QRN is the amateur radio's shorthand way to say natural interference, static or otherwise noise. This weekend in Iowa had a tremendous amount of QRN. The main culprit was a gigantic storm system that dumped a lot of rain. Many cities are flooded and the flood waters will hit Cedar Rapids on Wednesday. It is expected to be the highest river levels since the big flood of 1993.
So, back to radio. The QRN turned 80 meters and 40 meters into a pile of garbage. I can copy a weak CW signal, but when lightning is causing S9+10 in noise, the weak CW signal goes away. That being said, I managed to work a station on 30 meters who was at the noise floor. It took several tries and I finally got his information. I let him go after that because it was not fruitful to have a standard QSO with so much difficulty.
The neat thing was that I switched up to 20 meters and heard a guy call CQ not more then 3 minutes after the 30 meter QSO. 20 meters was open to California and I had a nice QSO with K6STA. The band was absolutely quite and he was 589 the entire 30+ minutes. We talked about old tube radios and the flooding in Iowa. Sure, since we were using morse code our speed was much slower then having a simple voice conversation, but it was almost more enjoyable because we were using a "foreign" language and were both perfectly fluent in it.
I also worked a few stations in the Alabama QSO party. Thank you guys! That is another state I need for my WAS certificate.
More to come, I am going to modify my picokeyer circuit and will post pictures and schematics. It's a really neat mod that the creater of the picokeyer suggested I try.
73 Joe N0NS