Here's an update on my (fairly brief) ham radio efforts this week:
QSL - No new QSLs this week, no paper, no LOTW.
6 Meters -Spent no time on the radio during the day, I have no 6 meter activity to report.
Low Band - Finally, on Friday, I got the loading coil installed on the base of my 43' vertical. I'm pleased to report that I'm now tuning close to 1:1 SWR in the DX window on 80m. I plan to add a few longer radials to the 25+ or so I already have down, and I think that will improve the radiating efficiency. Too much noise this evening (0200z 8/30/15) to hear any DX but I did work a few US stations, including the K5H Katrina Special Event Station. The DX season is starting. As soon as the thunderstorm activity calms down, sunrise and sunset will be great times, as will local midnight if you can stay awake!
Contest - I tuned around for the NAQP SSB this evening, but heard very few calling. I think the high A Index certainly impacted propagation and participation.
Equipment - Back in April I purchased the new Heil Pro-7 headset from Richard at MTC. I resisted the bright colors and went with standard black. These are great headphones. They offer noise canceling, have a phasing switch, and a balance control. I took some time last week and integrated them with my TS-590s Kenwood, to get VOX operational. Combined with the DSP on the rig, the headphones really help to bring signals out of the noise. They are large and heavy duty, with an adjustable boom mic and wind screen. Very reminiscent of headphones worn by private pilots. The audio quality is comparable to my BOSE noise canceling travel companions. If you are looking at a new headset, you definitely want to consider the Heil Pro 7.
Please send along your operating reports, and let me know what you are working on!
73 for now,