Last night, I worked Guadeloupe on 80M. That was a new one on that band for me. I even found a couple of stations on 15M, too … Clint, NW5P in Texas, and WP4AZT, Jose, in Puerto Rico. All in all, a nice evening, playing on the radio. I’m going to try and get a 40M inverted vee up this weekend, and see if that works any better than my non-resonant vertical.
This past weekend was terrible for signals, but things seem to have picked up somewhat. Here’s a snapshot of last night:
I even had some action on 15 meters and 60 meters. Almost all of my contacts were with North American stations.
The weather has become more springlike lately. The birds are singing, the pollen is falling, and the weeds are sprouting. I think it’s time for some antenna attention. It’s raining today, but later this week I need to get out into the back yard and check antenna connections, coax, and matching networks to make sure everything survived the winter OK. I’m thinking of putting up another 40M inverted vee, since 40 is looking to be a workhorse during this part of the sunspot cycle. The inverted vees have always performed well for me.
I also want to get out and do some portable parks work, too. I’m at the age when sitting in the cold, sleety outdoors with a thirty mile per hour wind whistling around my ears is not fun, so the warmer, more hospitable climate is very welcome.
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!!!
I tuned across an Olivia QSO in progress last night on forty meters, and spent a while “reading the mail.” Just a couple of guys having a nice, pleasant, unhurried ragchew. The band was a bit unstable … up and down … but mostly strong signals. I must have monitored for almost twenty minutes or so.
When the band DID dip, though, it sometimes went so far down that the Olivia signal disappeared from the waterfall … not even a faint trace showed at times. But guess what? The letters on the display just kept on printing. Good solid copy even with no detectable signal on the waterfall. I was impressed. I’m gonna have to try this mode more often. It DOES seem to be gaining in popularity, and I’m all for trying new things.