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

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

One Bright Spot …

The bands have been sort of lackluster the past few evenings, with not much activity noted from my humble shack, One bright exception was a short, contest-style contact with PJ4/M0SDV, Jamie, last night on 40M CW. He’s vacationing and DXPeditioning in Bonaire, and must be having a great time! He’s a first-class operator and was doing a great job of managing the pileup.

Brings back memories of my DX days in the Indian Ocean. Every time I got on the air, I created pileups. remember, this was back in the days of very active sunspot cycles. I remember huge pileups to the USA and Europe when I was running 5 Watts SSB or CW, using a TenTec Argonaut. Ahhhh … the good old days!!

73 de Dick N4BC

Digital Dive

So … I’ve taken the plunge into DMR radio. I had an unused gift card on Amazon and sprung for a Tytera MD-380 hand-held radio. A ham just a few miles from me has put a UHF DMR repeater on the air. I ordered the radio today and Amazon says that it’ll be here tomorrow. Can’t wait!! (but I’ll have to!)

I keep reading online about how difficult the programming software is, so I checked it out. Maybe if you’re not used to it, but I’ve been building codeplugs for Motorola radios for more years than I care to think. Looks like a piece of cake to me.

I’ve been interested in DMR for a while now, but there was no local repeater within a reasonable range of my QTH. Lots of them to the north, south, east, and west, but none here at ground zero.

There are DStar repeaters near me, but I just couldn’t justify the cost. This little Chinese gem cost less than ninety bucks. Can’t beat that. And … it got pretty good reviews in the November 2017 QST.

I’ve still been keeping up with CW and FT-8 contacts on HF, and the NC QSO Party is this coming Sunday. I’ll be there on HF!

73 de Dick N4BC

Good evening …

Last night was pretty good for propagation:

2/2/2018

The one I didn’t get though was Z60C, in Kosovo. I had pretty good copy on both 40 and 80 CW, but the pileups were brutal. Of course, there were the clueless lids calling incessantly on his transmitting frequency, as usual, but there were also a LOT of stations correctly calling on his listening frequency, too. And … a lot of them were packing some serious power, by the sound of them!

Oh well, if I don’t get them today, I’ll get them tomorrow … I DID make another contact on 60 meters!

73 de Dick N4BC … keep the faith, guys!