Tag Archives: QSO

Confirmation

I feel like this is a milestone: I got my first QSL card!

QSL card from KM4LZM, front side

QSL card from KM4LZM, front side

QSL card from KM4LZM, back side

QSL card from KM4LZM, back side

In the days before computerized logs and log matching services, amateur radio enthusiasts exchanged these postcards confirming contact. Older and more experienced hams have stacks of these from all over. This is the first in my own collection. I guess it’s time for me to print some of my own to send out!

“QSL” is a ham shorthand code that means “I confirm receipt”. And yes, I fixed my log so it matches what’s actually in my handwritten logbook, which is close to what he has in his log.

So yeah. Thanks, George KM4LZM! A big salute to ya!

First QSO, First DX

So today was a crap day, but what happened when I left work and raised my antenna was a soothing balm that made everything alright. The good news is that today I made my very first HF contact (called a QSO) on the 20-meter band with my good radio. That’s a first. Also, on the very same contact, I made my first international contact (called a DX). On the same call!

Here’s a shout out to Gil VE2MAM from Quebec, Canada, who was calling CQ/DX to collect American counties. His signal was coming in strong and clear with a little bit of fading, so I decided to give it a try. I turned up my amp power, keyed up my mic, and responded with my callsign. He eventually heard me in the noise and we had an exchange of signal reports and a few other things like my location and county. I gave him a “59” signal report, meaning he was readable and had a strong signal. He gave me a “555”, meaning I was readable, my signal was fairly good, but there was some modulation on my signal (these can be dealt with).

I’m just happy that I’m finally learning how to make it happen. As it turns out, the modular vertical antenna I’ve been using (which is ultra-portable) isn’t so good for making anything other than regional contacts. It’s easy to set up and tune, but it’s just not that efficient at putting out a radio signal. What i did tonight was string my 20-meter dipole between two trees in Mueller park. It took me a little bit of trial and error to throw the ropes high enough and get enough distance between trees so the antenna wasn’t in the branches, but I figured it out.

Gil, I certainly hope your log of our QSO doesn’t need me to submit a log from my end for you to get credit, but it was nice talking with you. 73, good sir. Merci!

First QSO, 14.289MHz 20170609 0:00 UTC

20-meter dipole strung between two trees