We had our monthly radio club meeting last night and it was reported that the 2023 Frostfest in Richmond was cancelled again. That’s the largest hamfest in Virginia, and has been cancelled for the past couple of years due to Covid.
The reason for this cancellation has nothing to do with disease, however. It’s alleged that there is some disagreement and strife in the sponsoring organization … RATS (Richmond Amateur Telecommunications Society). I tried accessing their website for more info, but I can’t connect to it.
Otherwise, I’ve been working a bunch of FT8 and FT4, along with some CW, during these past few weeks of sky-high A- and K-index numbers. My Parks on the Air numbers now total 705 unique parks hunted. I continue to concentrate on CW and digital for my POTA contacts … SSB just doesn’t float my boat anymore.
The weather has moderated here recently. We have days in the low to mid-80s (rather than the upper 90s with heat indices of 100+), but the evenings and early mornings are considerably cooler than last month, and I notice it’s darker when I leave for work in the mornings … I actually have to turn the headlights on 🙂 . Fall is just around the corner 😀 .
I haven’t posted for a while, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been doing anything.
I’ve been chasing Parks on the Air (as usual), and having some success with the improved solar conditions, but my main emphasis since the 1st of the month has been the 13 Colonies Special Event. So far, I have ten of the original 13 in my log, and still trying to break the pileups on the last three. There are three bonus stations, and I have WM3PEN in the books, but not the overseas two. I’ve worked them where I found them … 80M, 40M, and 20M … and on several modes … CW, FT4, and FT8. Surprisingly, none on SSB so far. The phone pileups are chaotic.
Six meters has been having some nice openings, too. All up and down the East coast from here … the farthest contacts have been into Canada, Cuba, and Bermuda. The majority of those contacts have been on FT8.
Our VHF repeater (W4MT) has been up and running for several weeks now, after having some problems passing audio (knock on wood 🙂 ). We never identified the cause, but the problems were coincident with HVAC problems … the drain on the wall unit was plugged and the condensation was running out onto the floor inside instead of outside. Everything was still cool. We unclogged the drain line, and I wonder if the high humidity had something to do with the issues we were having?
It looks like Tropical Storm Elsa will be just a rain event here in coastal Virginia. We’ve still got our eye on its progress, but hopefully it’ll just be wet! We’ll surely see some coastal flooding, but we get that with any big rain event.
The days are longer than the nights, propagation is trending better, the trees and flowers are in bloom, and the temperatures are beginning to feel spring-like … Spring must surely be here!
It’s time to break out the portable gear and give it a good going over and cleaning. I anticipate being more successful in getting out into nature to operate this year … last year was a TOTAL failure due to the pandemic.
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.
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 😀 !