My First-Ever QSO -- 50 Years After Passing Ham Test

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by G3EDM, Aug 27, 2021.

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  1. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    "55" is a specific German abbreviation and stands for "viel Erfolg" or approximately "Good Hunting".

    The origins of "55" are however "interesting", and can be found here:

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  2. G3EDM

    G3EDM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Rather meagre results this New Year. A dozen QSOs in 10 days, with quite a few of them truncated by QSB.

    This morning however I see the first signs of a (faint) opening to the Northeast USA:


    Will continue doggedly calling CQ for a while with my 7W pea-shooter, although when listening for replies, I hear absolutely nothing several kHz on either side of the sending frequency, most of the time.

    "Grey line" time is coming up and that is often propitious....

    73 de Martin, G3EDM
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  3. G0CIQ

    G0CIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I saw you had been calling cq at 1630 today, changed band to 40m to see if I could hear you and....CQ TEST MWC which as far as I can determine is a Czech memorial contest from 1630-1730 so all I'm hearing is wall to wall EU stations!
  4. G3EDM

    G3EDM Ham Member QRZ Page

    At this end it just sounds like bedlam, which is typical for my regenerative receiver at this time of day (early evening). It is all European traffic. BTW I seldom hear any UK stations at all, and when I do, they are relatively distant (Scotland for instance). Which makes sense given the 40m skip distance. The best time of day for my primitive rig continues to be the early morning hours. Had a good QSO with a Swedish ham this morning (actually, a repeat QSO, the first one was in November) on 7030 kHz and it was very easy to copy. But by early evening that frequency is ... just a massive pileup, on my receiver.

    Rig improvements are in the offing ... just hard to say when that "offing" will be.

    73 de Martin, G3EDM
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  5. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I admire your tenacity and persistence with your rig, Martin. It's impressive.

    I can only imagine what you'd do with a modern rig ;) But I realize that's not in your plans and I respect that too.

    Kudos. Keep it up. You're an inspiration

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  6. G3EDM

    G3EDM Ham Member QRZ Page

    My inspirations are the guys like you who also started out with anemic QRP rigs (Heathkit HW-7 I think?) so you know what I am experiencing!

    Whether it is easier or harder now than in the 1970s is a matter for debate. QRP is an established "thing" in its own right although that's not ultimately my goal or philosophy. To me, it makes sense in a portable context: especially, things like SOTA.

    I'm scoring QSOs along the way and having fun, which is what matters.

    This is just the first of many homebrewed rigs!!!

    73 de Martin, G3EDM
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  7. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    It was somewhat easier in 1970, because there was more activity, less RFI, more patience and people listened more and better.

    Also, the receivers of "yesteryear" had selectivity curves that enabled even "off-frequency" calls to be received.

    I am also "chiming in" on Dave's comments.

    It is exactly the kind of radio amateurs like Martin we need, tenacious enough to learn Morse and build their own equipment, and patient enough to operate with this performance level.

    If just 5 or 10 % of all new amateurs showed this quality, we would be in a very much better situation.

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  8. G3EDM

    G3EDM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Operated for a couple of hours early this morning. As usual, monoband 40m CW at 7 watts.

    Heard lots of traffic: Greece, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Norway, Russia ... to mention only the countries I don't "have" yet.

    Called CQ a lot, and attempted to answer CQs too.

    Had a single QSO, with an English ham in Bristol, 280kms away....

    73 de Martin, G3EDM
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2022
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  9. G3EDM

    G3EDM Ham Member QRZ Page

    This has now been implemented. It took a while to order the supplies. Then today, a whole (long) afternoon to write in the data.

    I used 5" x 3" cards (the smallest size) because my shack is exiguous. Each card has enough space for 19 callsigns (9 on the front, 10 on the back) which should work quite well without needing additional cards for a long time!

    There are 702 cards. That is 26 for each letter pair (times 26) plus an additional card for (rare!) single-letter suffixes (these could have been rolled into the paired letters but I found that too confusing).

    In the 4.5 months that I have been on the air, I have scored a modest 114 QSOs and this made the creation of this card index not too time consuming!

    It was essential to set up something like this. The past week has been a sort of "Groundhog Day" with about half of my dozen QSOs being with repeat contacts (why? just random chance apparently; none of them were "skeds"). At my age (64) I am unlikely to remember callsigns from QSOs several months ago....

    The main point of this index is:
    • To avoid exchanging basic info once again: first name, and QTH.
    • Perhaps more importantly, to resume the conversation with new stuff. If it's a repeat QSO, the other ham already knows my basic info so it is good to get a bit more expansive.
    I am a bit surprised that there is not a Q-code that conveys the following" "We've had a QSO before, on this date" followed by the date. I have been trying to send that info during QSOs but it is quite long-winded:

    "DR OM WE ALREADY SPOKE ON DECEMBER 12" or something like that.



    I adopted the system suggested by Karl-Arne, except:
    • I did not record QSL info (that's in the logbook).
    • I added a count of the number of QSOs with the ham in question. ("Stick" counting.)

    73 de Martin, G3EDM
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  10. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

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