This morning I was in the shack futzin around and I flipped on 40M and it was DEAD DEAD. It was my own fault since I slept in any hope of grayline or exotic DX was long gone, or so I thought. I turned on 30M to maybe find a domestic QSO and heard VK2IR tearing it up on 10.112
He was so loud I was amazed. S9 at 8 AM long path? LP to FL from the continent of Australia is about 15500 miles, a fur piece.
We exchanged pleasantries and I put him in the log, and I looked VK2IR up on QRZ and I came to understand he was using a SteppIR dream beam on 30M. I sat and listened for about an hour as he continued to knock off one after another simplex in a very casual fashion, while I was doing other things and even an hour later he was still smokin into FL. Ham radio has changed a bit. It's still in many ways the same as when I started 53 years ago with a XTAL 6L6 and a Hallicrafters S40B. The same satisfaction of making a QSO with a distant station under remarkable conditions, but now I can look someone up as well and get a whole different insight into their life. I can look up the place they are operating from, and often view their station location on a satellite image. Sometimes I can even see the beam in the back yard. Amazing.