I’ve been doing CW Academy for about 4 weeks now—I’m officially at the half-way point. We’ve got most of the letters/numbers, and we’re starting to move into prosigns and typical QSO lingo. Having recently gotten my end-fed antenna back up at my house, I saw a SOTA spot on 40 meters last night, Keith KR7RK on CW. I figured I’d give it a shot!
I’m so glad I tried. There was a lot going on in my house at the time, but I went ahead and turned on the rig and tuned to the spotted frequency. I thought I heard a faint signal, so I closed the door and switch my SOTABeams filter to “narrow.” Then I was able to hear Keith’s signal pretty well! I listened to him call CQ, had a QSO with someone, then I heard him call CQ again.
It was a bit tough to hear him since I have a fair amount of noise at my location. Hearing him call CQ again, I was able to verify his callsign. I cranked my CW speed down to 13 WPM and sent my callsign. He sent back “MT?” — the last part of my callsign. So I sent it again. Again, he sent back “MT?” OK, I figured I should send it again, twice. This time he got it! He sent back my full callsign, and I didn’t pick up some of it but then heard “TU” and “559 559” which I knew was my signal report! I got so excited I almost forgot what to do. Since I’m doing CWOps CW Academy, I fell back on sending “BK UR RST 559 559 K.” I think that’s about all I sent—no “TU” or other niceties, but it did the trick. He sent back “TU dit-dit,” I sent “dit-dit” and that was it!
I wrote down the details to put in the log and tried to keep myself from shouting out loud. I still had to do the dishes and help get the kiddos to bed. But I gotta say, this really made my night! I can’t wait to get the next contact, and keep going!