I finally finished off the 6-meter Yagi project and got it on the air. I’ve actually been using it for a while, but needed the ARRL VHF contest to get enough activity on the band to shoot video in a reasonable amount of time showing me making QSOs. I was running 50 watts into the 4-element Yagi and worked sporadic-E clouds to 30 different Maidenhead grids, including two in New Hampshire, which were my first double-hop sporadic-E QSOs. Enjoy!
The 7th Call Area QSO Party (“7QP”) took place on Saturday, May 6th. The 7th call area contains Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Most of these states have sparse populations, so a combined event was begun in 2006 and has become one of the more popular annual QSO parties. Although the FCC long ago dropped the requirement that your call had to match your call area, most operators do have a call that matches, so the name still fits (in my log it was about 80%). Also, the Delaware, New England, and Indiana QSO Parties were on the air the same weekend, so there were a lot of cross-contact between the various contests. Continue reading
There’s only about one opportunity a month within a half-hour one-way drive to take an amateur radio exam around here. Combined with wanting to take the studying seriously, it took a while for me to get around to taking my Element 4 exam to upgrade to Extra. But, Saturday morning that finally happened! Continue reading
This post is rather belated, but I thought I would finally write about the ARRL International DX Phone Contest, the weekend of March 4th. Basically, as a U.S. mainland station the goal was to contact as many people outside the U.S. mainland in as many countries as possible, and for non-mainland the goal was to contact as many people as possible in the lower 48 states. Continue reading
For this episode, I shot about 2 hours of video of me casually working the 20-meter band on a Saturday with a contest and two state QSO parties in progress, editing the video down to under 30 minutes. I comment on what I’m hearing, make a few domestic QSOs, one QSO with France, and unsuccessfully work Italy. All with 80 watts into a homebrew magnetic loop antenna. Enjoy!
I didn’t do any major stuff over the weekend, just working a couple special event stations that I heard, a couple contacts for the Montana QSO Party, and a few more for Winter Field Day. Continue reading
I’ve been spending a lot of time coming up with a good way of motorizing the tuning shaft of the vacuum variable capacitor, and make the whole assembly modular so I can move it from one loop antenna to another to optimize a particular band. I only ended up using one antenna during the 12-hour NA QSO Party on Saturday, but it generally went pretty well. Continue reading