I try to make three QSOs every day, and for the most part, I’m successful. Some days, I only make one or two, but I more than make up for it during contests, when it’s easy to make 50-100 Qs or more.
There are also evenings when I just seem to rack them up. Yesterday was one of those days. All told, I made eight contacts yesterday, and almost all of them were remarkable.
My first contact came at 6:50 pm. I was waiting for my wife to get home from work (she usually arrives a little after 7:00 pm), when I got it into my head to go down to the shack and turn the radio on, even though I knew she’d be home soon. I punched the 20m button, tuned around a bit, and happened to find W6BNB.
As I often do, I search for him on QRZ.Com and found out quite a bit about him. He was first licensed in 1931, became a shipboard radio operator in 1933, a deputy sheriff in 1939, and then a radio instructor during WW II. If you figure that he was 18 when he went to sea that would make him 90 years old.
Apparently being a radio instructor agreed with him. He authored several books on electronics and radio and many articles as well.
One of the more remarkable things about him is that he’s had the call W6BNB for the whole time he’s been licensed. That’s 75 years! It was a great QSO, and I hope I get the chance to work him again soon.
A Little DX
After signing, I went upstairs to eat dinner with my wife. After dinner, I went back down to the shack and decided to see what was happening on 30m. The band seemed relatively dead, but if you operate 30m at all, you know that’s not unusual. Down around 10.107, though, I hear a station calling CQ.
I didn’t catch the call right away, but after he worked a couple of stations, it turns out that I’ve stumbled across TY5MR, a DXpedition to Benin. This DXpedition organizers is Andrea, IK1PMR, who appears to be a very active DXer and regular DXpedition participant.
He had a very good signal here – at least a 559, which, I think, is a tribute to the Spider beams they were using. Amazingly, I worked him on my first call. I think I got lucky by finding him before he was listed on the DX spots. Later, when I tuned him in, there was a small pileup.
After a short QSO with KQ0A (conditions weren’t very good) on 30m, I tuned down to 40m. The first station I heard on 40 was I1MMR in Genoa. He replied right away to my call, and while signals weren’t strong, the copy was Q5. When I signed with Mauro, I got a call right away from OK1MRZ in Prague. I always love it when DX stations call.
Tuning up the band, I heard K0MLF calling CQ. I had worked Don several times on 30m, but this was our first contact on 40m. Don now lives in Utah, and his QSL card is the one I’m using for my WAS award.
In one of our previous QSOs, Don told me about how he was a police CW net operator in the early 60s. Apparently, police groups used CW nets to exchange information back then. I”d never heard that before and found it quite interesting. Now, of course, they use computer networks.
I topped off the evening with a rag chew with KB1CL. He was booming in and it was armchair copy all the way. It was a pleasant QSO to end a remarkable evening on the air.