Well, Florence has come and has gone, even though we’re still experiencing rain and thunderstorms from the system . There wasn’t much impact here, where I live. The forecasts were dire and uncertain, but at my QTH we ended up with not much rain and not much wind. In some lower-lying parts of the area, there was flooding and trees down. Lots of businesses were closed … MacDonalds and Wendys were the two I noticed … in anticipation of much more severe weather that really never came to pass. My daughter, who is practice teaching in the Chesapeake school system, had an unscheduled week off when they decided to close the schools as a precautionary measure.
However, a glance to our south … and not that far south … shows what it could have been like. The Carolinas were, and still are, devastated. Destruction, chaos, roads impassible or just gone … those people need our prayers and our aid. It will be a long time before things get back to normal there.
There have been some comments about how we went through all this expensive preparation for nothing. My answer is look to out south … to what could have been. Predicting the weather is not an exact science and it’s better to be ready than to be caught unprepared. We were as ready as we could be, and that’s OK with me.
73 de Dick N4BC
Well, I wasn’t even chasing the special event stations and ended up working seven of the colonies in one evening … NC, MA, PA, NY, SC, NH, and NJ. So … no clean sweep for me, but it was sort of fun watching them accumulate. Most of them were FT8, but some were CW and some were SSB. I see that for five dollars and a bit of paperwork I can get a nice certificate for participating. Maybe I will (and maybe I won’t). I do want all to thank the guys that organized this event, though. Well done! I think I actually did at least hear all of the former colonies.
I did binge watch a bunch of ham radio related YouTube videos over the weekend. It’s amazing … anything you want to find out about has probably had a video made about it. Lots of interesting and informative videos. Whether you’re looking for technical info, reviews, opinions, or operating hints, somebody has taken the time to make a video about it. I found and subscribed to several new channels that interested me. If you’re not into YouTube, it’s a great resource!
I went to a retirement party for my son’s father-in-law Saturday evening, and we were outside in the back yard gathered around the firepit. It was decidedly chilly! This is July! It felt like spring or autumn. Crazy weather!
73 de Dick N4BC
Conditions were really nice this evening. Plenty of action on FT8, CW, and SSB on 40, 30, & 20 meters. Lots of Thirteen Colonies stations active. I think I worked about seven unique stations, and several of those on multiple bands and modes. I probably would have worked a few more, but there were some pretty active thunderstorms on and off all evening, so I pulled the plug several times. I think there’s another day of activity left, so maybe I’ll see if I can get all thirteen in the log … probably not, though. No big deal if I don’t!
The storms played havoc with my barbecuing plans for dinner, too. The chicken went into the oven instead of onto the grill. Not a good idea to be outside waving a set of metal tongs around in a thunderstorm. I can remember being at a transmitter site when lightning hit the tower … it took a while before my heart rate calmed down. The fiberglass antenna cover for the antenna that was struck looked like a burned, peeled banana. That definitely increased my respect for Mother Nature.
Oh … I calculated my ten-digit grid square (don’t know why, other than just for the heck of it). In case you care, it’s FM17SB46MH. I think that puts you in the middle of my living room. Can’t be too accurate … HA!
73 and thanks for stopping by de Dick N4BC
Friday and Saturday, I worked a LOT of FT8 on 10, 15, 17, and 20 meters. I have to admit … it left me feeling slightly guilty. It just shouldn’t be so easy to make QSOs at the bottom of the solar cycle when the band is pretty much kaput, otherwise.
One that I didn’t snag, though, was the Baker Island DXPedition. I caught a CQ from them on twenty meters FT8 (fox and hound mode in wsjtx), but by the time I configured the software, I never saw another CQ. I evidently copied their last CQ before closing down on that band. Bummer! I’ve seen pileups on other modes and bands, with bunches of stations calling them, but I didn’t have any copy on the DXPedition. I’ll just have to keep listening.
I did see a lot of CW activity on Sunday for the RAC Canada Day contest. The spectrum display looked pretty active most times I checked. Lots of participation. Unfortunately, I couldn’t play Sunday … too much going on. I spent the afternoon at my granddaughter’s ninth birthday party … man, where does the time go? I do know, it goes FAST!
Well, that’s enough rambling for today. See you later.
73 de Dick N4BC
Tomorrow, Field Day gets under way. I had hoped to participate with the club, but it’s not looking too likely. Got lots going on this weekend … family, church, etc. I’ll try to make an appearance at the site, but probably won’t operate there.
I’ve been fighting a killer summer cold this week, so I’ve gotten behind on a lot of stuff. It was the whole array of symptoms too … cough, runny nose, achy body and headache. I was off work for two days. My wife called a couple of hours ago, and it sounds like she and my daughter are coming down with it now.
Even if I can’t operate any significant time with the club station, I’ll try and get some operating time in from home. I just can’t totally miss operating during field day. Maybe there’ll be some nice six meter openings!
73 and enjoy Field Day if you’re participating de Dick N4BC