I upgraded to the latest revision of Windows 10 last night. Everything went well, and all seems to be working well. The upgrade took a significant amount of time, but I could have continued to work while the install went on in the background.
I also upgraded WSJT-X to the latest version 2.2.1. That too was painless and no issues noted.
Tonight is our monthly radio club meeting on our repeater. We also do a monthly meeting via ZOOM, but this is for those that don’t use computers. In any case, it’s a nice monthly net and actually gets people to use the repeater.
It’s been a good weekend here at the ol’ hacienda. The weather has been pleasant and on Saturday, the bands were pretty good.
Down at the lower reaches of the bands, the CQ Worldwide CW contest was raging …
It was really crowded and a bit chaotic. I decided not to dive into that and looked at what else was going on.
I saw that the PODXS 070 Club Three Day Weekend Contest was underway … it had started on Friday evening. It’s a PSK-31 contest. Since I had recently renewed my interest in PSK-31, I decided to participate.
It didn’t take me long to get caught up in it. I’m writing this during a lull of poor propagation on Sunday afternoon, and I have made forty-some contacts so far. Hopefully, the bands will cooperate and things will pick up again before the contest ends at 2359Z this evening.
You know, it’s nice to take the “path less travelled,” to quote Mr. Frost. The CW contest would have been great, but I equally enjoyed the alternative. In the immortal words of that great philosopher, Garth, “Party on, Wayne!”
Not a lot has changed in the past couple of weeks, radio-wise. I’m still working lots of digital modes (including CW) and enjoying it. FT4 activity seems to be increasing … probably since the FT8 segments are so crowded. PSK and Olivia activity is still sporadic, but I did notice some nice signals on 20 meters around lunchtime today … strong and lots of them!
One of my coworkers just became a ham last week. He attended an outdoor testing session, to comply with the social distancing recommendations. He passed the Technician and General class licenses, and was formally granted KO4DBF after about a week’s time or so.
Our club held its first virtual club meeting last night, using Zoom. Last week I attended our QCWA chapter meeting via Zoom as well. Looks like Zoom is the preferred method of social interaction now. At work, we’re using Microsoft Teams, but I like the Zoom interface better.
As a matter of fact, I’ve got two Zoom meetings later this evening. First, our Scout Troop, and then after that, our church Choir. We’ve been doing virtual meetings for Scouts for several weeks now and it seems to be working well. The choir meeting is more of a social thing rather than musical … just to keep in touch while in-person services are suspended. Our virtual church services are on FaceBook live.
The old Chinese proverb supposedly says, “May you live in interesting times.” True dat! I’ve been self-isolating at home and working from home for about three weeks now, and still hanging in there. The Governor has extended the stay-at-home order for another two weeks, so it looks like I’ll be here a bit longer.
I had lots of projects that I wanted to do, but it seems that I just can’t get started on anything. I don’t know if it’s because of a bit of depression … or just plain old laziness.
I did decide to change my logging program though. There was nothing wrong with the old one, but I finally (after years of use) decided that it was just overly complex for my needs. I decided to go with something simpler … N3FJP’s Amateur Contact Log. I’ve installed it and have been using it for a few days now and am well pleased. I’m trying it during a 45-day trial period, but I’m pretty sure I’ll end up purchasing it.
I worked 30 stations yesterday evening and this morning (FT modes) … mostly on 40, 30, or 20 meters, and mostly US stations. Signal strengths were good, and although crowded, there was room to squeeze into an empty spot.
Our Club, the Peninsula Amateur Radio Club, has decided to have a meeting next month. With the social distancing in force, we’ve decided to do it as a net on one of the local repeaters. The problem is identifying a repeater that everyone can hit reliably. Our club repeater is still down. Our plans to get it on a new tower and on the air have been put on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions.
It’s a beautiful day outside … sunshine, but a little chilly (41 deg F) and breezy. The prior couple of days have been wet and cold. The folks north of us have been “blessed” with a major winter storm. I don’t envy them!
Tonight is our annual Radio club Holiday Banquet. This year it’s a potluck with the clubs (PARC and SPARK) supplying the fried chicken and all us attendees bringing a side dish or dessert. Last year’s party was mass confusion due to a mix up about the restaurant reservations. This year it was decided to have a self-catered meal.
I was off work all last week. As usual I had a list of things to accomplish and never got around to any of the items. There were lots of POTA activations, but most were not even copyable at my QTH. I could hear hunters giving them reports, but for me … NADA! I did work a few, and my unique park count is now up to 216.
I’ve been concentrating on the FT4/8 modes and had reasonable success with contacts there. JS8 has upgraded to version 2.0 with some new features, so I’ve been looking at that mode a bit harder. Then too, I’ve been playing with my new RSP-1A SDR receiver. It’s fascinating tuning through the shortwave bands and listening to what’s there.
I’ve also been working on a few FEMA certifications. They’re not only applicable for my job, but also for ham radio stuff like SKYWARN and ARES. I had completed most of them years ago, but couldn’t confirm it, so I’ve been working my way through the training and tests again.