When the K7K island expedition got underway yesterday I caught them on 20 meters using FT8 in Fox and Hound mode. It happened pretty fast, a few calls and an RR73 coming back at me. As these things go it was as painless as it gets and certainly beats sitting for hours in a dogpile.
A few hours later I saw them spotted on 17 meters using CW. I don’t know who the operator was for that shift but he was good. Smooth as silk, listening up a little when I worked him. Another painless interaction. Good.
I left the radio on frequency and turned the volume up so I could still hear it in the background while I was in another room. I get a kick out of listening (after I’ve made contact!) to the station reeling off callers while getting some sense for his band conditions by the call signs being repeated.
Because he was operating split I never heard the pile, just the K7K operator. On occasion some lost soul would wander in and call him on his frequency, but otherwise it was just the expedition signal. Strong, clear, and smooth.
An hour or so into this transcendental CW listening exercise something obvious occurred to me. You can’t do this on FT8. Just a random thought though I did sorta high-five myself (in my head) for having thought of it…