International Technologies in a 2-Watt DX QSO

Yesterday, I set to operate portable from my small backyard, with a Canada-assembled US-designed Elecraft KX1 at 2 Watts and a US-made PAR EndFedZ 20m-band antenna held up with a telescopic pole leaning against a Canadian maple tree. Given current conditions I was expecting only to practice CW receiving, which was what I did for a while. Then I heard Jo UT5UJO calling CQ from Kiev, Ukraine. His CQ was being echoed by a small pile-up of US stations. I had contacted him one month ago from Rockland, Ontario (with the KX3 at 5W and a homebrewed W3EDP) and decided to give him a try: we ended exchanging 599 RST’s (in his case it was real), names, city QTHs, 73’s and calling each other by our given names. Given current propagation conditions I was very surprised that Jo could hear my 2W signal so clearly. But then in QRZ.com I found the main reason for our success: Jo has a huge tower with an impressive piece of German technology: a humungous 10-15-20 Optibeam OB16-3 (OB16-3). And so was I: the 10-meter long wire of the 20m PAR EndFedZ was being held up the tree with a telescopic pole by Walter Spieth, DK9SQ (and by-the-way, the key I was using was also German: a Palm Radio single paddle).

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