Sunday, November 29, 2015

SKCC Awards and 30 meters

After being away for about a month tending to life, I enjoyed getting back on the airwaves the CQ World Wide DX CW contest this weekend.  I only put in a couple of hours looking for new DXCC entities.  The Straight Key Century Club Event Calendar is updated for December and there are a lot of great events as winter approaches.  I’m excited to see continued activity in the SKCC Rag Chew Award - members get a certificate for every 300 minutes of conversational CW activity they log with each other.  Russ, KK4WX in Georgia just became the 31st recipient of the RC Award.  Bob, K3CKO in from Marathon NY just added a total of 1500 minutes to his RC Award!

While working on the awards and updated the SKCC Event Calendar, I kept an eye on the K3UK Sked Page and an ear to 30 meters.  I got nice contacts and a new SKCC number from  Rick, KO4OP and a new band contact with Chip, W9EBE.

Phil, N1DN

Friday, October 2, 2015

PSK at 48 degrees

48 degrees with period of light rain
30.18 inches and steady

Working PSK-31 on 20 meters this evening.  The band seemed to wax and wane here shortly after sunset.  I made several contacts with stations working the TARA PSK Rumble, then called CQ for a bit.  PSK reporter showed extensive reception around the US, and a rare report from Germany and Australia.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

#RaDARactive at Hartford Reservoir

85 degrees and mostly sunny today - a great time for hiking and RaDAR (Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio).  One of several water reservoirs in Hartford County is a modest hike from home.  My Yaesu 817nd, Windcamp 3000mAh internal battery, Par EndFedZ 20 meter antenna, and Micro Key fit nicely into a day pack.

There's a 1.8 km hike from my front door to the water's edge of Hartford Reservoir Number 6.  This is an easy trek including neighborhood streets, and little woodland trail, and then packed stone that surrounds this beautiful lake.  Here on a warm New England day near the end of summer break, the area was surprisingly quiet with few other folks around.

GRID Locator:  FN31ot60

The area's trees are well maintained by the water district, and not conducive to a end fed wire strung high.  I was able to string my antenna between a picnic bench and a pine tree - sloping from the ground to about 15 feet high at best.  I wish I had brought the fiberglass fishing pole to make an inverted L.   More on that another day.

14 MHz was open with activity, but not loud.  I called CQ using 2.5 watts on 14.060 for several minutes.   John W4SK in Tennessee was kind to reply and we had a nice casual CW chat.   He was using a tribander at 50 watts and had a solid 599 signal here in Southern New England.  I was pleased to receive his report of 569.

Afterwards I listened down the band replying to calls plus calling CQ myself around 14.050 and 14.030 without further luck.  After about 20 minutes I decided to pack up and head home.

Today proved that quality of time on the air and out of doors was more important than quantity!

August RaDAR Activity Totals
Contacts 1
Hiking 3.54 km

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Sulphur and Snohomish in one sitting

30 degrees and clear, but sadly no snow

The bands are busy this New Years Day include continued activity for the ARRL Straight Key Night event.  Being employed with a 'day job', I don't get many opportuniities to operate the high bands during daylight hours.  I decided to give 21 MHz a try, and the Cobra Sr Dipole tunes nicely throughout 15 meters.

I answered a CQ from Mark, KN7T, in Snohomish, WA.   Signal reports 599 both ways.   I learned that Ron works in aviation, and there is a great photo of a B52 on his QSL card.   We exchanged SKCC numbers.  I sent a card his way and hope to get one in return.

I then called CQ and was answered by Carl, N5XE.  We had a great chat with solid copy, 589 / 599 reports.  This was an opportunity to exchange SKCC numbers and FISTS numbers as well.   This represents the 3rd contact I've made with Carl over the same number of years, and our third band to date.   He has a great collection of 'Bug' telegraph keys on his QRZ web site.  Check it out.