It's difficult to think that I've been inactive on the radio for the last four years but sometimes life moves much quicker than I care to think about. Although I haven't forgotten how to use most of the features on my Icom 703 rig, there have been a few moments when I really thought I might need to get the instruction manual out to go over a few fine points.
The last several afternoons, I've realized electrical noises have become much worse over the last four years, especially on 40 meters. I blame a new telephone pole and transformer which was replaced after an especially windy week a few months ago.
There are also still Christmas LED lights all over the neighborhood. lol
Yes, my CW speed has slacked off a bit, but I still can copy, and send CW at about 17 words per minute. I surprised even myself because I feared that I was around 11 wpm. Of course most of that depends on who is sending it and what key they are using.
This afternoon I made a quick contact with VE2NGO in Montreal Canada. I missed the call but realized the mistake. (it's been awhile) The 30 meter band has always been a staple band for CW operators.
I'll have more to say as time moves slowly forward but for now 5 watts and an indoor random wire antenna is working well.
It's a great feeling to be back on the air.