Being stuck at home with a gently swelling left side of my face – it's supposed to do that after a trip to the oral surgeon; all is well – it was a good day to work PSK31 digital mode contacts on ham radio. Snagged the Whiskey Rebellion Festival special event station. I like history and I like whiskey, so that was a home run. (By the way, "special event stations" are something ham clubs set up at festivals, on historic occasions, etc. It's kind of like how running clubs will put on a 5K for nearly any excuse.) Anyway, I also had a handful of other digital conversations in the US, but I got started a little late in the day for Europe. Maybe get some of those this morning.
The real coup though getting on the air to a friend in Biloxi, all of 25 miles away. Coordinating through the club's repeater, we managed to get his Windows magic elf box sorted out and able to do the encode/decode. We were sending on 40 meters, bouncing NVIS signals off the ionosphere to beat the curvature of the Earth. Worked like a charm.
NVIS conceptual drawing. Some assembly required. Mountains not included.
Then we started turning down the power, and still maintained effortless contact at 1 Watt. That was the cool part. Of course, it was the +26 dB advantage PSK31 brings to the table relative to voice communications that did the trick here. Well, I've said it before but here it is again. PSK31:
It's kind of like The Matrix, only much, much nerdier.