The other day I received a QSL card from WB6YTE out in Chula Vista, California confirming a PSK-31 digital contact we made back in March of 2010. After consulting my log book I found a short entry describing how I experienced QSB or fading signals and I had lost contact with Ed shortly after we had exchanged our basic information.
Chula Vista is about 1963.5 miles away from my house half way between San Diego and the U.S. - Mexico border. Something I like to do when I make faraway contacts with my ham radio is look up the other station using Google Earth or Free Map Tools. Interestingly as I zoomed in on WB6YTE's location I could plainly see the aluminum elements of his tri-band beam antenna glinting in the sun. The Tri-bander is the antenna on the left pictured above on the QSL card.
By all means the Internet and Google Earth are amazing examples of modern technology but what really blows my mind is the fact that Ed used just 1 watt of power to transmit his signal and my wire antenna a mere 34 feet off the ground here in Ohio was able to not only receive but transmit a response back across the continent to southern California.