Decent Signals …

This past weekend was terrible for signals, but things seem to have picked up somewhat. Here’s a snapshot of last night:

80M through 15M

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.

73 de Dick N4BC

A Good Evening …

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!!!

73 de Dick N4BC

This Digital Stuff

The bands have been a bit sparse the past few days, but you can just about always find signals on FT8 frequencies when nothing else can be heard. Last night was a bit lean, but I did work nine North American stations on FT8 … all on forty meters.

There were a few CW stations participating in a CWT Contest, but I have my paddles disassembled at the moment, so I’ll make it a priority to reassemble them and get them back in action. There weren’t a lot of stations there, but several were quite strong. Nothing exciting, though, unless you were actually participating in the contest.

We dodged the bullet on this last Nor’easter … we only had a mix, with no accumulation, mostly rain, and above freezing temperatures. Further north, they got the brunt of the storm. This coming Saturday, we’re looking at some sleet and rain overnight, but the temperatures are supposed be be in the upper forties. I’m ready for Spring!

73 de Dick N4BC


I was all fired up to work the Virginia QSO Party last weekend. I got comfy at the operating position, tuned to 40 meters, and … didn’t hear a single Virginia station calling! Scratching my head, I wondered if propagation could be THAT bad.

Oops … turns out that the QSO party is this coming weekend, not last weekend. I managed to transition to Daylight Savings Time correctly, but managed to be a weekend off for the VQP. Oh well, I’m too old to be embarrassed!

Got on last night and worked a bunch of FT8 stations … some DX but mostly USA … 80 through 18 meters. I even heard some FT8 signals on 15 meters, but couldn’t make the QSO.  Kept trying to get Easter Island, but never could connect. I tried. Most of the stations he worked were tailending, and I’m not quite sure how that works on FT8. I’ll Google the answer later to see if I was doing it right.

It snowed again here last night. Wasn’t supposed to be any accumulation, but we got 2 or 3 inches at my house. Meteorology is obviously not an exact science!

73 de Dick N4BC