Cross mode QSO and more fun
Conditions were much better today than the previous two. Paul picked up another 30+ contacts today and his count stands at 152. It looks like we'll produce about 200 data mode contacts from this effort.
I was able to work Dave Bushong (one of our pilots) today. We just found a blank spot on 15 and had a nice chat. Of course he's been supporting our efforts behind the scene. My hat's off to you, Dave!
I was making a run on 17m when somebody mentioned that there was a CW station trying to contact me. I had not heard it because I run with the notch filter on half the time (to fight off the tuner-up-ers). Unfortunately, this nice DSP feature also nicely notches out any CW signals.
I removed the notch filter and tried to listen. I don't know if I'm unique here, but when I'm in the middle of a big run my mind is isn't too nimble. In the middle of a pile-up I can pull out three call signs but not answer a simple question like "are you hungry". So, when this CW came in my mind turned to clay. Think Scott! Sit up straight. Tell everybody else to hold off calling me. Listen. K 4 T w J . OK, I copied K4TWJ, give me a roger if that is correct. R. OK. I gave him a signal report, he gave me a signal report, 73, and so on. I'm almost out of my trance at this point but still not awake enough to see the name in the log. It was Dave Ingram (K4TWJ), author and famous QRPer. What fun!
Dave called back later on SSB and we had a quick chat. This quick cross-mode QSO was one of the most fun parts of the trip, probably because it was so unexpected! Thanks, Dave. You really made me smile.
The equipment is holding up quite well down here. The IC-7000s are workhorses. The ICE filters are working very well now that we've got reasonable antenna separation. In fact, we've had no failures here on any equipment that wasn't due to abuse (like falling off a roof!).
The challenge now will be to get everything back into their cases and packed for the return trip. That is tomorrow's assignment. Now, it is Superbowl time. Our hosts here at Gingerbread Hill, who have treated us like kings, have invited us up for a pizza and Superbowl party!
They've made this a very, very ham-friendly place. David, Clover, and company have been very generous and kind. If you ever wished to see this amazing island, stay at Gingerbread Hill.
Just a couple more sessions in front of the radio then back to the cold. I am ready to come home, though. It has been a good trip. 73 from Montserrat.