I fired up the radio last night to see if I could make any contacts. From what I could hear, 20 meters was fairly quiet. I heard a couple DX stations in Europe, and was hesitant to attempt an answer given my modest setup. But, you never know until you try, so try I did.
My first attempt was with SP5AUB in Poland, who had a very nice signal. I was absolutely floored when he returned my call. He even got my call sign right on the first go. That’s much better than my first contacts stateside. Either the conditions were better, or tuning up my antenna helped. While it’s probably a combination of both, I suspect he latter had the most impact.
I made two more contacts last night (Lithuania and Sweden) and one this evening (Croatia). These contacts have eased the frustration I had with HF earlier. I’m really excited now–so much so that I’m working on some QSL cards.