Thursday, July 14, 2005

Interesting Night on the Ham Radio

I just had to add this to my blog, a post to a couple of ham radio forums that I frequent (slightly edited)

At my QTH (house), I was hearing a lot more APRS traffic and some digipeaters that I don’t normally hear, nothing too far away, but not normal for my setup. Suspecting good conditions for two meters (I knew that APRS setup would be helpful one day). I decided to hop in the car and run up on the mountain and call CQ on 146.58. First, I got a station from WV, about 40 miles from my location, but he doubled on another station. The WV station was mobile and I lost him, but I was hearing the doubled station much better. It sounded like he called phonetically, Kilo-Gulf-4-Sugar-Mike-Echo (sugar? Not a normal phonetic) KG4SME. He responded to me as N3PAV at first, I called again as November-3-Papa-Alpha-Quebec and he called back N3PAQ. The signal was very weak, but clear. Then, the West Virginia station called me again and I couldn’t reach KG4SME again, but I could still hear him talking with another station, didn’t get a call, but the name was Tom. After that I was talking to some stations about 45 – 50 miles to the east around Baltimore and Pasadena Md, the signals from the east seemed to be stronger than normal as well, which also could point to excellent two meter conditions.

If I didn’t copy the call sign wrong, and the station I copied at his QTH, that’s a distance of about 370 miles from my mobile (parked) location at about 1600 feet in Gambrills State Park here in Frederick Md. Is that even possible? I was running my 5/8 wave magnetic mount and Icom IC-V8000 at 75 watts, it just seems unlikely. I sent a letter (the closest thing I have to a QSL card) to the address listed for the call sign I think I heard, hopefully I will get a response confirming the QSL or not.

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