What’s New?

I haven’t posted for a while, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been doing anything.

I’ve been chasing Parks on the Air (as usual), and having some success with the improved solar conditions, but my main emphasis since the 1st of the month has been the 13 Colonies Special Event. So far, I have ten of the original 13 in my log, and still trying to break the pileups on the last three. There are three bonus stations, and I have WM3PEN in the books, but not the overseas two. I’ve worked them where I found them … 80M, 40M, and 20M … and on several modes … CW, FT4, and FT8. Surprisingly, none on SSB so far. The phone pileups are chaotic.

Six meters has been having some nice openings, too. All up and down the East coast from here … the farthest contacts have been into Canada, Cuba, and Bermuda. The majority of those contacts have been on FT8.

Our VHF repeater (W4MT) has been up and running for several weeks now, after having some problems passing audio (knock on wood 🙂 ). We never identified the cause, but the problems were coincident with HVAC problems … the drain on the wall unit was plugged and the condensation was running out onto the floor inside instead of outside. Everything was still cool. We unclogged the drain line, and I wonder if the high humidity had something to do with the issues we were having?

It looks like Tropical Storm Elsa will be just a rain event here in coastal Virginia. We’ve still got our eye on its progress, but hopefully it’ll just be wet! We’ll surely see some coastal flooding, but we get that with any big rain event.

73 de Dick N4BC

Miscelleney …

The repeater antenna has been repositioned and braced against excessive sway, and all repeater operations are back to normal. If you recall, high winds had blown the antenna into the tower and one of the elements had hung on the tower structure.

Six meters FT4 and FT8 were busy this afternoon. Seems like Cycle 25 is heating up

I picked up a new “Pocket Portable” iambic key from CWMORSE this week. It’s 3D printed and is really nice quality. I’m looking forward to getting out into the field with it soon.

Field day is coming up soon. Our club, in concert with several others, is mounting a combined operation, as we have in past years. Hopefully, it’ll be a great event.

73 de Dick N4BC

Rough Weekend

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 😀 .

73 de Dick N4BC

A Good Morning

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:

Hawaii – 60 Meters
Kazakhstan – 20 Meters

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 😀 .

73 de Dick N4BC