Friday, October 02, 2009

Almost worked W6

It has often puzzled and frequently frustrated me that I only ever seem to work Europe from here although the PSK Reporter website shows that my signals are often received in the USA.

This afternoon while having a PSK31 session on 20m running 40W to my attic dipole I once again noticed that my signal had been spotted by Leigh, WA5ZNU in California. Leigh is an Elecraft K2 owner, administrator of the Nabble interface to the Elecraft reflector and one of the developers of Fldigi and we have often exchanged emails so it would have been very nice to actually have a radio contact with him. However absolutely nothing from Stateside was being decoded on my screen.

I continued calling CQ and saw a faint trace that appeared to be replying to me. It was only just discernable visually from the noise and nothing at all was being decoded, so I replied "Sorry I have a high noise level here, I can see your trace but can't copy you at all." About a minute later an email appeared in my inbox from Leigh to say that he had tried calling me and had read my reply! He has a SteppIR at 12m and was running 20W, then tried 35W.

After a couple of minutes I had the idea to try my MFJ magnetic loop as it might pick up less noise. I asked Leigh to call again if he heard me, but he had already left for work. Perhaps we'll try tomorrow on the loop. Presumably Leigh's RX is still on as I have had a second spot from him using the magnetic loop. If PSK31 fails I guess we'll have to try CW!
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