My Most Recent QSO's

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Museum of Radio and Technology

On February the 20th, 2016-  three of our WV Chapter members drove to Huntington West Virginia for our annual Special Event at the Huntington Museum of Radio and Technology. The Museum is about an hours drive from Charleston. We used the club call sign N3AQC. We did our best to make as many contacts with NAQCC members as possible.

Dave Higley WV8DH

Rodney Dillon WB8PMD 

We had a great time despite some very challenging band conditions. The solar flux was only ninety eight, the A index was fifteen and the K index was one. To the club members I was able to hear and work, I salute you for the contact of a lifetime. You should play the lottery as soon as possible! 

I started on the 40 meter band but was soon overwhelmed by the hundreds of participants in the ARRL DX Contest. In about an hour, it became obvious that it was going to take more than five watts to make many contacts. I switched to the 20 meter band. We soon decided the best choice for contacts was "search and pounce". We had trouble with the beam today. It took Dave and Rodney working together to physically run outside and verbally describe direction that the antenna was pointing. There was apparently a short in the wire to the indicator in the shack.

I'm not a bad DX operator but all the pro's were out today. The majority of the CW operators were sending in the 30+ wpm range. As the three of us concentrated intensely, and wrote down what we heard, we managed to work fourteen stations.

The best were FY5KE in French Guiana, CR3W on Madeira Island. and T48RR in Cuba. I was very surprised to work the T48 station in Cuba. I've worked a bunch of Cuban stations but never one with this prefix. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

NAQCC Florida Special Event Station

This morning I watched the QRP  cluster to see if anyone had spotted our Florida Chapter Special Event station. I saw them spotted on both 40 meters (WB4MM) and 20 meters (WB4MNK) . I could hear the 20 meter station but it was too weak to work. Situations like this demand just one thing; it's called patience. 

I've always considered QRP radio to be much like fishing. Sure enough about an hour later another of the Florida stations jumped into the water. Steve (WB4OMM) shifted from 40 meters to 20 meters. He was transmitting down 1 KC to avoid interference. I caught him on my first attempt. He gave me a 599 report. 

I remember Steve from a previous Florida chapter event. He has a well designed QSL card. I will look forward to receiving it in the mail.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

NAQCC Club Promotion Video

Jock Irvine N1JI  has done an excellent job with this promotional video for our club. Watching this production makes me proud to be a member of such an "all volunteer organization" whose focus is on QRP CW operations and simple wire antennas.

This project took many long hours to tweak the audio and gather the pictures necessary for the proper display, in the correct order, to make it pleasing to the eye and the ear. He has done an excellent job splicing it together as a finished product.

I played only a small part in the video by providing the background music. Several months ago, Jock contacted me because he knew I played several instruments. Like himself, we both see music as an art form much like Morse code.

I consider the Ukulele to be the small QRP model of the guitar and thought it would work well as background music without distracting from the voice narrative. Much like QRP radio, the Ukulele is easily transported, very versatile, modestly priced, and easy to use in the field. Whether used at a campsite or sitting at a picnic table they're both great tools for relaxation. I've used both while sitting around a campfire.

I've had several hams ask me how I produced the background music in the video. The sound you hear in the video is actually two "mono" tracks recorded individually and mixed together to form a "master track". I was able to transfer the end result to my desktop and save it as a WAV file. I'm a long way from having it mastered but am looking forward to learning more and recording more as the weeks pass.

I used a Tascam DP-006 multi-track digital recorder. There's a learning curve to using this device. This was my first recording and I was lucky, after several attempts, to arrive with a finished product.

The video seems to be going very well for the club. I think the production explains our philosophy and operating modes very well.

Lifetime membership is Free -- so why haven't you signed up?