Until tonight, the 40m dipole I put on the roof had legs that just were laying on the roof. Tonight, sidelobe
came over after work and helped me raise the arms so that they were flat. OK, he did most of the work -- I was really helping him. But we got it up. When we hooked the radio up to it, I wondered if I'd be able to notice an improvement. Immediately, just listening, I could tell that it was better. As I tuned around the band, I could hear people talking all over the place. Most of them were too weak to make out, but I could hear the voices there. I called CQ a bit, but didn't get any takers. I did hear someone calling CQ just below where I was calling, though, so I tuned down and responded. He could hear me fine, too. He was in Lexington, MA, which is about a 750 mile drive from here. That's the farthest I've talked, and I'm sure that the more properly oriented antenna had everything to do with that. We had a nice ten minute or so chat and then I packed the radio up and went inside since the mosquitoes were pretty bad.
I'm looking forward to making more contacts with this radio. Very exciting!