It’s Aliiiiiiive!!!!!

Interesting evening … just when you’re sure that JT9 is dead and gone … killed by the FT-modes … you work a bunch of them!

Last night I saw K9ZIE spotted on a 40 meter JT9 POTA activation, so I popped on down and worked him easily. There was actually quite a bit of JT9 activity there, so I worked a few more successfully. Maybe I just haven’t been noticing, but I thought that JT9 was pretty rare nowadays … Guess not!

It’s been a pretty good week for POTA contacts. I’ve put about ten new parks in the log since Monday. Propagation has been pretty good … even a couple of Canadian parks.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, we’re putting our two repeater antennas on a 300-foot tower. We’ve had thunderstorms most afternoons this summer. Hopefully all goes well … out repeaters have been looking for a new home for far too long.

73 de Dick N4BC

Storms and Parks

Wow … in less than an hour this morning, lots of parks to work if you’re interested in Parks on the Air.

After a couple of days of a power outage, I just turned on the radio this morning to see what the bands were like. Nothing spectacular, but certainly fruitful.

About a block from my QTH is a beautiful wooded street … the trees formed a green canopy over the pavement … great for scenery, but not when coupled with the high winds and heavy rain of a tropical storm. The falling branches took out most of the power lines, thus my lack of power at the house. I could have gotten up on battery power, but it was HOT as well, with no air conditioning.

We had our first radio club meeting in person (other than virtual), since March, last night. Attendance was pretty sparse, but that was to be expected. Non-essential meetings are not a priority right now. Also, missing was the social get together for a meal beforehand. Next month, we’re planning a hybrid meeting, with both physical and virtual attendance provided for.

Well, I’ll close this for now and see what else I can find on the bands, and then see about finding some lunch. Most of the food in the fridge was a casualty of the power outage … got to look into a new generator soon.

73 de Dick N4BC


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.

That’s a rare act nowadays.

73 de Dick N4BC

Interesting Weekend

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 …

Early Saturday morning – CQWW CW

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!”

73 de Dick N4BC

Plodding Along

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.

73 de Dick N4BC