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.
Where have I been? Was I kidnaped? On a secret spy mission for the government?
Nope. Just out of circulation for a while. I went to see my doctor for my regular checkup and, to make a long story short, ended up being the recipient of quadruple bypass heart surgery. That will definitely take you out of the mix for a while.
All turned out well, and I am well on my way to recovery now. The surgery was back in October, and I go back to work in January. I feel better than I have in years, and am glad the doctor caught the abnormality in my ECG.
Radio-wise, I’ve been doing POTA and digital modes. Pretty much the same thing as before the surgery.
As of yesterday afternoon, the W4MT UHF & VHF FM repeaters were back on the air. We got the repeater cabinet moved to the new site and connected everything up and threw the power switch to ON!
As usual, it was not without its hiccups. Although everything had checked out before installing, the reflected power was high. That was resolved to a bad connector and remedied. Then we found that the control receiver was not working … that was a bad 1-amp fuse.
Finally, everything was up and working properly. We left well enough alone and wrapped up our endeavor for the day. We’ll go back and take care of grounding and cable dressing shortly.
It’s really nice to hear the repeater back on the air. Actually, it has been operational, but with limited range due to compromises with the antenna height. Now, with the antenna at a decent height, it sounds great.
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.