Monday, October 19, 2009

An Italian for lunch

Just after lunch today I had a tune around on the little guy, the HB-1A QRP CW transceiver. On 10.116MHz, the 30m QRP activity frequency, I heard Steve, IK6NHA calling CW at about 18wpm with long gaps between the characters, so I gave him a call.

Conditions on 30m this afternoon seemed very unstable. Steve's signal was hitting S9 on the little Chinese radio's meter but with sudden QSB down to the noise level. Steve gave me a 229 report and asked me to repeat my call, though he did get it right the first time. He got all the other details I sent too, which is good going as it turns out he was running 100W. I was running about 4W to the MFJ magnetic loop with the HB-1A on batteries and I was struggling to hear him at times.

Steve's QTH is a town called Tolentino, which I guess is up in the mountains somewhere as the temperature was 7C, colder than it is here (and it's a grey, rainy day today.)

I love Italy. The whole place looks like it is falling down, nobody has heard of DIY and nobody seems to care either. What a great attitude! So different to England where the sound of lawnmowers and pressure washers is never far away and people seem to spend the whole weekend painting and cleaning instead of relaxing and enjoying the rest they've surely earned.

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