Concerning radio contacts, many times it’s just a matter of being patient and waiting for the propagation conditions to build up.
I left work at 18h35 local (16h35 utc) and headed to my owned house in the village because I had to do the mowing, but I sat in the shack first, of course…
After a while, I saw @AC7P spotted on 14.062, went to the frequency and started to hear some of the usual chasers making QSO with him, but Don AC7P wasn’t copiable, yet…
Sometimes, I could barely have the feel that he was transmitting but copying his code was absolutely impossible.
I knew the propagation conditions would improve with the time, so I remained in the frequency stalking for Don, who was activating W0M/ES-003.
I can’t exactly say for how long I waited (about 10 minutes or so) but, suddenly, I started to partly copy him CQing. With an extremely weak signal and QSB but I was able to copy his CQ SOTA and his callsign.
At that point I switched my TL-922 amp ON and gave him a call with about 900 watts into my TH5-DX yagi. He returned with part of my callsign and ??, so I returned sending 3 times my callsign at a gentle speed code of about 20 WPM. Don copied me perfectly and sent me his signal report, which I fortunately copied very well because the QSB played ball and brought his signal up to a maximum in the very moment of him sending my report (some other times it’s just the other way around). I came back to him, sent my report, which he got, we exchanged 73 and greeting and the DX QSO got completed. A distance of 7495 Km.
Just about 10 minutes waiting made the difference between not copying and copying.
This is the magic of hf propagation.
Thanks Sun for that great stuff you send us to ionize those layers in our atmosphere.
Thanks Don for the QSO. You made my day.