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Thursday, September 29, 2016

50 Years

Today I pulled my novice license out of the file. It reads "effective date: 09-23-66". Wow I've been hamming for 50 years...well, not quite. I also pulled my novice logbook out of the desk drawer.
It shows my first RF to the antenna was on Oct 16, but no answer to my CQ. Vance, W6ZZL, then got on using my equipment to show that I was getting out. He worked WN6UBL. It was almost 2 weeks before I had an actual contact. I worked WN7EQS on October 28.

It was a fun year as a novice but I couldn't quite master 13 WPM. I ended up with a technician license on 2 mtrs for a few months until I was able to upgrade and get back on HF.

I thought it would be appropriate to have a "50 Years of Ham Radio" QSL card to  go along with all of this. A few minutes with a graphics program and a quick order to Walmart got me what I was looking for.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

QSOs on a "Poor" Band

Today I was reminded that it never hurts to try.

Earlier this week Beth and I, after looking at the weather forecast and our calendar, decided to find something to do outside today. We finally settled on a day trip and picnic at Great River Bluffs State Park, about an hour east of here and overlooking the Mississippi. We could do a little hiking and then Beth could read while I did a little hamming (Don't all wives pack along a book in case the OM decides to get on the air?).

Great plan, but then I looked at the propagation forecast. Conditions for 20 meters, my favorite band for QRP in the Park was listed as "Poor". Shucks, why bother packing the KX3 along and putting up the antenna if no one will hear me. I was about to leave the rig behind and take my own book. In the end the KX3 did come and Beth and I found an operating/reading position about 600' above the Mississippi. There was shade for Beth and trees I that could get my antenna into without a lot of trouble.

For a poor band 20 was doing pretty good today. WA3GPM (PA) came back to my first CQ before I was even properly settled in my chair. I was expecting to review Reverse Beacon Network hits and instead I had a QSO. Before Beth got her book finished I had also had good QSOs with KB1CL (MA), N7DS (MT) and N1WPU (ME).

Never leave town without your never hurts to try.