I decided to try 40m seeing that Thos had recently erected a purpose-built homebrew quarter-wave 40m vertical with eight quarter-wave verticals. It's working well if the night's contact were anything to go by.
I brought my own Kent paddle. I can't get used to Thos' home-brew saw-blade key just yet. Before hitting CW I worked A92IO, David in Bahrain. David is also licenced here as EI3IO. That was a new country for me and indeed I got an AG eQSL when I got home from David so I'm up to 55 confirmed countries.
I started CQing on 7.024.0 CW and was pretty soon working a pile-up. There was, as one might expect, lots of European stuff with prefixes such as SM, DL, YU, EA, G3, OK, PA, OE, LA, Z3, 9A, IK, F5, SV, GM, EW, EI, and SP and not forgetting lots of Ukraine and Russia. But there were a few good DX contacts also. I nabbed LW6DJQ, Luis from Argentina, which was a very nice one, and also PR7GY in Brazil. Probably the nicest contact of the night, and a new country for me, was ZP5KO in Paraguay. I was particularly thrilled with that one.
I had to give up at midnight (work in the morning etc etc) but when I got home there was a nice email from one of the Italians I had worked. Apparently I was his first ever CW contact! Here's what he said:
we had a contact on 40m CW abt an hour ago, and it was my first CW
contact ever, so I wanted to let you know :-)
Also, I was using a homebrew rig, the NorCal 40A from Wilderness Radio,
with only a couple of watts into a random wire on the roof, which makes
this first contact even more remarkable to me!
TU fer ur time, hpe to work you again soon!
73 de Carlo, IZ4KBS
Thanks indeed Carlo, and best of luck with CW - it really is a great mode!