lundi 13 février 2017

Strenuous going

Activity has been limited to local contacts. Less than 1000 miles from my QTH on the Brittany Coast. Some strong signals, but not as many as before.  As conditions continue to spiral down, QRO stations would do well to begin exercising their listening faculties and prepare themselves for long periods of weak-signals-only conditions.

I listen for NE USA calls at what would be the proper time of day. Very, very few heard. I must say that I can only operate on 20 meters so activity on the lower bands would probably be more productive.

Exception was W1MK in MA late yesterday afternoon. Rob was 599. I was 579. I have had a number of contacts with this good operator. Glad he heard me getting across the pond once again.

Continue watching the old BBC WW1 documentary, The carnage mind-numbing. The ineffective high-command military leadership of the British and French General staff, disgraceful. Aristocrats all, nothing more. Brave officers and men in the field.

mardi 7 février 2017

Sunshine and calm, hurrah!

Beautiful day, so far. YL's spirits have picked up.

Two-way QRP QSO with UA1CEX this morning. Distance of 2537 km didn't break DX records, but was a nice event. Good operator.

lundi 6 février 2017

Weather still depressing

Still windy and rainy here. Not gale force which is a relief. Doesn't really bother me but the YL is unfavorably affected by it. One of those seasonally depressed types. Her health issues don't help, psychologically.

I was out in the rain trying to adjust my Par antenna to be more effective. Never an easy task. Especially with my restricted space operating conditions.

Worked K1TH in Plymouth, MA on 20 meter cw. Rig the Argonaut.  Looking up his call, noticed we have a couple of commonalities in our background. The photo is of Plymouth Colony Village. The YL and I visited it a couple years ago.

Am viewing a BBC production on streaming video. WW1 documentary. Perhaps the best I've seen. Many episodes and very detailed. It dates from the 1960's; back when the BBC was still producing quality programming.


jeudi 2 février 2017

Stormy night

Quite intense wind and rain storm tonight. Surf very strong and tides expected to be high tomorrow.

I did the unforgivable and incorrectly connected the Argonaut to the power supply. Reverse polarity event. Two fuses, one in the rig and one in-line on the power cord.  Fortunately they blew and saved the transceiver.  First time I ever did such a dumb thing. Had to go to a major home repair supply outlet to find proper fuse replacements, Some fuses available in the local supermarkets but not the type I needed. All OK now.

Unfortunately, 2-way contacts have been non-DX. Did appear on the RBN as logged by a number of east coast NA stations, but nothing beats a 2-way DX QSO.

Not as frustrated as I would have been years ago. More important things to fret over these days.

73 Dick

mardi 17 janvier 2017

Conditions have been simply awful from this QTH

Radio has been very, very unproductive lately. I have given up calling CQ because  responses have been absolutely nil. Propagation totally unsatisfactory.

I have had a few contacts by responding to CQs. All have been continental and of brief duration..

Did have one DX today.  W2WC was calling CQ near 14,060 I called and he returned. No repeats necessary for a short but complete exchange.

Just when I was about to throw in the towel, something nice happened.

mardi 10 janvier 2017

You know you are really getting old when.....

My USA amateur license is coming up for renewal this year. That fact put me to musing over the "license-type" official documents we update for ten years or more. And if it may be the last time we do so.

So, maybe a last time for my USA ham license; a last time for my French resident ID card scheduled for next year; USA driver's license next year maybe for the last time. My passport was renewed in 2016 so some nine years to go.

Probably something else that hasn't come to mind.

Hey, I'm not depressed. Life is like a coin. It has two sides. A head and a tail. Life and you-know-what.

I managed to jury-rig my Argonaut 509 into operational mode having sat in a box for many months. Delicate condition but functioning. So nice to have a QRP-only rig that is larger than a package of cigarettes.

One very difficult QSO into the USA NE. QRN and weak signals.

Picture taken in New York City a few years ago.