New Territory

I spent a bit of time on 80 meters last night … most contacts were North America. Forty meters was pretty sparse. Just not good conditions. As a matter of fact, later, I actually was wondering if my antenna had fallen down again, signals dropped so much.

So, to catch up with a task I hadn’t gotten around to yet, I decided to enter frequencies into memory for the 60 meter (5 MHz) band on the new IC-7300. I have never operated on this band before, so moving between the five “channels” revealed not too much activity last night. I did hear one CW station, and they were pretty strong; I also heard a couple of FT8 signals on one channel as well.

The CW station was right on the center frequency of the channel. Neither digital station was. The rules state that digital signals must be zero-beat with the center frequency of the channel; they also state that only one station can transmit on a channel at one time. Either the operators were in error, or I need to read some more. I didn’t do any transmitting on that band, other than to send a couple of test signals (VVV de N4BC). I’ll try more later.

Most of the snow and ice is gone now … supposed to get up to 62 today and 71 tomorrow. Saturday, the temperatures drop again, and Sunday they’re in the 30s again. I’m ready though … got a new pair of hunting boots from Amazon yesterday. Probably won’t snow again all winter!

73 de Dick N4BC

The Blizzard of 2018

Definitely not a day for portable operations, and even now, days after the storm, the secondary roads and streets are hazardous. I did get a four-day weekend, though, due to work being closed. I was on call, but didn’t get called out. We ended up with about eight inches and drifts a bit higher. Really nice snow, though … powdery. It would’ve been good for skiing or snowboarding if we had any hills or mountains here in coastal Virginia. I have a friend that was at Massanutten Ski Resort in the western part of the state, and he said they had no snow, other than man-made. This was strictly a coastal storm … a Nor’easter with snow!

My street during the snowstorm

Eighty and forty meters have been active here in the evenings, but the higher bands have been non-productive. I’m really enjoying the Icom IC-7300. As I get more and more familiar with its usage, it makes operating so much easier.

It’s a new year now … 2018 … and I’ve just mailed off my dues for another year to QCWA Chapter 119. I really wish I could make the meetings, but as a worker bee, I can’t get away for lunch meetings … too far away.

Frostfest 2018 in Richmond, VA is coming up the first Saturday in February. It’s always a good show with lots of goodies for sale. I really can’t think of anything I need, but I’m sure I will come home with something.

I’m trying a new WordPress Theme on the website. Looks odd to me, but maybe that’s just because it’s different … hopefully I’ll learn to love it!

73 de Dick N4BC

Poor Prop

Last night was sort of a bust on 30 meter CW. I tuned up on that band and lo and behold … only ONE station was heard. PY2ZEA, Ville, was booming in at a solid 599. Nobody else … anywhere on the band. we had a quick QSO. I could tell he wasn’t copying me as well as I copied him. He had to ask me to repeat my callsign several times. He gave me a 599, though. Maybe there was some QRM/QRN. The other bands were noisy and I didn’t hear anything interesting, so I shut down the rig and moved to YouTube and watched some Ham Radio oriented videos.

Seven to ten inches of snow predicted tonight, and 40 MPH winds … temperatures well below freezing. Not looking forward to tomorrow. If work is cancelled, though, I’ll try again.

73 de Dick N4BC

Post-Holiday Season

I hope everyone had a great holiday. I was off from the Thursday before Christmas until the day after New Year’s Day … didn’t do much operating, though. Too much other stuff happening.

I did work some FT8, though, at least on a couple of days. Conditions variable … some days good, some days bad. At least I kept my hand in.

We’re expecting our first significant snowfall, starting Wednesday afternoon … three to five inches, they say. That’s a SWAG, though. They’re seldom right. If it’s bad enough, they’ll let us work from home or cancel work … two inches will shut thing down here in the South. If I’m at home, I’ll try to fire up on CW.

So, best wishes for the New year, and I hope all of your resolutions come true!

73 de Dick N4BC

ARRL Ten Meter Contest

Well, I hope you had better luck than I did! Just before bedtime on Friday night, I listened a bit on 10-meter CW and I heard a beacon and two stations within 20 miles of me … nothing else, and I went on to bed. Saturday and Sunday, I tuned around several times during the day and evening, and … nothing. Just a couple of unreadable maybe signals down in the mud on CW.

So, it looks like it was not to be for me. I think ten meters had a dagger through its heart this past weekend. But, I’ll see you on the lower bands!

73 de Dick N4BC