My Most Recent QSO's

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stealth Monkey

This is VERY funny. (cut and pasted from the Ham Radio Safari blog)

Friday, October 8, 2010

BBC Radio Player

I've developed a fondness for the British Broadcasting World Service. When I was a kid, I remember the sounds of Big Ben and their broadcast over the shortwave bands. I've always enjoyed their programing. I consider it one of the best in the world.

But shortwave listening is becoming more difficult every year because of budget cuts, poor propagation, and increasing electrical interference. Some major international broadcasters have ceased transmitting all together, and many others are limiting their transmissions to the weekends.

For those reasons, I feel the future of most radio stations will be on the world wide web. There's both good and bad for this mode. Obviously, if you don't have web service, you don't have anything, and if someone decides to "pull the plug" on the electrical grid, we're all "up the creek". But what it is, is what it is....This is the wave of the future, weather we like it or not.

I found a neat gadget yesterday that allows you to choose many "different" streams of the BBC at the click of a button. I've added it to the right side of my blog. I usually have something playing in the background whenever I'm surfing the web.

I can't think of a better station to listen to. I hope you enjoy it also.

Friday, October 1, 2010

20 Meter DX Field Day

I spent this afternoon "out in the field" with my portable station. The solar flux was 90, the A index was 1, and the K index was 0....all the indicators for a good radio day, especially in the field, away from the electrical noise in town.

But I never dreamed it would be THAT good of a day!

I set up at a city park just outside of town, on the highest point, with some nice trees for an antenna support. As always, I set up for 30 meters with a dipole. Everything went perfect today. It was a "first shot" with the slingshot, and I had the antenna in the air in just a few minutes.
It took only a few more minutes to arrange my table and battery and I was on the air.

But not much on 30 meters....I heard a clear 3 watt beacon (W0ERE) and a station in Florida but not much else.

So I switched over to 20 meters and found it ALIVE with DX stations.

It took a few extra minutes to drop the 30 meter dipole and exchange it with my end fed Zepp. (some people call this antenna an end fed dipole), I re-tuned and immediately heard KN6ZA in Paradise California. Sounded just like he was beside me.

Right after this QSO, I heard WI5C in Arlington Texas. Fantastic signal and we chatted for a bit and then closed because I wanted to listen for some distant stations.

A few minutes later I heard IK6BGT in Italy with an even stronger signal. Justin was on the far side of the "boot" and coming in just like a local. He congratulated me on my QRP status.

A few minutes later, LY3X in Lithuania kicked my socks off...I was beginning to feel really proud of my portable station sitting on a hill in good old West Virginia.

Just when I thought I couldn't get much better, I worked UW5ZM in the Ukraine. Wow....what a day.

About that time, my cell phone rang. It was my brother coming home from work. He could hear the dots and dashes in the background, I said "Is this anything important" -- He said "No"--just wanted to say hello and sounds like you're on the radio---I said yes...having a blast up here in the park---I said-- "I got'a go, I'll call you right back". Then I listened in amazement as I heard a familiar K6AA calling from San Pedro California.

If you look back a few entries on my blog, you'll notice that call sign, as the one I worked a few weeks ago, while aboard the LST 325 (WW2LST) when I visited it, in Marietta Ohio. My Dad was with me and I was fortunate enough to use the ships radio for this contact.

Today....we must have talked for 15 minutes about this eerie "second meeting" on the band. It was spooky.....The club station was again on the air, we happened to be on the same frequency, at the same time. We re-hashed me walking the past club station a few years ago when my wife and I were walking to Huntington beach via an old railroad trail.

To make it more eerie, when I returned this afternoon, from my field operations, their QSL card was on the table.

Radio doesn't get any better than it was for me today. Maybe the dog bite, and the way it turned out had something to do with it?

Good Karma I suppose.