The bands have been treating me well lately, and I can say that in some ways I've definitely been bitten by the DX bug. These days, more often than not, if I see someone calling CQ in TX, AZ, or someplace else close by like that, I just pass. Part of that is that I've been busy with other things and don't have time for rag chewing, even though I enjoy that. But if I'm just sitting at the computer I'll keep the rig on and the DX map open, switch bands from time to time, and if I see a distant station on the waterfall I'll try and work them.
Since my last post I've worked:
UA0ZK – Kamchtaka/Russia – 3771 miles
UA0CAD – Khabarovsk/Russia – 4823 miles
TI2HAS – Escazu/Costa Rica – 3058 miles
JH3OWW – Japan – 5364 miles (!)
7L3LNF – Japan – 5160 miles
JH9FNB – Japan – 5215 miles
And hey, presto! Just as I was writing this and monitoring a pretty dead 15m band, up popped French Polynesia (Tahiti to be precise)! Took me a couple of tries but I got a QSO with FO8RZ, 4212 miles away. A new country! All of these contacts have been on ~5 watts and PSK31 with my crappy loop antenna laying on the roof. As Nick said a couple of weeks ago, "I think you've actually managed to get your whole building to resonate."
Catherine gave me an ARRL membership and subscription to QST for Christmas, and I've been reading the "Life Above 50 MHz" column with interest. My K2 can only do down to 10m, but I started to think about the fact that it would be a lot easier to set up a beam for 10m, or 6m, than it is for the higher bands. Hell, I could even build a 6m stack if I wanted to get crazy.
Someday when we own a house, a little tower and a big beam are going to be on the shopping list. Catherine can have whatever else she wants…