Decent Signals …

This past weekend was terrible for signals, but things seem to have picked up somewhat. Here’s a snapshot of last night:

80M through 15M

I even had some action on 15 meters and 60 meters. Almost all of my contacts were with North American stations.

The weather has become more springlike lately. The birds are singing, the pollen is falling, and the weeds are sprouting. I think it’s time for some antenna attention. It’s raining today, but later this week I need to get out into the back yard and check antenna connections, coax, and matching networks to make sure everything survived the winter OK. I’m thinking of putting up another 40M inverted vee, since 40 is looking to be a workhorse during this part of the sunspot cycle. The inverted vees have always performed well for me.

I also want to get out and do some portable parks work, too.  I’m at the age when sitting in the cold, sleety outdoors with a thirty mile per hour wind whistling around my ears is not fun, so the warmer, more hospitable climate is very welcome.

73 de Dick N4BC

A Weird One …

I worked an odd callsign last night … 9A18WARD. The 9A1 part tells me it’s Croatia, but you have to admit, it’s a weird call. I can’t find any info on QRZ or searching on Google, other than lots of people have worked that station.

Oh, well … work ’em first and worry about them later. Have a great weekend!

73 de Dick N4BC


I sat down and took some on-line amateur licensing exams, just for kicks. Well, I passed the Tech with flying colors. I think I missed one question, and that was from not reading the question correctly. The General was a bit harder. Let’s just say that I passed … and not by a great margin. The Extra was another story, however.  I missed 16 questions, and the maximum allowed is 13 … ABYSMAL FAILURE!!!  And … I just flat-out guessed at some of the answers I got right. It was embarrassing!

So, the moral of this story is … don’t get too smug if you’ve been licensed for a long time. The knowledge set has really changed since I tested for Extra in 1993.  Lots more satellite and solid state theory than I remember. And I still .work full-time in the world of radio communications!

You know what this is going to do, don’t you? It’s going to drive me to spend some time boning up on Extra-class theory. I guess that’s a good thing, isn’t it?

73 de Dick N4BC

A Good Evening …

Forty meters was the workhorse this evening. I worked a bunch of digital contacts on forty, as well as a few on twenty and thirty. Then I went down to the CW portion and had a short (599 … TU) contact with both Montenegro and Kuwait. I tried for quite a while to break the pileup that Z66D (Kosovo) had going but unfortunately, no luck tonight! Ah well, there’s always tomorrow!

Weather’s been a bit wonky here as well. Eighty-some yesterday and mid-forties today. Please, Lord … SPRING!!!

73 de Dick N4BC

Good propagation tonight

Looks like pretty good propagation tonight. I worked a couple of hours of FT-8 on several bands (including sixty meters) and here’s where my signals were received:

I worked about 25 stations, running fifty watts to my vertical, mostly North America, so it was a nice evening. I was working stations while finishing up my tax returns (at the last minute, as usual).

73 de Dick N4BC