Well the North American RTTY QSO Party started about 35 minutes ago and so far they are not bothering 40m, although I suspect they will take over as the day goes on. 40m is sounding a little deaf, the solar index and propagation numbers aren't that hot (SSN:27 SFI:82 A:20 K:0) and usually an A index like that means deafness reigns....but guess what? I have managed to work WI, KY and NC in the last 90 minutes. I already had WI in the log but this was a new Novice Roundup Rig and I wanted him in that contest log.
So the first contact of the day was Dave WB9EGZ up in Wisconsin. Dave was running a Drake 2NT xtal controlled transmitter at 50w. See the picture below. Dave loves old radios and enjoys golf and sailing on Lake Michigan.
|WB9EGZ radio collection|
|Drake 2NT Transmitter|
The next contact was with Bob WB4IEA down in Kentucky, a new state! Bob was running the same exact transmitter as Dave was. He was also at 50w and this rig sounded like the big buck boys. Bob has a great fist and his NRR is 161. Bob was also using a Drake Receiver but I am not sure which model. Back in the day, Drake gear was top shelf all the way.
Then I worked another NRR member, and that was Bob WB9CAC from down in North Carolina, another new state for me! This Bob was running a Knight T60 crystal controlled rig at 30w. Bob loves tube gear and has built several nice rigs based on his bio on QRZ. Bob also likes to jump out of perfectly good airplanes.
|Knight T 60 Transmitter|
My next contact of the day was Mike WB0SND out in Missouri. This was another NRR contact, and I already had MO in the log but Mike is an interesting guy. He has a vacuum tube sales business and he is into restoring old radios and old cars. He owns a 1930 Buick Coupe and you can see it on his QRZ biography page. Very cool. Mike was running a Johnson Viking (I think), I copied Johnson...then got QRM'd and then heard "ing" at the end...and he was running 60w. We traded NRR and SKCC numbers. I am now hearing a LOT more RTTY stations, and the band is short...the SC stations have faded away and now I am hearing Indiana and Illinois mostly. (4PM)
The Novice Rig Roundup has been a ton of fun, but it ends tomorrow. During this event I have come to appreciate the old rigs, and especially using the HW-8 . I have better radios, well radios with more features, and more circuits that are used to help tune on and lock on signals. With these old rigs you are forced to use your ears, sometimes it really helps to shut your eyes, reduce the volume a bit and concentrate on the weak ones. The Joy of QRP (saaaalute to Ade Weiss W0RSP) makes each and every contact a cause for celebration. If you haven't tried it you may be missing out.
The South Carolina QSO Party is underway and I have heard TONS of stations from SC and I have answered every single one of them but they are not hearing me. I need SC for the logbook, so I will attempt to make contact with them later this afternoon. The wind is picking up here but my attic dipole doesn't care. Storms came through last night and we went from 72 F to 29F this morning. Nothing like Indiana weather to keep you on your toes!
I updated the WAS map, I have 16 in the log now...and I find it interesting to see just how well this 1.5 watts and my 40m half wave attic dipole are getting out in these conditions. This is proof that it is best to just get on the air and see what's happening. I never check the solar conditions until I am done for the session. In the words of the great space man Han Solo, "Never tell me the odds!"
I did manage to adjust my dial on the HW-8...it's +/- 2 Khz now instead of being off by 25 Khz...closer is better. Also I have heard the following states...OK,MN,LA,SC,NE,AR, NJ, and AL but I have not been able to get them to hear me yet. Every day is a new adventure though...40m is like a box of resistors, you never know what you'll get!