On August 27 2016, while participating in the W/VE Island QSO Party, a clear CQ call from a NPOTA station was heard at the top boundary of the QRP region in the CW portion of the 20m band. The calling station was KV4RH. After manually sending my full callsign (VA3PCJ) I heard a request for the V station to repeat the callsign. I operate QSK and could hear another station signal over my transmission. However, Ben KV4RH kept asking for a reply from the V station and the V station only. This happened several times but we both persevered and eventually, in spite of the QRM, Ben confirmed my callsign and exchanged reports thus completing the QSO, which has since been reciprocally QSL’ed both in eQSL and LoTW.
I also received an email from Ben. In his own words: “my uncertainty about your call was in no way a function of your signal quality or CW skills” but due to “the gentleman with the 599+40 signal that kept QRMing our exchanges, and who did not have a V anywhere in his callsign”. I also had heard the “gentleman” signal, but in my station it had been far fainter than in Ben’s. Hence, the QRM burden for this QSO was all on Ben’s side, and the credit for its completion is also entirely his. Thank you Ben KV4RH, much appreciated.
But this QSO was unique in more ways than one: Ben and myself were operating very similar equipment in quite similar conditions: He was operating QRP/P under the trees in Congaree National Park (NP-12) in South Carolina, with a battery powered Elecraft KX3 and “an EF wire slung in the trees, sloping at about 50 degrees, fed through a 9:1 by W1SFR”. About 800 miles almost due North, I was operating QRP/P under the elms, maples and oaks of the “Carolinian Forest” in Aylmer Island (ON 295), also with a battery powered Elecraft KX3 and an end-fed wire antenna: the W3EDP Jr. leaning almost vertically against an elm-tree, fed through a 4:1 unun by LDG: