I don’t know why I see these little stories in my head to explain how an experience “feels”, but I can only describe yesterday’s fun on 17 meters as a rush of butterflies and chasing a field full of them all over the place while laughing gleefully.
Which one to chase first?! Oh! that one is from New York, and that one is from Switzerland, and look at the one from Bolivia! There were just so many.
I detailed earlier the work I did to get the 17m hamstick to tune more or less properly on my new heavier quad-mount for the window.
But that work took me well into the evening and I was not able to test the propagation of that antenna till the following day.
So the following morning I completed the connections to the radio, hung out the counterpoise wire below the antenna, and got cringing, turned on the radio.
Oh. My. Word.
Now I like 20m generally, it’s busy, and easy to work when open. But I have NEVER seen as a much traffic from all over the world scrolling up the band activity screen in WSJT-X at once even on 20, as I saw when I tuned over to 17m for the first time.
I could hardly read the call signs before they scrolled up off the screen, there were so many.
It kept me glued to the laptop and radio for nearly the whole day!
My Butterfly Collection… er.. Results 🙂
Over all, I got 45 contacts in one day– a personal best.
I contacted 17 states, 14 of which have confirmed already.
I cleared my 500th US county, and grabbed 24 grids on 17m, plus 19 confirmed towards the World Radio Friendship award for the 17m band.
It was a good day for DX for me also, including Alaska, Chile, Brazil, France, Canada, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.
I also spent happy hours chasing New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Italy, Costa Rica, Belize, and Switzerland to name a few. Though the stars didn’t align to allow me to actually CATCH them yesterday, I have faith that will happen on 17m eventually (because you can’t catch stations you can’t hear, and I could finally hear them).
Anyway– let’s just say I had more fun than I can remember in a while. 🙂