Despite all the tree trimming and removal done for the sake of the 200' doublet there was still one tree whose upper branch was bending down the support rope on one end. I'd managed to ignore it for the last couple of weeks however. After finishing my chores this morning I was determined to clear that last branch in order to get just a couple more feet in height on the wire (can anyone say obsession?). What should have been a simple task took a sweaty half an hour. That limb was just out of reach. But suffice it to say the deed was done. For no good reason I thought I should flip on the Scout and use that antenna after all that trouble, hi. Just in time, too, as HI3DX started calling CQ DX within 30 seconds. HI3DX is the Hotel India DX Club, main op being HI3B.
I'm only 40 watts on the Scout, but Dominican Republic is pretty darn close so how hard could it be? He was booming in 599+ here. Well, like that stubborn tree branch this "easy" QSO was a struggle. I figure either my signal was weak or the angle was wrong but he had a helluva time copying my call. He got TI2, but the rest eluded him until I'd repeated it maybe 20 times during several exchanges. I was starting to feel bad that I'd hooked him and was making him work so hard for a prefix he probably already had. Finally, it was in the log and I switched off the radio. This "test" didn't tell me a thing about the antenna, but it said volumes about the tenaciousness DXrs can exhibit. I'll make a point of being sure he gets a hard card in the mail.