Sunday, March 1, 2015

Ham Quiet Weekend

Par EndFedZ Additions
The weeks seem to drag on and the weekends seem to fly by. I recently ordered two more end fed antenna's and they arrived this past Thursday. These will give me 10 and 6 Meters. Neither one made it up this weekend but the 20 meter was still strung from last weekends activity. I have heard a few signals here and there but far from what was around during the last contest. I plan on using these antennas from my portable locations, one of which I recently picked out at a local park. I'm also looking forward to doing a bit of operating from the backyard of my office at Crater Lake National Park

Since the bands did not seem favorable for my QRP setup, I decided to get a few non-ham things accomplished this weekend. My new shack computer became ill and does not even complete POST. I've tired to fix the darn thing but I finally flew the white flag and dropped it off to the local computer shop. Figured since they had it, I was going to have them install a second hard drive to backup my data. So, once that comes back to life, I will work on getting the digital modes running again. Running QRP, some of the digital modes are just the answer for not so favorable band conditions. I was just getting started with JT9 and getting back into JT65. 

Web Hosting 
One of the other things I needed to work on was domain clean-up! I let my last web domain expire (actually, a few of em) and it was time to do some house cleaning on the server side of things. I spent today removing and archiving my old server data from Alaska, and I created all of my new files and folders. It was time to get all of my email addressed updated and simply point my web world to the new domain. I just have the basics live, but as time allows, I'll continue to build on our new site. Since the weather was cooler this weekend, it was a bit easier to sit in the chair and work on the computer. We saw our first snow since arriving to this QTH Friday night, with a fresh few inches on the deck Saturday morning, pre-coffee. 

Recording of my QSO with FY5KE compliments of F6FVY
I submitted two 1,000 Miles Per Watt Award applications to the QRP ARCI club for my contacts with KP2M and CS2C last weekend. I've have plenty of wallpaper with the most coming from my KL8DX operating time in Alaska, during contest weekends. These current QRP award applications make me smile a bit more due to the circumstances surrounding the award. Low power complimented with indoor antenna does give me an extra feeling of accomplishment. Oh, and the QRP ARCI wallpaper is pretty darn sharp look'n, too! I'll be pursuing a few more awards they offer as time allows. 

In speaking of QRP, I received a very nice email from Larry, F6FVY. Larry saw the video I posted on my YouTube page showing my QRP QSO with FY5KE. It just so happened that Larry was the operator and he actually sent me HIS side of our QSO!! Attached to his email was a recording of our contest contact. It just reaffirmed what a great operator and station Larry had going. I was very weak but my timing was right and Larry was able to make the contact. I'm thankful Larry picked me up as when I operate QRP, if a contest station is running hot and has to ask for my callsign at least three times because he or she can't pull me out, I'm moving on. I don't want to take up their valuable time because they could have had two or more QSO's in the time they were trying to pick me up. With the added QRM on contest weekends, even the best stations can have problems pulling out the weak ones like me. I will normally mark down their frequency and try again when the propagation might favor my minimal signal of when they have fewer people calling.  

It will soon be time to think about my next QSL card but I won't need to print as many as I used to in the past. My logbook does not fill up quite as fast as my others. Sometimes it's not the quantity but more so the quality that adds more weight to a logbook. 

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