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Marriage...or 10 meters

In the 50’s, I was an avid shortwave listener as a youth. I didn’t realize then that I was living through what was to be one of the hottest DX seasons in modern times because of the timing of the sun cycle. I was just young and loved listening to the world on the radio. Then, life got complicated. We moved. My radios got lost in the many family transitions and shortwave/ham radio was not part of my life until my Physics professor in college rekindled my interest in radio. To jump start me, he gave me his old rig when he was upgrading…and so my second career in ham radio was born.

When I finally did get licensed, 10 meters was good…and I suspect I took it for granted back then. I didn’t realize how fleeting and elusive radio could be. I worked the world chasing all sorts of stations in Europe and Russia, all without much effort. I even got a 10-10 number. Then we went to a solar minimum and the bottom dropped out…for a long, long time. Like no 10 meters for years. It was a dark uncertain place…but one that I had somehow gotten used to. Flash forward to about a week or two ago…

There was this little contest…CQ WW SSB…and I had a little problem. Seems that this contest fell exactly on the same weekend as my 34th wedding anniversary! So, I didn’t really expect to do much operating, like none…and off we headed for a weekend retreat in a hotel in Wisconsin. That is when I first learned of the most spectacular 10 meter event that was unfolding before us all.

My smart phone was buzzing with reports of the incredible band openings on 10 and 15. I tried to put all of that out of my mind until I got home early on Sunday morning. First thing I did was turn on the HF rig…and to my absolute amazement, I heard too what others had been saying. I started working at the farthest end of 10 meters, 28,999 and worked my way slowly back. I have never heard so many signals from so many stations up and down that band. I was simply amazed. I was just searching and pouncing, but I worked all sorts of new countries. I am still a little overwhelmed by the experience…and I only had a small taste of the fun. I hope you had a chance to participate or at least listen to the opening. I don’t know what was happening that weekend that caused all of this excitement (although it does make one wonder how many other days there are similar opening and no one is there to take advantage of it.)

For a few hours on Sunday, the magic was back in a big way…and then the contest died, work called (deadlines don’t seem to go away) and the 10 meter band was silent again, but the memory and excitement was there. Kind of keeps you going!

Hope you had a great weekend…get on the radio and have a terrific Thanksgiving. Be grateful that we have a little RF in our lives!