My Most Recent QSO's

Friday, June 7, 2013

Difficult Band Conditions

After several tries, I managed to work VP5/W5CW in the Turk and Caicos Islands last night. We've worked before; but last night the conditions were so poor that I worried if I would be able to continue my string of daily DX contacts.

The weather in the Caribbean, Southern Florida, and upward along the Eastern coast is horrible this week. True, the propagation is dismal, which might explain why I hear very few stations on the air, but I can't help but think that most hams in these areas have unplugged their stations and unhooked their antennas because of the accompanying thunderstorms, high winds, and storm surges.

I worked another Oklahoma station last night (W5WIL) which was just a few miles from where that tremendously destructive tornado rumbled through last week. Within a weeks time, there's been two tornadoes touch down in this area with 300 mph winds. (482 kph) I don't know what word to use to describe that other than "devastating".  Fortunately, they touched down in empty fields this time.

We were on the 40 meter QRP frequency (7040) and had the possibility of a nice QSO; but were interrupted by a careless operator who decided "his" frequency was a good place to  "tune up". It was an inexcusable and  thoughtless action by a "four" station, who obviously "didn't give a hoot who was on the frequency". I continue to find this behavior a "big"  problem on this band and sadly find myself avoiding it out of frustration.

I imagine the thousands of "rock bound QRP kit builders" experience the same frustration. They don't have the option of "moving somewhere else".  In essence, their "kits" have become nothing more that paperweights and conversation items.

I don't know what the answer is to this continuing problem since "common courtesy" doesn't seem to be in their vocabulary.


James Benjamin said...

I hear your frustration John both on the crappy band condx and the QRP folks walking over everyone else. I always understood that when you tune up you should drop your power down so as not to interfere with others...and listen first for others on that freq.

The condx have really been bad here as well...that's the band condx and the weather condx. Our summer disappeared and we have had a week of cool temps in the mid teens Celcius and a lot of rain. My lawn is screaming to be cut. Maybe tomorrow.

Cheers es take care,
Scott ve3vvf

Jspiker said...

Hello Scott,

A little common courtesy goes a long way doesn't it? There are times when the 7040 frequency is almost useless for a CW op.

Hope you get the grass cut. Yes, all this rain make it grow like a two year old.

PE4BAS, Bas said...

Hello John, it's incredible you can make it even with the worst propagation. Nice QSOs ! 73, Bas

Jspiker said...

Hello Bas,

Sometimes it's very difficult but I wonder too how in the world some of these stations hear me? Being retired, and the extra time it allows me, means a lot in these situations. It's a great advantage.