What’s Up? (Redux)

Hasn’t been a lot happening, lately. I’ve been busy with non-hobby items, like WORK :-D.

I DID work Burkina Faso, XT2AW, on 60-meter FT8. I was just tuning around, seeing what was going on, and saw his CQ. I jumped on him, and the rest is history!

I’ve been adding to my Parks on the Air totals … I’m up to 50 parks worked now, and I spent some time this past week tuning up some antennas for my first activation in the near future.

73 de Dick N4BC

Chasin’ Parks

Saturday I got up early and tried some 20 meter FT8 … man, I couldn’t BUY a QSO. There were lots of stations calling CQ, and some neat ones, too … Africans and Indonesians … and at decent signal strength, too. No dice! I gave up and read a book!

I’ve had a pretty good Sunday afternoon chasing Parks on the Air contacts … today I contacted eight ten parks, some CW and some SSB. Four of the parks were with Sean, KX9X, who was running around Connecticut and activating State Parks. Others were in Pennsylvania, Kansas, and Texas. Most were not easy contacts … the QSB and noise has been BRUTAL today, with signals dropping from 59 (599) down to unreadable … or should I say undetectable! BUT … it’s been fun and challenging!

I should have been outside today. It was a beautiful day here today, with temperatures in the high 60’s F, and sunny. I really need to get a head start on yard work this spring. Tomorrow it’s back to work … the GRIND … and no time to play radio during the day. It’s that time of year where the temperatures can be up in the 70’s one day and down in the 40’s the next. And POLLEN! I woke up this morning and couldn’t open my eyes. Hate allergies!

73 de Dick N4BC

Zzzzzzzzz …

Been lazy the past week or so … just couldn’t get up the energy to work the contest this past weekend. As usual, I hear there was some interesting propagation … openings on 10 and 15 meters. Isn’t it interesting how that only happens on contest weekends? 😀

I got on a while after work this evening (2030Z – 2100Z) and there was some decent propagation on 17 meters. I worked a bunch of stations in the western USA primarily … that’s all I had any luck hearing, anyway.

17 Meter FT8

I caught up on some cable-making this past weekend. I made up some new coax sections, and also made up a few power cables with powerpoles on them. I’m just sort of getting things collected in anticipation of some warmer weather in the not too distant future (fingers crossed!!). I want to get out and do some Parks on the Air activations. I literally live a few blocks from part of K-4567, Captain john Smith Chesapeake National Historical Trail, and within twenty or thirty minutes of several other parks.

73 de Dick N4BC

Low Bands

Last night was a good night on the lower bands … 80, 60, 40 meters. I had 22 QSOs, mostly on 80 meters, and mostly FT8. There were two CW QSOs mixed in there. I worked VP9/AA1AC in Bermuda on 40 meters and VP2MKG in Montserrat on 80 meters. Both had moderate pileups going, working split, and I got them on the first call. The VP2 was a new country for me with my N4BC callsign. I think I’m up to 95 confirmed with that newer callsign.

80 meters stations that heard me
40 meters stations that heard me

The low bands seem to be the place to be during the solar minimum. I was decoding stations all over the world … Asia, the Americas, Europe … they’re out there! I don’t have a superstation, either. I’m running 100 watts to a 31-foot homebrew vertical. Not a model of efficiency. My tuner is working overtime! But it works!!

I guess the moral of this story is … put a signal out there. Get some wire in the sky. You won’t catch any fish unless you get a line in the water. Good fishing!!!!

73 de Dick N4BC

Stuff, continued …

I just worked a dozen or so FT8 contacts on 40 and 30. Primarily Europe and some USA. I couldn’t hear any signals above 20 meters, and things were pretty spotty below 30. It was a pleasant interlude 🙂 .

We’ve got another Winter Weather Advisory from the National Weather Service this evening. The worst of it is supposed to be to the West of us, but who knows … we will probably get some nasty stuff. I heard maybe an inch or so of snow here before it changes over to rain. It’s going to be cold and nasty, but not enough to miss work 🙁 .

Spring is less than a month away now … officially … but I’ve seen snow in April before, so it will be what it will be. I find I’m less tolerant of the cold and wet weather than when I was younger … warm feels good. Hopefully we’ll have a Spring this year, without the weather quickly ramping up into the 90’s.

73 de Dick N4BC