Saturday resulted in an all-time-new-one and a QSO with a friend I haven’t worked in several years.
After answering a CQ from an EA7 and having a short QSO on 17 CQ, I checked the spots on DX Heat, hoping to find VP8SGI while I still could. In doing so I stumbled upon 3B8HC calling CQ on 12 meter phone. Now I have 3B8 in the log several times, mainly with Jacky, 3B8CF, but I don’t often work phone outside of contests, and I’m not on 12 meters much. Hearing Paul, 3B8HC I gave it a shot, and my 100 watts made it halfway around the world. Paul gave me a five-nine and went on, but it’s a new band-country.
A few hours later I was checking the spots again and recognized the call of Eddie, AB3AH, with whom I had first QSO’d maybe fifteen years ago during Kids’ Day. Eddie’s an Eagle Scout and avid outdoorsman and was activating HP-46, Valley Forge National Historical Park, as part of National Parks On The Air, on 40 meter phone. (Ironically, Eddie is another CW nut like me, only he can do 40WPM with ease, and here were two CW guys working each other on phone.) It was my first NPOTA QSO and though we couldn’t chat (he had a pileup, as do many of the NPOTA activations), it was good to work a familiar call again.
My patience paid off as I heard VP8SGI on 30 meter CW with a good enough signal to be able to tell who they were replying to. I tuned up a few kHz and called, and after several attempts got NF?. I sent my call and got NF8?, and after a couple repeats heard them call me back. I signed 599TU and put an ATNO in the log, hours before they went QRT due to worsening weather conditions.