Higher frequencies …

I didn’t have much time for radio this weekend, but I did find the higher bands were still alive. I had a couple of contacts on 17m FT8 and did hear some stations on 10m SSB.

Sunday, 01/21/2018 17m FT8









Just goes to show ya that there is still a bit of life left “up there.”  I wonder how often the band is actually open, but quiet because nobody is there? Hmmm. Maybe we ought to try more often?

73 de Dick N4BC


Just a little update …

More snow expected tonight … only 1 or 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) this time. But … you never know. Schools were delayed two hours this morning due to freezing fog and low visibility.

Not much to report for last weekend … had too many non-radio projects, and most of my hamming was watching YouTube videos from ham contributors.

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

Busy Evening

I fired up on 40 meters when I got home from work yesterday, and worked quite a few FT8 QSOs:

1/11/18 FT8

Mostly US stations, but a few Europeans mixed in as well. Things had quieted down when I got back home later after choir practice and Scouts, and I decided to call it a night. Even in these days of lower activity, you CAN make QSOs. You just have to turn on the rig.

73 de Dick N4BC

New Territory

I spent a bit of time on 80 meters last night … most contacts were North America. Forty meters was pretty sparse. Just not good conditions. As a matter of fact, later, I actually was wondering if my antenna had fallen down again, signals dropped so much.

So, to catch up with a task I hadn’t gotten around to yet, I decided to enter frequencies into memory for the 60 meter (5 MHz) band on the new IC-7300. I have never operated on this band before, so moving between the five “channels” revealed not too much activity last night. I did hear one CW station, and they were pretty strong; I also heard a couple of FT8 signals on one channel as well.

The CW station was right on the center frequency of the channel. Neither digital station was. The rules state that digital signals must be zero-beat with the center frequency of the channel; they also state that only one station can transmit on a channel at one time. Either the operators were in error, or I need to read some more. I didn’t do any transmitting on that band, other than to send a couple of test signals (VVV de N4BC). I’ll try more later.

Most of the snow and ice is gone now … supposed to get up to 62 today and 71 tomorrow. Saturday, the temperatures drop again, and Sunday they’re in the 30s again. I’m ready though … got a new pair of hunting boots from Amazon yesterday. Probably won’t snow again all winter!

73 de Dick N4BC