Tonight the MFJ 9040 took a rest and I was able to operate a Yaesu FT-817 on loan for the weekend from friend and fellow ham Lonnie - N9IUI. The Yaesu will give me an opportunity to access more bands and hopefully make more QSO's this weekend, just in time for the North American QSO Party tomorrow.
|Yaesu FT-817 pictured with the MFJ 9040 in my shack tonight|
Tonight I was able to complete three QSO's using the FT-817 pushing 5 watts through my inverted L gutter antenna. First stop was Warrenton Virginia where I met Harv - K2PI, fellow SKCC member. Warrenton is about 470 miles to the east of my location and home of the Warren Green Hotel which was originally built in 1819 and still stands today. Harv has been a ham since 1977 and served our country in the United States Marine Corp. Thank you for your service Harv, I hope we get to have a QSO again another day.
My second QSO of the evening was with Roy KF5YU who is from Fredricksburg Texas but was located in Whitefish Montana for this QSO. Roy and his wife RV full time and travel the country. What a great way to see the country! I was unable to get an exact distance from my station to Whitefish, but it appears to be over 1,500 miles away located in the far Northwestern corner of Montana very close to Glacier National Park. After pulling up photos from the Whitefish area I can see why Roy and his wife would want to spend the summer there in an RV. The photos are amazing, I can only imagine what it looks like in person. Maybe I'll get to see for myself one day? Thanks Roy for helping me capture the state of Montana for my goal of working all states with QRP CW.
|Photo taken in the area of Whitefish Montana|
I saved my favorite QSO of the evening for last. Tonight I was able to do one of the coolest things I've done since starting this Adventure with CW several months ago. Tonight I completed a QSO with my friend and elmer Ivin - W9ILF. Ivin and I live about 40 minutes away from each other, so meeting on 40 meters was never a possibility when QRP. However, thanks to the Yaesu FT-817 I now have access to 80 meters which is much more favorable for local QSO's. We exchanged information including signal reports and SKCC numbers, we talked about the rig I was using and how it sounded, and we even talked about the fact that both of us have to be up early tomorrow morning to do "Coffee and CW" in the park. It's an event that allows us all to get together, have some donuts and coffee, get on the air, and help introduce others to the fun of QRP and CW. Man, I had a blast talking to Ivin and did my best to keep up. I was laughing and smiling the entire QSO and I'm sure he could tell I was nervous. Thanks Ivin, for being my friend and elmer. I look forward to filling out your QSL card now.
Good luck to everyone who is participating in the NA QSO Party tomorrow. I'll be sharing photos and stories from the Coffee event and the QSO party tomorrow.
Until then, 72 de W9ODX