Last December my friend of many many years retired and moved to Tennessee way out in the mountains...and far up at the end of a country lane.
He has been moving his household trip by trip as he is no longer on the clock as are so many of us.
We are both Hams and having started so many years ago on the CB bands and once we got our tickets we continued to carry on via radio rather than phones. We are both not phonaholics so to speak.
With all the other complexities of moving and setting up a new household...setting up his radio station has not been a priority.
But the last two days he managed to shoot his antenna up high in the trees...a 160 meter dipole...via a home made air cannon.
Last night... and for the first time since he moved..we managed to hook up on the 160 meter band on lower sideband.
He is out near Johnson City, Tennessee and we figure the distance is some 400 miles.
Copy was good with some static crashes in there.
His signal was 9 to 10 over and audio quality was good. We were running barefoot with only the 100 watts in the radio.
It was good to know that our systems were so capable...and I am making plans to get my Ameritron 811 H amplifier back on line. I'd like to be able to bring my signal up to some 200 watts when the static is thick and get just above the static level.
Also we will be exploring 75 and 60 meters.
He is trying to brush up on his morse code skills to have this option to put into place should conditions get very bad on the airways.
It was good to hook up once again with my friend on the radio. Locally here we would use the 2 meter band on local repeaters and often QSY off to use 2 meter SSB.
Now we know we can make it over this distance.
It is good to hear my friend once again on the airwaves.