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

Virginia QSO Party

This weekend is the Virginia QSO Party. I participate most years, but have missed the past couple of years, due to various unplanned life interruptions. This year though, it looks like a go!

With the admonition to limit personal interactions and to stay at home as much as possible to help contain COVID-19, I seem to have been made a captive audience. Even if I wanted to get out and do something, most businesses are closed, have reduced operating hours, or are out of basic necessities.

So, if you’re in the same boat this weekend, join me in the VQP. I usually do a search and pounce operation, SSB and/or CW.

73 de Dick N4BC

The Thrill of the Hunt …

Monday was the start of the 13 Colonies Special Event. This is an annual event held during the 4th of July week. I’ve never participated before, but for some reason, this year I was bitten by the bug. See the above link for details.

The first day of the event I worked ten of the thirteen colony stations and one of the Bonus stations. I did hear the other stations (except GB13COL), but couldn’t bust the pileups with my 100 watts and a wire. BUT … I have all the rest of the week to get them. I used a mix of CW and SSB to work those that I have in the log, but also noted that some were operating FT8 as well. It’s a fun event and will keep you off the streets (unless you’re operating mobile!).

I also worked about ten parks, for the POTA totals. I even found a Massachusetts park activation on ten meters, and he was booming in! Many other stations on ten as well, including Canada Day contesters. And this is all with ZERO sunspots showing on old Sol!

Hopefully it’ll continue, but we couldn’t be so lucky, could we?

73 de Dick N4BC

Field Day

I spent the morning on Saturday at our club Field Day site. I had a good time renewing friendships with folks I only see once a year at this event.

PARC/SPARK Field Day 2019

Pretty much everything had been set up on Friday evening, and groups were just putting the finishing touches on things. I sort of felt like a fifth wheel … sitting there schmoozing with the rest of the old timers. And what’s with all the yellow vests?

I knew I wasn’t going to get a chance to operate due to other commitments. I had to leave before actual operations got under way. I had my grandkid’s birthday party to be at that evening and then Sunday morning I had to see my Scout Troop off to summer camp for a week. Also, I don’t do 2am shifts anymore … I need my beauty sleep!

I guess Field Day has sort of lost its attraction for me. Everything is so organized and regimented … it just doesn’t seem as much FUN as it used to. Parks on the Air operations seem more like what Field Day used to be … set things up quickly in the middle of nowhere and get on the air.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If it’s YOUR thing, go right ahead. I realize that for some people, it’s the only chance they have to operate HF with decent rigs and antennas. Others really enjoy the competition. For them, it’s fun!

Anyway, to make a long story short, I had a great time at my granddaughter’s birthday party. Lots of excitement with all the kids running around and a good chance to catch up with less-often seen family members. Lots of action, since it was a pool party. A good time was had by all!

73 de Dick N4BC