I reprised my routine of looking around the bands early while the coffee was still brewing this morning. That was easier to do because I happened to have the IC-705 setup on the kitchen table, connected to the CHA-MPAS Lite antenna in anticipation of the Spartan Sprint last night. That limited me to just ten watts though that isn’t so much a disadvantage as it is a challenge.
Early morning, 20 meters, FT8, no problem. Signals from South America and Europe were steady as she goes. Nothing new there so I just played bystander and watched some of that action scroll by on the screen. Then suddenly a strong signal from down under calling CQ. I worked VK3GE on the first call. Geoff is located just a bit NW of Melbourne in a village called Diggers Rest. When the coffee was finished I uploaded my log to LoTW and saw that he had already done the same. Worked, logged, and confirmed in just minutes. It’s the only way to ham!
It’s good that I’m reminded every now and again how easy DX can be using low-power and a modest antenna because our search for a new place to live might be over. We found a home we like and have made an offer that has been accepted. It’s not a done deal yet as there are a few stones left unturned (appraisals, inspections, etc.), but maybe the search is over?
It’s a nice place with many features and benefits though excess room to grow an antenna farm isn’t one of them. There’s no prohibition against towers, but I can see how that might rile the neighbors. Besides, I have considerable experience and much success with low-power and modest antennas on a small lot and see this as just another engineering challenge. Big antennas and lots of RF energy are reserved for weak radio operators, right?