My Most Recent QSO's

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Crazy Weather and Crazy Bands

Due to the new family member, a rescue dog named Timmy; last week, I had nearly zero time for radio. The weather has also been absolutely crazy with temperatures swinging wildly between the 60's one day and the 30's the next.  

Yesterday morning we had an accumulation of about an inch of snow on the ground. It was a surprise to see, bright and early, when I began my morning walk with the dog. I bought him a warm winter coat. (cute isn't it?)

This morning, I should not have expected much on the bands since "blackouts" were in the forecast; but the DX cluster was showing a few DX stations on both 10 and 15 meters. I thought it would be fun, at least, to stretch out the antennas and give it a try.

The only station I could work, on 15 meters, was CO6WD in Cuba. I drooled as N8RR (also in Charleston) worked an island off the coast of Africa. I could barely hear the Charleston station. Couldn't even tell the African station was there....

With disappointing conditions on the upper bands, thank goodness for good old 40 meters. It's the band I can always count on to make a contact. I like this band because of the long "rag chews" which are possible here. The stations are usually within 500 miles of me and good for conversation. We often talk about the cities where they live and they usually ask about my home state too.

I've been deliberately spending time on the upper portions of this band where "new" hams hang out, and I enjoy the slow speed QSO's.

There are other reasons for slow Morse Code speeds also.

I've worked W8IRT many times on 40 meters. Paul is a very active member of the "Handi-Ham" network which helps "visually impaired" people get an amateur radio license. Unexpectedly, he assigned me Handi-Ham # 1238, which will make it easier to check into, and participate in the 40 meter nets on Friday mornings (9am till noon) on 7112 MHz.

This net is deliberately ran at a "slow" CW speed.

It's perfect for "new" hams to "get their feet wet" with actual "on the air time" with other hams. I hope some of the new people I've talked to recently, on the local repeater, take advantage of this opportunity.


Paul Stam PAØK said...

Hi John, nice little dog! Conditions are very poor the last two weeks. So time to do other around the house. 73 Paul

Jspiker said...

Yes they are and I'm glad the dog is here to keep me walking outside. hihi

KC9IQW said...

Really enjoyed your last two posts. Yep two meters is great for making local friends, and Paul, W8IRT is a real treasure when a new ham is starting out, what a great op. Timmy looks like a keeper. 73 de Tom ab9nz

Jspiker said...

Hello Tom,

Thanks for your comments. I like the new HT; despite it being VERY difficult to program. I'm selling off most of my old two meter gear to pay for it.

The weather is supposed to be near 80 degrees this week. Sure hope spring time has finally arrived.

I hope the outdoor radio season is here now.

VE9KK said...

Good morning John, we too have had some very weired weather swings up this way as well. This week it is supposed to be nice and warm....who knows what next week will bring. The dog looks great and seems you both have bonded very well.