Monday, September 22, 2008

Back on the air!

It's been a while! I have hardly had the radio on and my last QSO was 20 days ago, until tonight that is. I started a new class which is basically UNIX for administrators. It has been very computer intensive and I have been trying to get my old PC's converted over to Linux for the class. I had partial success but that took a lot of my radio time. I also took a RF design class down at Georgia Tech (Atlanta.) What a great class! It's pretty amazing to really start to get ahold of how microwave RF propagates through transmission lines! I also was 50 miles north of Minneapolis this weekend visiting our good family friends. All of this combined made for very little time with the rig on.

I decided to fire the radio up and see what was shakin!

For one, today is the start of Fall and it gets a lot darker a lot earlier in the evening. I figured that would have some affect on my typical HF evening propagation cycle. As far as I can tell, it did! The evening thunderstorms are greatly diminished as are the signals on 30 and 20 meters. It could be a temporary condition but I suspect we are just rolling into the winter HF conditions. This is not all bad because I really enjoy 40 meters and also like the close in joy that 80 has to offer.

Since the last posting, I worked a Canadian who happened to be in Vermont. This is one of the remaining states that I need for WAS. I'm not sure what it is but for me, I really love to receive QSL's but don't seem to get around to filling them out and mailing them in any haste. I hope this blog post will give me the energy to pick up the pen and finish my paperwork.

Oh, by the way, my QSO tonight was with a ham in Tucson, AZ. I was running 50 watts on 7.062. I called CQ once and the gentlemen answered me right back. 549 his way, 559 my way. Right after we started the QSO, we had SSB QRM. I suspect he gave up and left or the conditions changed because I lost him right after that. The good news is I sent some RF through my coax and out into the atmosphere!

73 all, Joe N0NS

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