I have had good contacts with Alan AC2K and Bill W7AAZ on 40m around 0530Z this afternoon. It is still 2 hours prior to sunset. The signals won't be so loud but, without much noise, are always easy to read. In an hour, the path will be open to Eu through the long way over the south Pacific. It is always attractive to me since the condition is on the uphill. Signals are always coming up as time goes by.
It reminded me of good old days. I was a beginner in ham radio. When I finished my school early in the afternoon, I always ran back home. I turned on home brew receiver, a double conversion hetrodyne, and strained my ears for weak signals from overseas. Sometimes, stations in Guam or Hawaii were working with the homelands. It was a real pleasure for me to catch someone from the US and to exchange some extra words other than the routine contents.
I was using a very simple set up while the statessides scarcely used big antenna even though they often ran a KW. My transmitter was only 10W, later at most 50W. The antenna was a dipole fed with ladder line feeder and a ground plane with a few radials. The full size and the floating radials must have been effective. But they were still a small set up compared with the present one. I would encourage the younger hams to get on 40m around this time of a day in this season. Unfortunately, there were less night owl hams in the west coast in the US, who would do with the beginners in JA. There could be chances for good conversation on CW at this time. It is a gift from heaven to us.