My Most Recent QSO's

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Some Thoughts on the 30 Meter Band

I've hardly ventured outdoors today, other than to take the dog out for his daily constitution. It's a cold damp rainy day in the valley, but fortunately, it looks like we will miss most of the "Frankenstein Storm" which is headed up the eastern coast toward the Northeastern states.

Yesterday when I worked N0IMJ (on 30 meters), he talked about his solar powered station and his deep cycle storage batteries. It's an interesting setup and worth looking at the Bio on I imagine this type of station is worth it's weight in gold with the approaching wet heavy snow. Power outages are almost certain.

 In just a few hours, the temperature had dropped almost 20 degrees on the far side of Lake Michigan. When that cold front mixes with the rain from this giant slow moving hurricane, it's going to be a real mess in parts of New York and New Jersey. We're expecting several feet of snow in the mountains, but little, if any accumulation in the valley.

Moving onto 30 meters....anyone who turns on their set today must be aware of the big SSB contest on the airwaves. If you're using a simple QRP station like mine, it's "tuff" going, to work much of anything, because of  those "KW's" and aluminum antenna farms the size of K-mart parking lots.

But when I worked N8DUS  on 30 meters from Rochester, Michigan, it was a very pleasant long conversation. What a joy to copy each other 599 with NO interference from a KW station! This is the beauty of the 200 watt maximum "CW only" 30 meter band. Every day I spend here makes me appreciate the joy of QRP operation and it's advantages.

Right after this long conversation, I worked PA3FQA in the Netherlands. (twice now) . I worked him a few days ago on the 12 meter band. He was a little weaker but was much easier to copy. His signal strength and the steady signal could have progressed into a long conversation also.

I spent some time earlier today on the SSB portion of 15 meters looking for some new DX stations. I didn't hear any; since there was an assortment of those "the bigger the better" super stations. But despite the pile ups, I worked CN3A in Morocco, DR1A in Germany, S54ZZ in Slovenia, 9A1A in Croatia and OE6A in Austria.

I applaud those "big gun" stations for their "great ears" but can't help wonder---- "is this really necessary" ? Today I was happy to use a simple 3 watts of power which was more than effective on this band.

The 30 meter band has been worth all the effort I've put into CW over the last 20 years.....every bit of it!

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