You wouldn’t think this would be my first ever confirmed QSO, but yet here it is.
I spent ten years as a category 4 amateur, never getting around to actually going through with the full license, so I couldn’t have shortwave contacts. On VHF/UHF, confirmed contacts are an exception rather than the norm, you only bother to do that when you do something spectacular. Now that I got a full CEPT-compatible license, I can actually call beyond my own backyard.
With the quarantine, with my radio suffering from old age, and with not having a proper shortwave antenna, six months passed between me renewing the license and finally clocking in a contact.
But earlier this summer, I finally set up a permanent antenna. Which happens to be a piece of magnet wire selected for its stealth properties in dense urban jungle, rather than something actually nice, but you get what you can where you can.
WSPR is a digital protocol which is basically used to test propagation and whether your antenna works, and is generally not manned – it’s a network of automated receivers siphoning data about what they have heard off into the net. And even though robots seem to hear me just fine, it took a while before a human responded:
Might not be worth much for anyone else, but for me it’s a bit of a milestone.