Well, I have to take a moment to brag. It just wouldn't be the same if I didn't. Last night I contacted W1AW/KL7 from East TN on a dipole that's about 40 feet in the air utilizing approximately 400W. That's right folks! I talked to Neil in the Arctic Circle. *insert crazy arctic circle dance here* (on a side note: it was also the first time I ever operated a split)
He was a dropping out a lot on me, and I wasn't certain I'd be able to hear him with all the QSB. He would fade in and stay strong for a good 3-4 minutes, and then he'd drop out and I would barely be able to hear him. So, the minute he came in strong again, I took a gamble. He came right back to me. Gave me a 5-9 with QSB, told me his name and a little about the Special Event. I went back to him and told my name, QTH, and gave him a generous 5-4 -- seeing how I had to hold the headphones down on my ear using my shoulder just to hear past the noise.
After that, Tim (AJ4JD) and Dad (KU4ME) were both brave enough (hi hi) to try them, and they got them, too.
I have to thank Dad though, for the new toy that helped our signal get there. He purchased a used Ameritron AL-811 day before yesterday, and he let us come play with it last night.
I made two other contacts, KC2FTN (NY) and N5AQR (TX) by calling CQ, and would have made more, but the band was falling out on me and I was having a hard time hearing anyone.
Maybe the bands will be good this weekend. I hear there is a Lighthouse Special Event coming up in a couple of weeks (Aug 16-17) and I think I'd like to work them. Gotta read more on it.