The new radio finally arrived yesterday evening, so we plugged all the bits together, tuned the antenna, and started playing.
There were some really cool QSOs in progress: for example, we overheard a caller from Moscow and people from various US states (Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin) responding to him. We didn’t have any such luck; our little 10W transceiver was apparently lost in the noise.
I almost had my first QSO with a gentleman from southern California; he could recognize that I was calling him, but the signal was so bad that he couldn’t really understand much.
We should probably see if we can get the antenna higher and maybe turn it into an inverted-V.
We’re also having problems with our power supply. It seems to work fine on batteries, but only outputs ~3.5V when we’re running it on AC power.