How in the H-E-double hockey sticks did I contact Sweden on only 5 watts with a 65 feet long piece of wire for an antenna?!?!

How in the H-E-double hockey sticks did I contact Sweden on only 5 watts with a 65 feet long piece of wire for an antenna?!?!

I participated in the CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest this weekend.  Actually, it was the YL’s birthday yesterday so when I say I “participated” what I really mean is that I turned the radio on a couple of times.  It’s still got three more hours left as of the time I clicked the “publish” button on this post.

Since I knew there would have to snowball fights in hell before I came anywhere close to being competitive, I figured I would have a little fun.  So I dialed down the RF Power setting to 5 watts and tried my hand at QRP for the first time.

I didn’t get too far into the weeds regarding the contest rules except to make sure I knew the exchange requirements.

QRP:  Operating on minimal power, typically 5 watts or less.

I figured since I wasn’t going to be submitting my log at least I could try and help a few folks out with extra points if they were available by contacting a QRP station.

I made some decent DX contacts on a piece of wire for an antenna and only 5 watts.  I worked mostly U.S. stations with one in Japan and another in Hawaii.

I decided I was done this morning when I contacted a station in Sweden!  I was spinning the dial looking for strong signals when I heard SJ2W calling CQ.  He was a solid 5-9 but I figured there was no way he was going to hear me.  According to QRZ.com he was 5,236 miles away.  I was more than surprised when he answered on my second call.  I logged the QSO in my QRZ account, rang the bell, and decided I was done with the contest.