We had our monthly radio club meeting last night and it was reported that the 2023 Frostfest in Richmond was cancelled again. That’s the largest hamfest in Virginia, and has been cancelled for the past couple of years due to Covid.
The reason for this cancellation has nothing to do with disease, however. It’s alleged that there is some disagreement and strife in the sponsoring organization … RATS (Richmond Amateur Telecommunications Society). I tried accessing their website for more info, but I can’t connect to it.
Otherwise, I’ve been working a bunch of FT8 and FT4, along with some CW, during these past few weeks of sky-high A- and K-index numbers. My Parks on the Air numbers now total 705 unique parks hunted. I continue to concentrate on CW and digital for my POTA contacts … SSB just doesn’t float my boat anymore.
The weather has moderated here recently. We have days in the low to mid-80s (rather than the upper 90s with heat indices of 100+), but the evenings and early mornings are considerably cooler than last month, and I notice it’s darker when I leave for work in the mornings … I actually have to turn the headlights on 🙂 . Fall is just around the corner 😀 .
Saturday, August 13th, I was up bright and early to help support the Boys & Girls Club Smart Smiles 5K race at the Mariners Museum Park in Newport News, VA. I reported to the Coordinator and then went to my assigned position. I was on a shaded road, enjoying the 70-some degree weather and gentle breeze, which was so welcome after too many “feels like 100+” days!
Our purpose was to provide safety coverage for any runners that experienced difficulties, and also to keep the race coordinator informed about race progress.
Luckily, there were no incidents, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. It was a pretty laid-back “race”. There were families with children, old folks, young folks, serious runners, walkers … just about any demographic you could imagine.
For the most part, our primary repeater worked well, but I had occasional problems with the Net Control station dropping into the noise. The backup repeater was much more solid, so I had my backup portable tuned to that.
All in all, it was a beautiful day for a race, and a great way to spend a morning in the park!
Has it really been last December since I last posted here? Wow! Time flies!
Last December, my boss passed away, and as you can imagine, that was a major disruption to our work process. All of us in the shop were taking on responsibilities that he had previously taken care of.
Things are finally calming down now. We have a new manager, and things are running somewhat smoothly again. Hopefully, no more glitches.
Next month, though, we’re starting an upgrade to our radio system. Every two years, major hardware and software updates occur to keep our 800 MHz P25 radio system current. What could go wrong? 😀
I had to remove one of my long-time resources from the site … Astrid’s Embroidery. The owners are retiring, and it looks like they are closing down for good. Sorry to see that … they did quality work and were a pleasure to deal with.
Things are going pretty well since my computer died, with a few exceptions. The replacement computer is great, and I’m back to multi-mode operating and logging. I’m experiencing difficulties with loading a new LOTW certificate, and waiting for direction fom the LOTW staff. I’ve also had issues with the new Windows 11 security enhancements and getting some software to work, but have pretty much resolved those issues. I still cannot get the latest version of Com0Com (188.8.131.52) to work, but the previous version (184.108.40.206) works just fine.
The bands have been “interesting” lately 🙂 . FT4 and FT8 continue to be the most productive modes, with some nice openings on the higher bands. CW is still my preferred mode of operation, but when conditions are “iffy”, digital is definitely the most prolific mode. Last night 80 meters, 60 meters, and 40 meters were the producers. Gotta go where the contacts are 😀 .
I got home from work yesterday evening, sat down at my desk, and pressed the button to power up my Dell Latitude computer.
Nothing happened, until I heard …
The Dreaded 7 Beeps of Death!
This is the indication of a motherboard or processor failure, and was not welcome. Admittedly, the laptop in question is six, going on seven years old, so it had lived a good life, but … it’s always sad to lose an old friend. 🙁
It was not upgradable to Windows 11, so it’s days were numbered eventually, but it did advance my replacement schedule by a year or so. I just wanted a more controlled move to the new laptop.
Now, I have a formidable task ahead of me … reloading and configuring all of the software onto the new laptop. I could restore a backup image, but there’s an advantage to a clean install, and getting rid of all the clutter. Still, it’s a tedious job.
I ordered the new laptop last night from Dell, it’s being shipped today and arrives tomorrow. Then the fun begins …