The lunchtime net today was kind of crazy. I tried to hop onto the back-end, but couldn't get my foot in the door. Really weird conditions, with Barry SA7GDB suddenly coming in stronger than anyone else on the frequency (except Peter obviously!)
Barry was landing here in the northern reaches of Burgess Hill at S9+40 and crystal audio like he was on the other side of the road. Never actually heard his voice properly before, always too weak to discern any real tonality. From around 13:40 GMT until the end of the net at around 14:10 GMT it remained the same. Everyone could hear Russell, and well, basically everyone could hear everyone else. It was quite exciting! I could hear Bob and David despite the S7 noise level I experience here at home.
Given that, I thought I'd do a bit of late-night data hurling. At 1am 40M was buzzing. 80M doesn't tune very well on my antenna, but I managed to get a little bit of business done, and then I thought I'd have a listen on 160M to see if it was open. Not sure why, but I then decided to try and get enough of a tune on my 40M EFHW to put out a handful of watts. I've never transmitted on top band before but to my amazement, if I truly wrang the neck of my manual tuner, I could get 50W down the coax without too much buttock-clenching - far more comfortable than on 80M in fact.
So, a first for me - top-band QSOs! Very happy with that. Not sure why I didn't try it sooner. You live and learn as they say. In my case, a lot!
Click the image to enlarge.