Last night, was a really enjoyable one down in the shack.
When I first turned on the rig, it was tuned to 40m. I didn’t hear much, so I tuned up to 30m. 30m was really hopping. Almost immediately, I heard UT5XS calling CQ, and I worked him. After that short contact, I called CQ and got an almost immediate response from OM5OA. I always like working stations in Slovakia, as I’m a Slovak-American. To make my quota of three contacts per day, I called CQ again, and this time got a call OK1DQP.
I like working DX, but I also like to ragchew, so I decided to see if anything was going on on 40m. Tuning to the Fists calling frequency (7058), I heard NM3B and had a nice chat with him.
While making these contacts, I noticed that my Begali paddle seemed to be making extraneous dits and dahs. I had noticed this before, and thought it might be some RF getting into the rig via the cable, but putting a snap-on ferrite didn’t seem to make any difference.
Somehow, I got it into my mind that there was a problem with the cable. I had originally put a 1/8-in. plug on the cable because I wanted to use it with my Heathkit keyer. To plug it directly into my IC-746PRO, I had to use an adapter. I thought there was something flakey about this combination. I rewired the cable, using a more flexible cable and a 1/4-in. phone plug, and it appears that all is now right with the Begali.
Calling CQ on 7030 yielded a call from F8OQ. There were actually a couple of stations calling, but F8OQ was the first. After working him, I called CQ again and had a nice chat with W0NBP.
I just love it when things work right and when conditions are so favorable. I worked some DX, had a couple of nice ragchews, and even got to melt some solder. It was a great evening.