I haven’t got out and called CQ on SSB for quite a while – only time recently was to get Z60A in the log one lunchtime, job done 🙂
Most recently I’ve been playing with 10m FT8 just whilst I fiddle in the shack – surprising and most enjoyable to catch a quick QSO as the band opens and closes for those few seconds, just enough to make a contact.
So after trying to play SSB radio a few times the last month or two only to be caught out with work or family commitments it was nice to eventually get out yesterday afternoon for 2-3 hours – using my FT857, the mobile generic 40, 20 & 17m antennas that attach to the car (they are the 4′ of loading coil and 4′ of whip generic type mobile antennas) – The results were poor to say the least – it was like I was QRP – two great signal reports from Germany & Serbia of 59+ on my first venture on to 40m and all was looking positive but after that – nothing – I couldn’t get heard states side, some really strong stations from across the pond but their kW outputs lulled me in to a false sense of security that I would make it across – a failed attempt or two and so I called CQ for 10/15 minutes on each of the three bands with zero results…
However it was nice to get out and next time I’ll take the 40/20m linked dipole I made for the trip to Herm last year – but I’ll need a new location with convenient trees as what I made was too heavy for the 40′ spiderbeam pole. lessons learnt – new incarnation of it soon though 🙂