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.

dimanche 20 mars 2016

Contest weekend for confirmed non-contester

The 20 meter cw band was wall-to-wall with contest participants. A Russian one I believe, judging from call signs. As I don't contest, was a good time to review equipment stored in boxes. Re-discovered my Argonaut 509 which has been there for months. The outboard T-T 208 Argonaut cw filter needs some repair. Bad solder connection between it's plug and the 509. By jigging the connecting cord around, managed to keep the filter functioning. Very necessary attachment on this broad rig. Worked a couple of stations including one in upstate New York. Now that Ten-Tec is essentially no more, good idea to use the rig while it lasts. There are no replacement parts or components from Ten Tec. And so, no service. Still keeping my HW-8 on line for good condition, non-QRM days.