Chuggin’ Along

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!

POTA Totals

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!

73 de Dick N4BC

Still kickin’

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.

Well, that’s my update … stay safe!

73 de Dick N4BC

Missing Persons Report

Where have I been? Was I kidnaped? On a secret spy mission for the government?

Nope. Just out of circulation for a while. I went to see my doctor for my regular checkup and, to make a long story short, ended up being the recipient of quadruple bypass heart surgery. That will definitely take you out of the mix for a while.

All turned out well, and I am well on my way to recovery now. The surgery was back in October, and I go back to work in January. I feel better than I have in years, and am glad the doctor caught the abnormality in my ECG.

Radio-wise, I’ve been doing POTA and digital modes. Pretty much the same thing as before the surgery.

Merry Christmas to all!

73 de Dick N4BC

One thing after another!

It’s been a typical 2020 weekend so far … wife had to have an epidural for pinched nerves that have been troubling her for months … the remnants of tropical storm Laura are just about upon us, with predictions of lots of rain, flooding, and even the possibility of tornadoes … the A/C started making funny noises last night, and then quit altogether … hope that’s it for the rest of the weekend!

But, looking on the bright side … the wife says the shot helped a lot, and she’s in a much better mood now … no pain. I sent a request for service to the home warranty company at 11 am, an A/C tech called at noon to say he was on the way, he arrived at 12:30 pm, and had the repair completed and function fully restored by 1 pm … IMPRESSIVE!! That was the first time I have used the warranty. And to top that off, the rain from the storm started just as he was replacing the last screw in the case! How about that!

Radiowise, not a lot happening at the moment. I continue with FT4/8 when I get a few free minutes, but these other things have kept me busy. POTA contacts are down … propagation has not smiled on me.

OH! We did get the repeater antennas up on the tower. Just waiting for a chance to install the UHF and VHF repeaters. Soon!

73 de Dick N4BC

Storms and Parks

Wow … in less than an hour this morning, lots of parks to work if you’re interested in Parks on the Air.

After a couple of days of a power outage, I just turned on the radio this morning to see what the bands were like. Nothing spectacular, but certainly fruitful.

About a block from my QTH is a beautiful wooded street … the trees formed a green canopy over the pavement … great for scenery, but not when coupled with the high winds and heavy rain of a tropical storm. The falling branches took out most of the power lines, thus my lack of power at the house. I could have gotten up on battery power, but it was HOT as well, with no air conditioning.

We had our first radio club meeting in person (other than virtual), since March, last night. Attendance was pretty sparse, but that was to be expected. Non-essential meetings are not a priority right now. Also, missing was the social get together for a meal beforehand. Next month, we’re planning a hybrid meeting, with both physical and virtual attendance provided for.

Well, I’ll close this for now and see what else I can find on the bands, and then see about finding some lunch. Most of the food in the fridge was a casualty of the power outage … got to look into a new generator soon.

73 de Dick N4BC