A Listener Report and The Magic Of Radio

I don’t know what happened.  I lay on the bed a couple of hours before bedtime last night for a quick nap and the next thing I knew it was 2:30 am and my nap had turned into half a night’s sleep. This was not a bad thing as it meant I was now awake and could turn the radio on to see what was cooking on 40.  The only antenna I currently have is a co-ax fed 40M inverted vee at 47 feet above ground. In theory, the only 2 bands I can operate with this antenna are 40 and 15, but I received a 599 from W5TTW on 10M yesterday using this antenna (tuned at the transmitter end).  He was 1600 miles from me in Texas. It never hurts to try!

Back to this morning and 5W of CW on 40. I worked K4TE 2000 miles from me in Alabama, and K9KHJ 1800 miles distant in Wisconsin. Although our QSO was brief due to the high band noise at my end, it was a pleasure to work him. His callsign is a tribute to the station KHJ in Los Angeles, which was legendary in the boss jock era. It was that callsign that first caught my attention when Danny left a comment on a previous blog post about powerhouse amateur stations. As a former DJ/voiceover/production person, the letters KHJ just popped out. Great that we got to QSO and it happened without the aid of Twitter, e-mail or Facebook; it happened the old-fashioned way – we were both on 40M at the same time. After that, an exchange with W2ZRA in Long Island confirmed that 40 was in good shape (with the exception of high band noise) and I was a happy camper. I did call CQ one more time but didn’t try too hard; I was becoming sleepy.

About an hour later, just as I was thinking a few more zzzz’s might be a good idea, an e-mail from Steve KC2VBU landed in my inbox. He had heard my final CQ on the direct conversion receiver of his Rock-Mite at his QTH in New Jersey. Given that I was only a 229, on the wrong side of his rockbound frequency of 7028 and his Rock-Mite puts out just 600mW, he didn’t call me, figuring a QSO was unlikely to ensue.  Steve wrote:

GM.  As is my habit most every  morning as I putz around before heading out to work I fired up my SWL Rockmite (have two) and listened in a bit on 40M.

About 12:37z (7:37ET) I thought I heard a “7” call and after listening to a few CQ’s I had your call down AA7EE. This is unusual for early mornings on the Rockmite so I looked you up in QRZ (nice pic ha!) and saw you were most likely operating QRP so I had to let you know ur sig this morning went ~2550 miles (if you were operating in the the Oakland area) at least to the NYC metro area. Maybe this is not unusual for you but it is on this end and I do a lot of listening on 40 & 80M.

I just replied to Steve, thanking him for taking the trouble to send an e-mail report. Part of my reply read as follows:

Even in this age of being able to use the internet and the Reverse Beacon Network to see where I am being heard, the extra personal touch of an e-mail report is very welcome.  To think that as I was sitting in my room on the west coast in the early hours of the morning, someone was straining to hear my signals on the east coast, and successfully decoding them (especially with a Rockmite!) is a thrill.  It’s the magic of radio.

That pretty much sums up a lot of the magic of radio for me. It’s a combination of the technical aspect and the personal aspect that gives radio a mystery and a romance.  Thanks for the report Steve!

4 thoughts on “A Listener Report and The Magic Of Radio

  1. Sounds like the antenna’s doing well for you, Dave. Any plans to use it this weekend in the contest? If so, I’ve always found that the Big Gun’s ears really become keen toward the last few hours and QRP gets through easier than it would at other times. You should be able to work into the Caribbean no problem…

  2. This will be one of the few weekends that I’ll be unable to get anywhere near the radio unfortunately John. Aah well, another time!

  3. It is now 04:46 Z 02–4-2011 and I just heard your CQ on 7.030.00, that is what the dial is reading on the Icom IC-703 QRP transceiver anyway. That lil rig is connected to a rather cool Vee style antenna. Your signal report by the way, 5, quite readable through the lite QRN. 2, readable signal and I don’t care much for the bar graph metering radios have, I prefer a micro-voltmeter really. 9, perfectly good sounding tone. Speed was comfortable too, nice for short contacts under trying conditions. Trying because there is a station that I think might be in WSPR mode, have to check it out, that has been firing up right smack on 7.030.000 for sometime now. I listen a lot for QRP stations. Oh, the antenna. The top wire is up at around 90 feet, then due west 140 feet. The lower wire, that is up 35 feet and goes due west at 140 feet. Well, I didn’t hear you return to my super duper ozone depleting five watt signal, maybe next time. Very 73 from Rhode Island. de N1GKE – Myrton – SKCC # 5521

  4. Myrton – I think I miss quite a few stations due to my location in an urban area with (I imagine) plenty of local QRM. I’ve often thought that it would be great, for the ham radio at least, to live out in a more rural area. Sorry that I didn’t hear you call me. I have S8 band noise here right now. Hopefully we’ll QSO another time – 73 – Dave – SKCC 5722 NAQCC 3782

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