First HF contact

Today I stopped by the club station (VE3JW) to watch Ernie (VE3EJJ) at the helm and to learn by his example. When I arrived, I saw Ernie working the VHF/UHF rig and a second operator! Guy (VE3VCF) was working on the new HF rig poking around as he and Ernie chatted.

Guy and I talked briefly and since he is more or less a new face to me, it was nice to speak with him for a few moments before the operating session began. Guy had asked Ernie if he could take over the VHF/UHF station since he wanted to log a few contest contacts while he was at the station. In his stoic manner, Ernie yielded the controls to Guy, taking the opportunity to read over the new radio manual.

I sat at the HF rig for a few minutes, watching as BPSK31 data was streaming along on at 14.0700 MHz. After a brief demonstration from Guy, I was up and running on the FLEX-3000 Software Defined Radio (SDR) that the station has. Wow! I love that setup!

After some more watching (listening in phone operation) I decided to call CQ on an unused portion of the spectrum. Lo and behold, someone answered! On the far-end, I heard Lou (NQ7I) responding to my CQ. I replied but there was no answer so I quickly turned the boom to the south-west and replied again. Success! We established our contact and chatted for 10 or so minutes. And that folks, was my first HF (and DX) contact! Thank you very much for the patience and the kind words, Lou!

As it was getting late by this point (the museum closes at 17:00h) I tried for one last contact before packing up. I managed to log another contact with an American station (regretfully, the call-sign escapes me at the moment). And I almost managed to log a contact with a Brazilian station! Maybe next time.

As always, thanks to Ernie for his patient guidance, and thanks to Guy for showing me the ropes on the FLEX-3000 as well as the operating advice!


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