vendredi 3 octobre 2014

Nice day trip

We took advantage of the nice day to take a trip to Pointe du Raz It is actually the furthest western point of France. On the other side of the ocean are the Americas. The photo was taken just prior to WW1. A wireless telegraph station was there at one time. Now a Marine National communications station sits one story above that old edifice. The usual modern gear and antennas replaced those in the photo. No longer ground-mounted verticals. Satellites and digital rule. I would like to have seen the place before everything changed.

Some fairly recent radio activity running the K1. W1MK again, XP3A and OX3XR, and GM0HCQ/MM from his research vessel.

73 Dick

mardi 23 septembre 2014

TV tonight

The French arte channel has an interesting schedule of documentaries tonight so I will be QRT. Did work a few stations late in the afternoon. Two Special Events, EG5RMA and EN90EW.. Special thanks to the EN station for taking time to pull me out of heavy QRM/

Also worked TF2JB. First Iceland from here since return. Using the HW-8 at 1.2 watts.

Think a couple of those stations made the 1000 MPW definition.

73 Dick

dimanche 21 septembre 2014

Patrimony Day

This weekend was the annual French Patrimony event when most public institutions and many private chateaus are open to the of charge, I might add.

We chose to visit the Chateau du Taureau about a 20 minute boat ride from Carantac. It was a sunny, mild day but the sea a bit choppy. As you can see the Chateau, originally built as protection from English invaders, has no open land around it. Pretty grim place that looks better from it's sea view. I think you can Google it for further details.

Worked a few stations on 20 meters with the K1 at 5 watts. Another ARRL station, W1AW/4, Then W1MK who interestingly has the call sign formerly held by the ARRL station many years ago. Also, PV8ADI. First Brazil from my French QTH since our return.

73 Dick

vendredi 19 septembre 2014

Couldn't stay away from it

I put the old HW-8 back on line. What is there about the old girl that keeps attracting me? Perhaps it's shortcomings are not that important, the fun-factor is. A large rig by today's QRP transceiver standards. Big, colorful, and simplicity itself. Can't kid myself though. It is a direct-conversion, no-filter rig not mean't to be more than it is, which is a very basic early vintage QRP transceiver.

Well, the Chinese BC station was not in evidence so it appeared to be a proper time to listen. Heard W1AW/1 calling CQ. Called him, repeated my call once, and he came back with a confirmation. So across the Atlantic with 1.2 watts. Worked a couple other continental stations. Last night worked VE3USP but that was with 5 watts from the K1. Not quite the same.

73 Dick

mercredi 17 septembre 2014

I hate when that happens

I had just made contact with a N8 station in the USA, when I brushed against the tuning dial of my K1. It is very sensitive and a sneeze in it's direction could move it. (I appreciate the easy frequency lock on my FT-817). Naturally I lost contact with the station. I hope he doesn't take me for a lid.

I worked a couple of special event stations on the continent. AM03PP was a new King of Spain event and II0IGZF an Italian Navy Special Event Station. I worked the same Italian station at about this time last year.

Couple of nice graphics.

73 Dick

mardi 16 septembre 2014


My HW-8 is off-line.  It is functioning correctly as expected for this type of transceiver. However, that darn Chinese BC station is overloading the front end with a booming signal. The entire 20M band in fact. So, it is off the desk, at least for now. Don't have room for rigs not-in-use.

Presently using the K1 and OHR  on 20M. Wonderfully quiet receivers. Lack of microprocessor doo-dads helps keep the noise down.

Worked a number of Euro and Scandinavian operators. The neatest was II1ENG Italian Special Event Station. See the great certificate for those who pursue the real thing. Also my first trans-Atlantic contact since my return here, K8CW. Nice to get across the pond again.

Running 4-5 watts No QRPp attempts and might not even try considering operating conditions here.

73 Dick

jeudi 11 septembre 2014

Back in France since Tuesday the 9th

Had a good flight, that is, a good airborne flight. JFK was jam-packed. Never saw so many people. Security was backed up to the entry doors. I think September 11 preparations had something to do with it. When we arrived in France, took the bus and and train to get here in Benodet. Absolutely jammed. Never again. Rental car the next time. Will stay overnight at a CDG airport hotel to catch up on sleep, if necessary. Too old for helter-skelter travel.

Put my "new" used K1 on the air yesterday, 5 watts.  Antenna the Par EF-20. Worked CT9/HB9BQU/P and 4X4NJ on 20 meters. No great distance but respectable.

Been reading about the big flare heading earth's way. Call me an alarmist, but my antenna is disconnected and equipment plugs are pulled from outlets. Probably an overreaction, but as propagation seems to be poor right now, might be a good time to clean up the shack.

73 Dick