My first QSO with the Gold Dust Twins was with Wayne, N7NG
FINALLY – it was so ironic today – skip was longer than expected, and the RBN reverse beacon stations heard me – as far away as Uruguay, and very strong into the PNW, but I couldn’t get an answer.
Luckily, my DX buddy Wayne, N7NG responded to a pleas I made on the NCDXC email chat – and voila – QSO done.
I used the Begali straight key and my DX Engineering DV-40-P phased vertical array. There was a solar disturbance, and the band sure seemed affected by it – even though the CME missed earth. It still seemed to render the band almost useless.
Another factor is – no one seems to want to just answer CQ’s, Sure – my straight key sending is old and rickety, but good enough for the beacons to recognize my 15 – 18 wpm sending.
Wayne gave me a 599+ and said I had a great signal – so there must be spotlight propagation – it seems the signal strength to the PNW RBN stations were all by far the highest readings of any direction.
OK – this is a really big deal for me. Tomorrow I will replace the temporary plastic shim that I used to prop up the “slug rack” that has a broken brass tape at one end and then I can use it as intended. But my silly plastic shim did the trick!