Completely different ballgame. We had to go up to 20W, and only just completed.
It confirms what we all know, of course: that when bands are open, you need no power. When they're shut, you need lots of power and it's still difficult- these two occasions were more than 22dB different! You can't make that up with a linear. Even a linear AND a beam. The interesting thing is what's different about the two times. I don't think last night's "opening" was forecast by anyone or anything, and the band wasn't crowded with DX chasers.
We followed this up with a short burst of JT9-2. Clearly, JT9-2 wasn't designed for a closed VHF band, but there seemed little point in trying JT9-1, with essentially the same "floor" as JT65. Anyway, it was a spectacular failure, despite being able to see the other trace on screen and, in G4VXE's case, measure it as -22 - well useable.
We put the failure down to version incompatibility - I was on v0.3, he was on 0.2