****RANT ON****

I listened to several pileups on 40 and 20 last night, both CW and SSB. What a mess! Ops tuning on top of the frequency, ignoring requests for specific call area numbers, sending their callsigns over and over … and other assorted idiocies. For example, “The YL station only, please,” and several men answer. Or, “Fours only, please,” and every number BUT four calls. Jeez, guys … you’re just making things worse.

Angry Squidward!

The 13 Colonies stations were doing their best at managing the pileups, but things were just out of control. Nobody was listening. Even split, the usual suspects were either calling on the special event station’s frequency or shouting UP! … UP!, adding to the cacophony. This is a week-long event … by the end of the week, it’ll be a lot easier (hopefully!).

****RANT OFF****

73 de Dick N4BC

The Aftermath …

It’s always interesting to get on the bands on the Monday after a big contest, and last evening was no different. The FT8 crowd was there … 80, 60, & 40 were full of FT8 signals … 20 and above were dead here. CW was a far second place …

BUT, the interesting thing …

I could not find a single RTTY signal, anywhere. Just the evening before, it was wall-to-wall RTTY with the ARRL RTTY Roundup going on. I don’t know if they were all burned out or if they only fired up that mode during contests. I suspect some of both!

I dove in and worked a bunch of North American FT8 QSOs, with some Caribbean islands thrown in for good measure. I also worked a few CW contacts as well. Had some enjoyable chats there. I try to pick the best-sounding fists. I’m getting too old to try and parse poorly sent, poorly spaced CW. Running words and letters together is NOT GOOD!

Sorry for my mini-rant there … have a good week and get on the air! Enjoy!!

73 de Dick N4BC

Still chasin’

Even though I didn’t get on the air all weekend (due to other commitments), I’m still hangin’ in there! In addition to my previous contact with Rwanda last week in twenty meters, I made another contact with them last night on 40 meters. I’m still trying to nail Mayotte (TO6OK), but they’re a bit more elusive. I’ve heard them, and seen them spotted, but no luck on CW or FT8.

A note on the TO6 pileups … there are some totally messed up people out there. Anyone who deliberately QRMs any QSO, not just a DXPedition, is a loser in the true sense of the word. Strings of dits, cursing, deliberately calling CQ on top of the DX station, all with no ID … you have to wonder if these folks have any other life! And don’t forget the oblivious ops who have obviously never heard of split operation … not to mention the frequency cops who add their own offering to the chaos.

So what’s the moral of this story? Don’t be a LID! Cut the other guy some slack. Don’t be an antisocial jerk! It’s a lot easier if we all show some courtesy to the other op. Stay cool …

73 de Dick N4BC

Propagation Report

The bands suck … right? If you look at the solar conditions, they’re no good, right? Can’t hear anybody, right? Behold …

Those flags represent the stations I heard on FT8, 80 through 17 meters, this evening. Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, loads of Europeans, Australia, Oman … what more do you want? Could I work them all? Unfortunately, no. But I worked a bunch … twenty-one of them. With a better antenna … you never know. But they’re THERE … and they’re WORKABLE … by SOMEONE! Might be you! The right time and the right place!

Turn the radio on … don’t sit and complain. They’re there! They’re waiting!

73 de Dick N4BC