mardi 18 août 2015

A week in Gloucester, MA

We spent nearly a week in this MA seaport town. Very interesting. What I liked most was the fact of it being a working commercial fishing port. So, not just souvenir and tee-shirt shops. The good, bad, and ugly typical of such a community. Some wonderful old homes dating back to the late 18th century. We went out on a whale watch one early morning. Took some time to spot any, but when we did it was inspiring. A mother whale and her calf, surfacing and plunging. I came back a changed person after that sighting. Attached is a photo one of the most well-known landmarks in the city of Gloucester.

Radio has been very poor, but not unexpected. Did work HI3TEJ this morning on 30M. Running about 20 watts to the MP-1. Conditions really bad lately.

jeudi 6 août 2015

First DX

I loaded the MP-1 on 17 meters. Think that might be the best band for me here. Also, first contact using the FT-707. Running somewhere between 5 and 7 watts. Station worked was HT7C in Nicaragua. Quite an interesting QRZ page. I think I worked him some years ago but don't remember if it was from here or Benodet. I was reminded that early QRO transceivers did not have stable output power when that power reduced to QRP levels, that was my experience at  any rate. I'm referring to "hybrid" rigs such as TS-520 series and FT-101 series.  Makes a case for having a good multi-band QRP rig that sits at 5 watts and stays there.  73 Dick

Later in afternoon worked CO8LY also on 17M.

August 7, 2015 afternoon, worked HK1MW on 17M.

lundi 3 août 2015

New "antique" rig now here

I bought a third-hand Yaesu FT-707 for sale on one of the amateur radio sites.  Five-watt QRP is becoming more difficult for me, so I thought I should have the option of  running a bit more power when necessary. By more power I mean 20 watts or so. I just received the 707 today so can't give a fair review. However it is nearly a 10 cosmetically. The receiver is quite sensitive considering the rig's age, but it does need nearly a half-hour for the drift to settle down*. One of those rigs you turn on first thing in the morning, then go cook some coffee. Only having 7 amp power supply here, I loaded it up to 7 or 8 watts output to be on the very safe side. I will have to wait until my return to Benodet to use the 30 amp supply I have there.  It is semi-QSK which is good enough for every-day operating. Not the best CW system if you want to work a rare DX station with a massive pile-up calling , but that has never been my interest. Perhaps in a day or two I will have sufficient time to put the rig through it's paces. First have to print the manual from a site I discovered.  Have to keep in mind most replacement parts no longer exist!

* Drift being 14.040.0 to 14.040.1 which is pretty insignificant. 

mercredi 8 juillet 2015

Recent activity

We spent the fourth of July in New York City. Visited the Hermione, Lafayette's ship,  Was built to original specifications and sailed from France to visit various ports on the east coast of NA. This is not a photograph that I took. I snapped  many but cannot upload them on this computer so must wait until our return to Benodet. We viewed the NYC July 4 fireworks from the roof of our building close to the East River barge from which they were fired.

Set the Buddistick for 30 meters and worked FS/W6IZT. Not great distance but it was good to catch considering 5 watts to the Buddistick.

dimanche 28 juin 2015

Second DX contact

Conditions have been poor here but not unexpected. I heard  ZP6CW calling CQ on 20 meters very early Sunday evening. He came back to me and we made it a two-way. My first QSO with Paraguay in a very long time. 4843 miles from central New York State. The rig (only rig) the OHR 100A at 5 watts. The antenna, Buddistick tweaked with a small MFJ tuner.

No other great contacts. In fact, few of any kind. We are off to New York City for July 4. Expect to visit Lafayette's ship...if we can get close enough.

jeudi 18 juin 2015

First DX worked from here in USA (as N2UGB)

I heard EA2IF calling CQ on 20 meters late afternoon USA east coast time. I answered and Guru returned with a solid 559 report. He was QRO with a Yagi antenna which contributed very much to the contact. I was about 5 watts. I wasn't surprised by having a non-rare DX QRP QSO but was surprised by having it with only my Buddistick out the window and then through the MFJ tuner. When I can I will photograph the antenna and post it here. 73 Dick

mercredi 17 juin 2015

Back in the USA

Had one of my more agreeable flights. Left CDG on time and arrived in JFK early.  Doesn't get much better than that. Rental car waiting and a good drive to central NY state. The arrival weather was warm and humid with showers. Today, Wednesday, is mild with low humidity. Family visits underway.

Set up the station. (See photo). The antenna turned out to be a buddistick through an MFJ tuner. As planned, the OHR rig is on duty. Had one QSO with an operator in Indiana, also QRP. Can't complain considering the situation here.

As I once mentioned, I will try to be on 14.060 at around  2200 UTC whenever I can. Will be looking for a transatlantic QSO. If anyone hears me (and I don't hear you), an e-mail will be appreciated.

73 Dick