|10 Meter Contacts 10.23.2011|
To coin the phrase from the very cool Buzz Lightyear, "To infinity and beyond" is how I felt about the 10 meter propagation this weekend! I once again ended up on the high side of 28MHz working SSB which yielded several hundred contacts. The pile ups were simply fun yet frustrating as I did not have time to work everyone that had been calling. Glancing at my logbook between Saturday and Sunday, I made 257 28MHz meter contacts on Saturday followed by an additional 298 on Sunday! So many great contacts with so many great hams! I really have to give credit to those who stuck it out as I was told several times that stations were trying from 1 to 2 hours to work me and I'm probably sure there were others that tried longer.
There were so many highlights from this weekend there is no way I could possibly list them all. It was exciting to work some very young hams, from the ages of 7 (yep, seven) to 13 years of age! I'm envious of those young hams in that I did not discover ham radio until my 20's. But the important thing is that we all did at some point or another. Novice Enhancement opened the world for me, indirectly (covered in a previous blog entry).
Other than persons tuning directly on or near the 10 meter frequency I was using, the pile up remained manageable and most everyone was extremely patient. I made several recordings from the weekend and I'm hoping to put together my next YouTube video with some clips from those recordings. It might amaze you what it sounded like on my end. It resembled a contest weekend for sure, just a much slower pace.
Every once in a while I will get a stronger station asking me to listen up for a friend, smaller station, or a DX station that they can hear but I'm not able to due to the many people that were calling. I have to give a shout out to the ham that gave me the heads up on 6V7Q calling me! I asked everyone to stand by as I listened for the 6V7Q and to my surprise, I could hear him off the side of my antenna. I turned it toward Africa, Senegal in West Africa to be exact, and I had perfect copy. After working him, I went back to my pile up duties toward the lower 48.
I once again was astonished at the propagation pattern. I was hearing literally ALL of the lower 48 the same signal strength. Someone from Maine would call me and they would be 59 and then be followed by a West Coast station who was just as loud. No greyline needed on this band!
The main thing for me is, I'm a small station and I always enjoy handing out Alaska contacts to those that need them. I heard so many times this weekend that I was a persons first contact with Alaska, or they had needed my county or needed a contact with me for some other award. Personally there is no greater satisfaction than to hear the excitement in a persons voice that they made it into my logbook. That is what keeps me in my chair for long periods of time, not to mention experiencing propagation on a band that for years was nothing but static for me. From reading this blog, you might be able to tell that I am just as excited about each and every contact.
With the great propagation this weekend on 28MHz, I was able to finish my WAS (Worked All States) award not to mention with the help of Wes, W1LIC, I was able to get my last state needed (Maine) for LOTW WAS using PSK31. This type of band condition is what ham radio dreams are made of! Now lets hope the conditions hold through the BIG contest coming next weekend. My plan is to stick very close to 10 meters with a side order of 15 from time to time. I know I spoke with many familiar contesters over the weekend who were getting ready for just that. I think they all shared in my excitement about having 10 meters productive which will really help the scores and multipliers!
Again, I appreciate each and every contact and for those that made in into my logbook, you made my day as much as I hopefully made yours. To those I missed, I can only ask that you keep trying when you hear me on as I really do want to add you to my ever growing logbook of contacts. There is so much truth in the saying, "Friendship through Ham Radio" as I have made many friends over the years in this hobby, most of which I have yet to meet personally. I might be bad with names but I can almost immediately recognize a familiar callsign. I'm thankful for many things but most thankful for my wife's understanding which allows me to spend countless hours behind my Icom 756PRO.
Oh, and before I forget, my most favorite quote of the weekend...
"I found it easier to work TX7M than to work you here on 10 meters".