Last night, at 0100 local, I worked Martti Lane, OH2BH, on 80 meter SSB. No big deal, but it was a real thrill for me. Martti is a DXer of legend, lore, AND fact. He's like Danny Weil, Lloyd and Iris Colvin of the last century...a guy who expemplifies everything that is good in the hobby, has done so much international goodwill with his selfless time and endless energy.
Making a QSO with Martti is an honor and a thrill for me, a junior DXer who hopes one day to reach the honor roll of DXCC. I have worked him on CW before, but never on SSB. It was a medium-sized pileup, and I broke through on the second try only because Martti was (as usual) following a very consistent pattern to the pileup. He waited for the chaos to die down after 3 seconds, then picked the first call he heard. I guessed right and made it through with 100 wats and my dipole at 44 feet! This QSO, combined with the one with John Devoldere ON4UN of Low Band DXing fame, will be two that I will remember for my lifetime.
Anyway...it's 0100 local now Saturday night/Sunday morning, and I am on 40 CW, MINUS MY BELOVED F3K (no worries, the folks at Flex ALREADY have it repaired! Back in the mail this week, AWESOME customer service!). I can see some interesting spots for South Cook (E51), but nothing new. I have the Zero-Five 43 foot vertical online, after replacing the remote CG-3000 antenna tuner earlier today (I think water permeated it, but that's a separate story). Suddenly, I see a spot for JA. Probably from Europe, since they are both about on the gray line this time of year. I check it out, and it's from a W4. So I tune there, hear a watery signal RST 529, copy JA7DLE, call him twice, he gets my call, BAM he is in the log. I have ONE JA QSO on 80, and this is my SECOND EVER on 40 (the other is JM7OLW, have worked him several times on 20 and once on 40). The vertical is WORKING! What is neat about this is that it happens while I can hear EU stations 599 AND South Cook Islands 559. So I am copying Pacific, JA, AND Europe at the same time. ANd still an hour until sunset for JA. WOW, 40 meters is impressive.
That is quite a NEAT situation. I can remember doing that on 20 meters late at night in 1990, when I lived in Georgia, during the solar peak of cycle 22. But that is to be expected on 20, especially at the peak of the solar cycle.
But on 40 meters? With a vertical antenna? Never would have guessed it could happen to me!
So WHAT IS THAT SOUND? It's a JA station...I am working Asia, my intended target for DX!
73 and good DX!