I am excited by a couple of firsts today:
1. Had my first WSPR QSO with VE1RG on 14.076.5 this morning. 5 watts is overkill using this mode…it and JT65A represent the state-of-the art QRP modes in my opinion. Love this stuff! I will tell you, this terrestrial use on HF of WSJT sure gives me encourangement for VHF/UHF moonbounce…A long-time aspiration of mine! Thanks Dr. Joe Taylor W1JT for dreaming up this ultimate weak-signal mode!
2. Had my first 160M QSO today. Actually I had 40 of them, in 24 states! I had no intention of working the North American CW QSO party today, as should have been working instead. All work, no play, makes WF7T a dull boy! So hookie instead, and starting playing a couple hours late in the 12-hour domestic CW contest. Not bad conditions (not great either), and as usual 20M was my nemesis. I burned through 80M and decided to “listen” on 160. Then I thought, “I bet if I send a quick signal through the lil’ G5RV one of the locals was bound to hear me.” So I did! Then I decided, what the heck, try another. And that worked too! So I spent the last hour and a quarter on the band. This represented my best QSO rates as well, averaging 32/hr.
At the end of the contest I actually tested the SWR of the G5RV…it was 3:1 (could’ve been worse I s’pose). I am sure hardly any RF was actually at the antenna, but it worked ok for the short contacts I was making. My poor radio, I just abuse the heck out of it. I promise, little radio, I will make you a real 160M antenna in the next couple months.
Also, a quick thought. I played a little in a PSK contest today (PSKFEST). I purposely held my power to 5W to see how I could do. Basically, OK, but the passband was being slaughtered by loud signals. Man alive, people were running WAY too much power on PSK today with really bad overmodulation.