Wednesday, December 21, 2011

KJ6TFT's First QSO, My First QSL

My daughter's call sign showed up in the FCC ULS database today.

First QSO

I sent her out to the driveway with my 2M HT while I sat inside with my Kenwood TS-700A base station. I had a yagi up on the roof, in horizontal orientation so that I could try out SSB, but I figured at a distance of fifty feet or so orientation wouldn't matter much. I'd set the HT to the simplex frequency 147.510, and had been listening in on that frequency on the base station for a while to see if anyone else was using it.

The frequency was clear, my daughter was outside the house a way, I waved through the window to let her know to go ahead. She called me just fine, "AG6HU this is KJ6TFT." It came in clear on the Kenwood, I came back, "KJ6TFT, this is AG6HU. You're coming in five by nine."

"That's great! KJ6TFT."

"Do you want to give me a signal report?"

"Oh, yeah. You're loud and clear. KJ6TFT."

"Thanks. QSL?"

"What's that? KJ6TFT."

"It's confirmation of contact. Do you agree to confirm our contact?"

"Oh. I thought that was QSO. KJ6TFT."

"That's a communication. Like, Q Signal Out. It can be confusing. So, QSL?"

"Yeah, QSL. KJ6TFT."

"Great. Thanks. AG6HU clear."

"KJ6TFT clear."

You can read my daughter's account of her first contact here.

First QSL

After our communication I pulled up GIMP to make a special one-off QSL card for her. I printed it out on 110# cover stock and coated it with a clear fixative. That stiffened it up nicely. Here's my quick and dirty one-off QSL card:

AG6HU Radio to the World (or at least to the driveway.)

Afterward, I let her know that she didn't have to give her call sign on every transmission. I also had a quick look at the Kenwood. The antenna wasn't plugged in at all! Worrying about polarization is pretty meaningless when you're putting out RF from nothing more than an SO-239 plug. Still, we made the contact. But next time I think I'll at least stick a piece of hangar wire into the plug. ;)

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