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


I’ve been hitting the POTA activations pretty hard lately, and finally made it to 300 confirmations with unique parks. It’s definitely a challenge, but attainable by anyone, no matter the skill or equipment level.

Steve, K5ATA, has just uploaded an interview with Jason Johnston, W3AAX, with a great overview of the Parks on the Air program.

Goodgame Ham Radio & Outdoors YouTube Channel

This was a good overview of the POTA program. Steve has a great channel with lots of videos about various aspects of ham radio. Check it out here.

As I’ve said many times, YouTube is your friend. I don’t care what I’m doing … building an antenna, wiring a switch, buying a new phone, or changing a washer in a faucet … there’s most likely a video showing how to do it.

73 de Dick N4BC


The propagation gods giveth and the propagation gods taketh away … . Saturday was a good day for radio for me. I had over twenty POTA contacts and too many digital contacts to count. Then came Sunday!

There were plenty of spots for POTA activators, but I could not hear any of them well enough to make a solid contact. My noise levels were up and signal strengths were down. I was even having difficulties making digital contacts. The bandscope was pretty much flat for most of the day. Bummer!

Well, tomorrow is another day!

73 de Dick N4BC