Annual Winter Workout on 160

I’m doing the Winter Workout thing on Top Band. With the blessing of the weather gods who let me keep the tower and low band wires up in the sky.

I don’t know what to think. Two days ago there was some hurrah on the Top Band reflector mentioning good propagation. I replied but the mail seems to have never reached the reflector. The sentiment I expressed was (nutshell):

►  Propagation good, activity poor. Not much CW signals around when I’m active yet the RBN picks me up.

►  Please don’t tell me even low band people are trading paddles for keyboards and mice?

It’s good that this message bounced because that night I worked more USA than the sum of the previous days. And so I settled in the annual get up early and go to bed late routine. I focus on 160 because everything outside of EU there is a thrill and 30m because it’s my favorite band. I avoid 80 and 40 because I hang around there already in the contests. Last night wasn’t really great either. Propagation was so-so but there wasn’t much to be worked. I tried 30m but it that band turned out disappointing too. So I was about to quit and go to bed. Nevertheless I decided to launch a few CQ CQ on Top Band before calling it a day.

Suddenly I got answered by KL7SB. KL7! Ab-so-lu-te-ly a new one on 160. Good signal, easy copy – logged. A new country worked on 160. I was euphoric. I haven’t even worked Alaska on 80m! But now the KL7 box is checked on 160.

Later on I gave it some thought. It’s a new one but why is it special? Is it special? Distance between the KL7RA station (which KL7SB was operating) and myself is 7400km, beam heading 345° or so. That’s not really far away and it’s not a true polar path. So that doesn’t make it an accomplishment. Alaska is not really rare either. There aren’t thousands of hams there (?) and there are not many of them on the air at once. But it’s not one of the Dakotas or WY is it? I guess KH6 will be harder to work on 160m.

Nevertheless I am grateful that Steve KL7SB called me and I am glad to finally have worked a new one. It’s been a while. Mostly because I’m only there in the major contests and I’ve been doing SB40/80 lately in CQWW.

This morning the bands were a bust again. The K index was 4. Ouch. It peaked at five earlier today. The sun is setting over me. I think I’ll take a raincheck this time.

Tomorrow: Stew Perry. That should bring out some potent signals on the band. Including mine  ☺

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