So I turned the radio on this morning for the first time since last September. My wire dipoles are in a bit of a tangle from a winter of strong blowing winds but the SWR readings are still low so I ventured onto the bands. I heard a fair bit of activity on 40 but I prefer the WARC bands so I moved to 17M. The SWR was too high so I moved to 30M. With the exception of someone already in a ragchew QSO I dialed around and found nothing. I had my FT-817 set to 1W as usual and called CQ a time or two. Then I heard a weak response from Roger, W4RFT. I have him in my log on 20M but not 30. It was a very brief QSO where we exchanged 559s and then it dropped off. Roger shows as being 1100+ miles away in Florida so I was very happy that my first QSO in months was over 1000 Miles Per Watt. I really love this hobby.
I can't wait to work on replacing these 2 fan dipoles (2 bands each) with the same but made from ladder line (see previous post). I already ordered it from MacFarlane Electronics near Kingston, ON. To save on the shipping (which is almost half as much as the wire due to the weight) I will be picking it up at the Iroquois Amateur Radio Club's annual Flea Market on the 7th of April in Iroquois, Ontario.
Cheers for now,