vendredi 7 octobre 2016

Back in France

Actually back a couple of weeks now. Spent 15 days in the old home town in upstate NY, essentially visiting brother and sister. Mom passed away one year ago and dad several years earlier. Sister has early-stage dementia and I spent most of the time with her, doing what I could. Had several nice visits with my brother. We raised a pint or two. He has the same cardiac condition as my YL. Both have defibrillator implants.  It wasn't really a vacation and I didn't want to be away from my YL more than two weeks.

Returned to poor conditions on the bands, though there have been a few "good" days recently.

I put my QRP rigs away and don't expect to use them again. The FT-857 is back on the desk and will most likely be my operating rig for the duration of my radio hobby days. I don't expect to be active for the next positive solar cycle. Run 30 to 50 watts...on 20 meters as usual.

Had a couple weak reports into the east coast of NA. The other day, a good one from Mass, but it took 50 watts to do what 5 did a year or so ago. The low end-fed antenna doesn't help.

My operating times are spotty and generally take place when the YL is having a nap or out of the house.

I will update the blog if anything exciting happens. I do read the blogs of old friends.

73 de Dick

mercredi 20 juillet 2016

Still here

It has been a very long time since I put anything in this hit-and-miss blog. Fact is other responsibilities have taken priority over the hobby. So, I have been pretty inactive. When I do have spare time, I spend it reading. I have developed a great interest in Victorian and Edwardian mysteries. Also, first-person 18th, 19th, and early 20th century travel non-fiction. That and more.

QRP CW  on 20 meters has been my radio activity, switching between the FT-857 and FT-817. Calling CQ has been pretty ineffective, especially as my wire is now seasonally covered by oak-tree leaves. Not to mention frequently poor propagation.

Exception this morning was hearing and contacting  5H3PM in Tanzania. A first for me.

samedi 23 avril 2016

Did anyone work a Marconi Day station?

Did anyone work a a Marconi Day special event station? I am restricted to 20 meters and cw at that. Signals were few and most not very strong. I listened for stations signing with an IMD suffix. None heard. Hard to believe there were none on the air. Certainly one of the most significant radio days deserving  SE status and participation.

lundi 18 avril 2016

New operating hours

It has become evident that late night operating is more effective on the 20 meter band. At least in my case. Last night after 2300Z I worked 6Y5WJ in Jamaica, and HT7AAA in Nicaragua. Running 30 watts, I received 579 reports. As my YL is in bed at that time and far removed from the transmitting antenna, I could run a bit more power, but won't. Some day I will try one of the digital modes and keep the transmitter on as much of the day as possible. For now in the cw mode, just a bit of late night operating.

The extra chores now required of me during the day makes late night operating my new schedule.

vendredi 15 avril 2016

I went to the Dark Side

Using my FT-707, I tried making contact at five watts, then ten. No luck. Went to 30 watts and raised PV8ADI, and PY6ML  Only 559 reports which still required the higher power.

QRP cw DX getting more difficult as time goes on. Especially with marginal 20 meter wire antenna here.

vendredi 1 avril 2016

One watt making it

I decided to use the old HW-8 again this afternoon, despite conditions only rated at a "fair" level. No USA reports on the RBN and only a few from northern Europe. I heard YL N2MM signing with someone and gave her a call.  She came back with a 559/QSB report. Short. but, the essentials were exchanged. So one watt did make it across the Atlantic into New Jersey. Thanks to her antenna farm and keen sense of hearing.

jeudi 24 mars 2016

One watt just not making it

I have retired the HW-8, probably indefinitely. No, the old girl is functioning OK, but her one watt cw to a low wire antenna just isn't enough any longer. No QSOs and only a couple close Euro reports on the RBN. With conditions only fair this past week...and likely to continue so, I really need the five watts my Argonaut 509 can deliver. The Argo or my K1. I had a 569 QSO with W1MK early this afternoon with the 509. He had his usual big signal. I think the full QRP "gallon" is going to be necessary from this QTH for the indefinite future. And, with the YL defibrillator and pacemaker implants, no question of going QRO.

Late evening, same day, worked TF3JB.