If one were to take a look at the WSJT-X screen cap below, perhaps it wouldn’t seem too unusual. Operating 6 meters, a few signals on. It shows I was calling CQ around 141715 UTC, and was answered by N7BD. I was surprised at the signal disparity (He a +1 dB, me a -22 dB).
The punch line to this joke was that I happened to be attached to my DUMMY LOAD via the antenna switch in my KAT500. Now I will admit that the isolation on that switch is pretty bad (Unusual for Elecraft), but seriously, I hear several stations and make a contact on 6-meters via dummy load!?!
Obviously when I switched to my actual antenna signals went up considerably, and now I’m heard up and down the east coast.
PS: A good friend commented that this is typical of ALL ham gear — lousy isolation in antenna switches. I measured the isolation today: at 50 MHz it is only 30 dB (very poor). On 3.5 MHz it improves to 60 dB. But my 25 watt signal would have been down to 25 milliwatts with only 30 dB of isolation — clearly still a FT8 signal.