More radio

My parents are visiting for a while. I've had a few days off work, so I've been heading over to Queen's Park in the morning with my dad to do some radio. The weather hasn't been great, so I've been trying some spots near picnic benches so we at least have a place to sit. And I got some QSOs!

First up on 40m was Alan, K7FD in Seal Rock, Oregon via CW on Thursday the 28th. This was only my 2nd CW QSO, and I'm still having a hard time copying it. Fortunately, I was able to record it and go back later to transcribe; unfortunately, I referred to him by the wrong call sign twice in the exchange. headdesk Fortunately he seemed to have a good sense of humour about it. My dad took this picture:

CW in Queen's Park

Second on 20m was Steve, N7MZP in Sand Point, Idaho via SSB (!) today. Eli accompanied me and Dad to the park, and was happy I'd managed a contact:

SSB in Queen's Park

I answered his CQ, and was quite surprised to hear him come back to me -- I have not had great luck with SSB so far (which isn't surprising, given that I'm only running 15W). The report I got was 52 up to 54, with some fading that we both noticed.

For all these contacts, I've been using a dipole or inverted vee, rather than the end-fed random wire with EARCHI matcher. Last weekend I found the Coquitlam club's Field Day setup, and one of the folks I talked to convince me to give dipoles a try. I think I'm noticing a lot less noise, but haven't yet done a side-by-side comparison.