Florence update

It looks like we may have dodged the bullet here in the Virginia Peninsula area. We still can expect tidal flooding and wind and rain, but nothing like what had been forecast as a possible scenario. Unfortunately, that’ll be visited on our friends to the south. More like a normal (?) rain/wind event for us. Judging by what they’re predicting now, some of our bad winter storms have been worse.

It’s never a bad idea to prepare for the worst and hope for the best, though. If you don’t get ready and things go sour, you’re stuck with what you’ve got. I did all the “due diligence” … food, water, batteries, gas, and so forth. I always try to go a bit beyond the minimums, since I’m not usually at home with the family during these events, but at work looking after radio systems. I hate to not be there with them, but it’s one of the drawbacks of the job.

73 de Dick N4BC

A Full Day

It was a good evening on the bands. I had FT-8 contacts on 80 through 10 meters … even picked up two new countries. Sixty meters was busy, and I had a Jamaican CW QSO on 40 meters.

In my guise as a public safety radio professional, I spent the day listening to a sales/technical representative from JPS Interoperability Solutions tell us all about their products. They offer ways to tie together disparate communications equipment (UHF, VHF, landline, cellular, , HF, trunked, analog, digital, video …). You name it, they can make it talk together. I’ve used their equipment over the years, and they build good stuff! I even have a JPS NRF-7 here in the shack, which was an early product for the Amateur market. It’s an audio dsp unit, and still holds its own, even after many years.

I bought a copy of Stu, KB1HQS’s new book, Portable Operating for Amateur Radio, and hope to get a chance to read it this weekend. I’ve followed his blog online for a while, and enjoy reading what he has to share. It’s $9.95 for the Kindle edition on Amazon ($19.95 for the softcover). I prefer the Kindle editions. Not only do you get them pretty much instantly, but they’re a considerable savings over the physical book. You don’t need a Kindle to read them. You can download a free app for your computer or phone.

Have a great weekend, and GET ON THE AIR!

73 de Dick N4BC

Silent Key

I just learned this morning that a dear friend, Al Rhodes (KJ4TDG, ex-WN2SOU, ex-WB2ZCP) passed away on Saturday. Al was a past Vice President of Chapter 119, QCWA, in Tidewater Virginia, and I had also worked with him on several job-related projects. Al worked for Federal Engineering as a Project Manager and Senior Consultant, and had worked with me on our Motorola trunked radio system upgrade from analog to digital for the City of Newport News, Virginia. Originally from Annapolis, Maryland, he currently made his home in Virginia Beach, VA.

It’s always hard to say goodbye to good friends, but unfortunately, we have to and then carry on … but not forgetting …

73 de Dick N4BC

The Blizzard of 2018

Definitely not a day for portable operations, and even now, days after the storm, the secondary roads and streets are hazardous. I did get a four-day weekend, though, due to work being closed. I was on call, but didn’t get called out. We ended up with about eight inches and drifts a bit higher. Really nice snow, though … powdery. It would’ve been good for skiing or snowboarding if we had any hills or mountains here in coastal Virginia. I have a friend that was at Massanutten Ski Resort in the western part of the state, and he said they had no snow, other than man-made. This was strictly a coastal storm … a Nor’easter with snow!

My street during the snowstorm

Eighty and forty meters have been active here in the evenings, but the higher bands have been non-productive. I’m really enjoying the Icom IC-7300. As I get more and more familiar with its usage, it makes operating so much easier.

It’s a new year now … 2018 … and I’ve just mailed off my dues for another year to QCWA Chapter 119. I really wish I could make the meetings, but as a worker bee, I can’t get away for lunch meetings … too far away.

Frostfest 2018 in Richmond, VA is coming up the first Saturday in February. It’s always a good show with lots of goodies for sale. I really can’t think of anything I need, but I’m sure I will come home with something.

I’m trying a new WordPress Theme on the website. Looks odd to me, but maybe that’s just because it’s different … hopefully I’ll learn to love it!

73 de Dick N4BC

Post-Holiday Season

I hope everyone had a great holiday. I was off from the Thursday before Christmas until the day after New Year’s Day … didn’t do much operating, though. Too much other stuff happening.

I did work some FT8, though, at least on a couple of days. Conditions variable … some days good, some days bad. At least I kept my hand in.

We’re expecting our first significant snowfall, starting Wednesday afternoon … three to five inches, they say. That’s a SWAG, though. They’re seldom right. If it’s bad enough, they’ll let us work from home or cancel work … two inches will shut thing down here in the South. If I’m at home, I’ll try to fire up on CW.

So, best wishes for the New year, and I hope all of your resolutions come true!

73 de Dick N4BC