and really enjoys chasing DX and SKCC with CW, which he claims is in his blood. I get it Allen, I'm new to CW but LOVE it already! Rockingham North Carolina is about 500 miles from my station and was named after the Marquis of Rockingham. It's also home of the legendary Rockingham Motor Speedway, nicknamed "The Rock", that has been a staple for NASCAR for the last 40 years. Thanks for the QSO Allen.
Looks like I have 3 more QSL cards to send out tomorrow, but that's okay. I really enjoy exchanging them as they make the contact more personable and just like CW, QSL cards are a vital part of the history of amateur radio that I hope sticks around for years to come.
Until next time, 72 de W9ODX