I’m still hanging in there … doing my POTA and digital thing. BUT … in case you haven’t noticed … propagation has been pretty grim lately. Even so, there’s always SOMEONE to work!
My POTA totals are slowly approaching 400. I’m working one or two a day. It’s frustrating hearing the stations calling the activator loud and clear, but not hearing the activator. If it wasn’t for CW, my numbers would be a lot lower. All things come to those who wait, though!
This year, the Virginia QSO Party is the 20th and 21st of this month. I missed it last year, but this year I hope the weekend has some great conditions. I usually enter as a low power CW station. If you hear me on, give a call!
I’m still here, but not real active lately. I continue to chase Parks on the Air activations, and I dabble a bit in FT8/FT4/PSK/Olivia, but I have been lazy lately.
My POTA totals keep going up, though …
I’ve worked several more than that, so I’m over 375 for sure, and approaching contacts with 400 unique parks.
I haven’t done any portable ops lately, either. The weather has been the pits! Although we dodged most of the snow, we’ve had more than our share of cold rain and wind. It was pleasant this morning, with the temperatures in the 50s, but this afternoon we had heavy rains and cold winds again. The ground squishes and yields water when you step on it.
I was scheduled to receive my second COVID-19 shot on Wednesday, but they’re backed up due to a shortage of vaccine, so I’ve been told to sit tight and wait for them to notify me when and where to go to get the second one. I think the weather nationwide has affected supply channels, and, of course, demand is high.
I hear that Icom is going to release a firmware update for the IC-7300 (and their other SDR radios, as well). I’m looking forward to getting that installed.
I got up earlier again this Saturday and fired up the rig. I worked six POTA stations in less than an hour … pretty good mix of CW and SSB. I even worked AC8RG on 40 and 60 Meter CW. A quick check shows that that’s my first CW contact on the 60 Meter band … 5.405 MHz marks the spot!
Before that, I worked a bunch of stations on 80, 60, 40, 30, and 20 Meter FT4/8. Mostly USA and Canada, as you would expect on the lower bands, but an occasional European there too. There’s always contacts to be made on digital. Just throw your call out there and somebody will answer … almost guaranteed!
This past weekend was pretty rough, propagation-wise. Here at the QTH, noise levels were quite high, and the bands seemed to be sparsely populated.
I checked the POTA spotting page and there must have been ten or fifteen activators listed, and I literally could not hear a one! Either the noise covered their signals, or I just couldn’t even discern that there WAS a signal. I gather that there was some sort of solar storm, and I noted that the sunspot number was down to zero again.
No luck! Except for the digital modes, that is! It was easy to work loads of FT-mode stations, pretty much on demand. It seems that there’re always FT QSOs to be had.
Well, every day is a new day! If you don’t like the weather today (space or terrestrial), wait until tomorrow 😀 .
I got up this morning, logged into work from home, grabbed a cup of coffee, and turned on the radio to see what was brewing on FT4/8. Here’s a couple of interesting ones:
The Kazakhstan contact (UN7LZ) was an ATNO for me. KH6AP was a new one on 60 Meters.
The bands were in surprisingly good shape. I also saw Fiji and China represented, but they were pretty weak and couldn’t hear me. All in all, I worked about 10 stations on 20, 30, 40, and 60 Meters between 7 and 8 EDT before I reluctantly decided to do some real work at my real job 😀 .