Friday, August 14, 2015

Vol 1 Number 1 August 14 2015

Hello!  I am going to try my hand at publishing some regular thoughts on my ham radio activities, including special attention to Low Band DX, and Six Meters.  I hope you find it to be of interest.

QSL Adventures: I'm very close to DXCC on both 80 and 40 meters.  So I've been going back through my contacts and making sure I get all of them confirmed.  Some by LOTW, some by card, and some by a combination of email, ClubLog, and even a phone call or two.  In so doing, I am reminded of what a great hobby we have, and how friendly and helpful most hams are.  I'm also finding and correcting logging mistakes - for example, my logging program (most likely operator error) classified a series of 5 late night 80m QSOs as "crossband" instead of 80m.  So, no confirmation.  Fixing that error got me 3 new confirmations via LOTW.

It's been fun reliving some of those contacts, as well as interacting with other hams, and QSL managers, all of us with the same goal - more confirmed QSOs.

Here are my current totals:

Account Status

New LoTW QSLsLoTW QSLs in ProcessDXCC Credits AwardedTotal
Phone *00144144143
20M *00107107106

I have at least 5 more confirms coming on 40m, and 5 or 6 more on 80m.

Antenna Work: last year I was not active on 80 or 160, as my new S9 43' vertical was not tuning up well.  I worked 40 and above and just dealt with it.  10 meters has been great in recent months, as you know, and I wanted to make hay while the sun shone, as it were.  Now that the cycle is likely past its peak, I'm back to focusing on the lower bands.   I'm building a loading coil for the lowest bands, and laying down a few more long radials, in an effort to improve my signal and reception on 80m.  No room on my lot for a beverage, so I may also look into a rotatable loop receiving antenna.

Low Bands: I've dusted off my copy of ON4UN's book on Low Band Dxing, and am looking forward to the season.  A few weeks ago I received a certificate from CQ for a high score in the Tennessee Division for low power in the 2014 CQ 160 SSB contest.  Even a small station with limited antennas can make some noise.  At the time I was using a FT-950 into a G5RV (grounded as a marconi-T)  If you want to send along low band dx activity reports, I'll include them in my weekly comments.  More frequently if conditions warrant.

Six Meters: While it has been fairly slow from here in EM55, I have managed to work 5 new grids this season, and even today (August 14) had a relatively long QSO with a ham in South Dakota.  Many of the Es clouds have parked over us here in the Mid-South, and I have heard no SA or EU stations all summer long.  

My Working Conditions: A Kenwood TS-590s, into a 43' vertical for HF, and into a KU4AB loop for 6m.  For logging software, I use N1MM for contests, and VQlog for general logging.  I have HRD, and am excited about what it can do, but I have found the learning curve to be very steep.  

Feel free to comment and let me know what you are working on. 73 for now.

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