First QRP-QRP QSO of this solar cycle.

Finally… two weeks a bit of a holiday. Regular work is more or less on a back burner, because there is only one assignment and all other stuff is on hold. Besides that, I am going to spent some time with the family. And where possible … in the field 🙂

Today was hopefully a ‘harbinger’ of what is to come. With my glass fibre pole, backpack with IC-705 and my LFP battery pack I went to one of the WWFF-spots I discovered ages ago, before I was into WWFF. The weather was a bit on the ‘fresh’ side, around 10 degrees Celcius, with a light breeze. The sun was shining throughout the day and with my windjacket on, it was perfect to make some qso’s in the field.

I started off with some voice and CW contacts. The qso was quite relaxed, at about 10/12 wpm, because the ham on the other end of the waves was learning CW too, which made it much less awkward. I managed to write along on paper. Answering went quite smoothly, I was not dissatisfied at all.

Then I decided to switch to voice again and call for WWFF-hunters on 14.244 MHz. With two ‘big-guns’ from Spain and Russia around the frequency it was barely workable. But setting the filters right made it possible to pick up a ham from Bretagne, France. OM Guy, F4INT, was working portable from the beach near Brest (IN78SI). He used a FT-817 with a SotaBeams processor. It gave a very nice audio and we had quite a long qso of about 40 minutes. At the end, the fading become too strong and we decided to call it a day.

I did not expect the conditions to be that favourable. The SFI was around 80 and there were some geomagnetic disturbances. Guy was working with the FT-817 at 5 Watts output, and I was running from the battery pack giving about 7-10 Watts. Still, not quite ‘high power’, but the QSO went smooth for the most part and we had no problem hearing each other.

Hopefully next week more of these surprises with reasonable weather (around 12 degrees C) and some welcome solar activity.

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