Red Sun …

I noticed that the rising sun in the east was an unnatural deep reddish-orange color this morning. The weatherman says that it’s due to the smoke being blown eastward from the west coast wildfires. WOW! Three thousand miles away … small world!

Not much luck this morning on the radio. The bands have been pretty uncooperative the past few days, and this morning was no exception. The Europeans were coming in, but way down in signal strength. Time to read a book or something 😀 !

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

It’s the Weekend Again!

I got up earlier again this Saturday and fired up the rig. I worked six POTA stations in less than an hour … pretty good mix of CW and SSB. I even worked AC8RG on 40 and 60 Meter CW. A quick check shows that that’s my first CW contact on the 60 Meter band … 5.405 MHz marks the spot!

Before that, I worked a bunch of stations on 80, 60, 40, 30, and 20 Meter FT4/8. Mostly USA and Canada, as you would expect on the lower bands, but an occasional European there too. There’s always contacts to be made on digital. Just throw your call out there and somebody will answer … almost guaranteed!

73 de Dick N4BC

Thoughts on the Hobby

I worked a few FT8 contacts this morning … around 6 AM … and decided to check out their bios on Most had more than the stock entry of name, address, and FCC info.

One thing I noticed about most of them is that their station pictures all showed computers … most with multiple monitors. That really emphasized to me just how much the hobby has changed (and benefitted) from technology.

My computer basically controls most aspects of my operating. Logging, equipment control, instant information … all are under computer control. With the touch of a key, I can pull up your QRZ page and get a pretty good idea of who you are and how you operate.

BUT … more importantly … I can still operate without all that stuff, if necessary. I can fling a wire up into a tree and be working stations on battery power with a moment’s notice.

The technology has advanced the hobby immensely, but the roots are still there. The naysayers preach that we are irrelevant in today’s world. BUT, as has so often been demonstrated, all those sophisticated systems have many points of failure, and WE have been the only means of communication.

Sure, we’re not needed as often as we were in the past, but when all else fails, we’re still here.

73 de Dick N4BC

One thing after another!

It’s been a typical 2020 weekend so far … wife had to have an epidural for pinched nerves that have been troubling her for months … the remnants of tropical storm Laura are just about upon us, with predictions of lots of rain, flooding, and even the possibility of tornadoes … the A/C started making funny noises last night, and then quit altogether … hope that’s it for the rest of the weekend!

But, looking on the bright side … the wife says the shot helped a lot, and she’s in a much better mood now … no pain. I sent a request for service to the home warranty company at 11 am, an A/C tech called at noon to say he was on the way, he arrived at 12:30 pm, and had the repair completed and function fully restored by 1 pm … IMPRESSIVE!! That was the first time I have used the warranty. And to top that off, the rain from the storm started just as he was replacing the last screw in the case! How about that!

Radiowise, not a lot happening at the moment. I continue with FT4/8 when I get a few free minutes, but these other things have kept me busy. POTA contacts are down … propagation has not smiled on me.

OH! We did get the repeater antennas up on the tower. Just waiting for a chance to install the UHF and VHF repeaters. Soon!

73 de Dick N4BC